The Centre for Population Health (CePH) was officially launched by the Vice Chancellor of University of Malaya (UM) on the 18th February 2009. The vision of the CePH is to become a research centre of excellence which will contribute to evidence based health policy formulation for promoting population health and improving the quality of life of the society. A Memorandum of Understanding between UM and the Queen’s University in Belfast, United Kingdom was signed during the launching.
CePH falls under the umbrella of the Health and Translational Medicine Cluster headed by Professor Dr Noor Hayaty Abu Kasim of University Malaya. Associate Professor Nabilla Al-Sadat Abdul Mohsein was appointed as the first head of the centre. Currently, CePH is spearheaded by Associate Professor Dr Tin Tin Su and has a total number of 14 strong members contributing to its’ performance through publications and networking.
In line with the departments’ vision to transform itself into a school of Public Health in the near future, CePH will spear head the direction of the School to become a premier institution excelling in population and global health issues and research. CePH also aims at undertaking a broad spectrum of work, ranging from research that helps to better understand the priority diseases and their associations to lifestyles and behaviours on health related environmental issues to health systems oriented research that directly influences health policy.
The University of Malaya (UM) has given strong support in terms of finance and human resources for the start-up costs. Collaborations with the Queen’s University Belfast benefited the centre through sharing of knowledge via workshops, post-doctoral appointments and split-side PhD’s.
Other collaborations are with the University of Leeds, University of Cambridge, La Trobe University, Monash University, Deakin University, Virginia Tech USA, Taipei Medical University, several local universities and the Ministry of Health Malaysia. The centre also boasts of a ready pool of 10-15 DrPH students per year to conduct research of doctoral quality all under the purview of the members of the centre who come from various disciplines and expertise such as public health, health policy analyst, family health, health economics and statistical analysis expertise. Among the three main projects conducted under the centre are the PARTNER’s (Participatory Action Research Through Negotiation and Empowerment of the Residents) HTMC Flagship project, the MyHeARTs (Risk Factors For Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases Among Adolescents) and the MyBCC (Malaysian Breast Cancer Survivorship Cohort) study.