Asia Pacific Pharmaceutical Symposium 2011 Yogyakarta
Annually held by Asia Pacific Regional Office –International Pharmaceutical Student’s Federation (APRO-IPSF), Asia Pacific Pharmaceutical Symposium 2011 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia holds the theme of “The role of Herbal Medicine in advance Pharmacy”. It was held from July 2 until July 7th 2011 hosted by Universitas Gadjah Mada. A number of 7 IIUM students accompanied by Brother Badri Kudos as the accompanying officer attended the highly anticipated international event. Other Malaysian delegates are students from UM, USM, UKM, UiTM and University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus.
Participants from all over Asia Pacific including Taiwan, South Korea, Australia and Japan also attended this event. Some joined this symposium to gain more knowledge on the vast pharmaceutical field, some wish to make new friends and networking from across the continent, others intend to utilize their summer break. Whatever the reason is, we were all gathered under one roof as Pharmacy students of Asia Pacific.
Here is a summarized report of the days we spent in Yogyakarta.
APPS participants arrived at Saphir Hotel located in the heart of Yogya for registration. We were provided with name tags, booklets and t-shirts. A Welcoming Party was held on the first night whereby several games were played for participants to get to know each other. An amusing traditional Java dance performance that portrays the story of their ancient kingdom made us fell in love immediately with Yogyakarta.
Our first day of symposium starts with a brief introduction from IPSF Chairperson, Melissa Hong about the organization of Asia Pacific Regional Office (APRO) and its role in the development of Pharmacy students. Next, Symposium 1 was conducted by Prof. Dr. Marchaban, DESS, Apt about “Future of Pharmacy Education and Pharmaceutical Works for Facing AFTA 2011” and Symposium 2 by 2 speakers: Prof. Dr.Sri Juari Santosa, M.Sc and Prof. Dr. Sri Noegrohati, Apt with an interesting discussion on “Pharmacy Goes Green”. In the evening, Green Lung workshop by Ho Rhu Yan, Patient Counseling Event workshop, CP workshop and CSE workshop were held in different venues all at the same time. The workshops were optional thus participants only joined the one they were most interested in.
The next event in store for us on Day 1 is Cultural Night. Apart from the cultural dances and traditional songs performed specially for us, an auction session also took place. Every participating country was required to auction one or more items that represent their country. Malaysia auctioned Datuk Lat’s famous Kampung Boy comic, among other things. All profits gained from this auction are contributed to the IPSF Fund to help underprivileged Pharmacy students from across the globe.
Symposium 3 was presented by speakers; Prof.Dr.Masashi Kawaichi and Prof. Dr. Edy Meiyanto, M.Si., Apt in their interesting topic for students who are interested in research for drugs that is “Advance Drug Development : Molecular Targetted Therapy”.
Next for Symposium 4 presented by Prof. Dr. Iwan Dwiprahasto, M.MedSc, PhD in “Healthy Insurance: How Important It is as a part of Pharmaceutical Care.”
The students showed great interest especially regarding molecular targeted therapy research. This is observed during the Q&A session whereby the students inquired many questions on the presented topic.
In the evening, the Regional Meeting, Patient Counseling Event, Oral Presentation and Poster Exhibition and CSE final were held. Three IIUM students competed in the Patient Counseling Event which tests the skills of participants in counseling and educating patients on various drugs.
A team of UiTM students lead by Syafi’ah Bakarudin won the Poster Exhibition with their outstanding poster entitled ‘α-glucosidase inhibitory activity of Mesua Ferrea bark’. Malaysia was proud to also win 1st place for the Oral Presentation by Khor Xin Yun on her paper entitled ‘Should Malaysia separate dispensing role from doctors’. They received winning certificates and USD 100.
The night of Day 2 was a Free Night. Participants were allowed to spend the night out but most of us stayed in to prepare posters for the campaign on Day 5.
After two lengthy days of continuous symposiums and workshops, the APPS participants finally had a day out to explore Yogyakarta. We first visited the Sultan Palace or also known as ‘Keraton’ in Indonesian language. It is a 200 years old palace complex located right in the heart of Yogyakarta. As the structures and buildings of the complex were built based on the essential Javanese philosophy of life, we had the chance to learn on the diverse culture and historical side of Yogya. We were also very lucky to enjoy a special performance by the Keraton’s gamelan troupe.
After lunch and Zuhur prayers, we then headed to the magnificent Prambanan Temple. The Prambanan Temple is too amazing that it is almost impossible to be described in mere words. Numerous group photos were shot throughout the day to depict the most fun and memorable day of APPS.
Despite being worn out (and sun-tanned!) after the day tour, all APPS participants were still enthusiastic for the next activity scheduled – the International Night. On this special occasion, all delegates were required to perform on stage. Malaysian delegates presented a special song, ‘Here in My Home’ which portrays the racial unity and 1Malaysia spirit. The best performance of the night went to Korean delegates with their over the top K-pop dance performance lead by Ha Sang Min.
Day 4 commenced with Regional Meeting 2, Management Workshop and Cultural Workshop. In the Cultural Workshop, we were taught a traditional Javanese dance by experienced dancers. We discovered that it was not easy to maintain a demure poise while dancing, what more when most of us have never even danced before!
After the dance lesson, the Management Workshop was held. The workshop focused on the role of management in the Indonesian Herbal Medicine development. As Indonesia is renowned for its Jamu and other traditional medicines, there should be an institution in Indonesia that acts as focal point by coordinating all Indonesian herbal medicine development activities from planning and organizing to evaluating the implementation and results of herbal medicine research in Indonesia.
After lunch break, the day continued with the final round of Patient Counseling Event. Three best participants in the earlier round of Patient Counseling Event for both Beginners and Advanced levels have to compete and show off their counseling skills in front of all APPS delegates. It was indeed a great experience to be able to learn from the cream of the crop. Cindy Khoo, 1st year student from University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus won the 1st place for Beginner’s Level. Her winning prize is a full-paid expense fee for next year’s APPS in Taiwan.
The night of Day 4 was a free night whereby participants were allowed to explore the city of Yogyakarta at their freewill.
The final day of APPS finally arrived. The day kicked-off with a tour around Universitas Gadjah Mada’s Faculty of Pharmacy. We explored the various buildings and laboratories of Universitas Gadjah Mada. Since their university is established in 1949, many years older than IIUM; it was interesting to see how their faculty differs from ours. For instance, their laboratories still use conventional equipments that most of us have only seen in text books such as the two pan balance and beam balance.
Later after that, the Laboratory Workshop was held. The workshop was a lot of fun as we had a hands-on experience of creating our very own lip gloss!
Right after lunch, we went to Yogyakarta’s most famous shopping spot – the Malioboro street. Divided into small groups of 4 to 5 people, we had to approach the locals and tourists and educate them on the rational use of drugs. Sounds easy? I’m afraid not. The Malioboro street was too crowded and most people were too busy minding their own business. Alhamdulillah, over time, we managed to spread all the flyers and educate the public on using drugs rationally. Mission accomplished!
The final event of APPS is the Gala Night. Everyone looked stunning in their respective tuxedo and evening gowns. We enjoyed a scrumptious dinner together on our last night in Yogyakarta. As everyone bids goodbye and exchanged contact details, we were overwhelmed by emotions. Within 6 days, friendships were bridged and memories were made. All thanks to APPS Yogyakarta 2011.
If given the chance, all 7 IIUM delegates to APPS Yogyakarta 2011 would love to join the next and future APPS. We did not only learn from the symposiums, workshops and competitions held, but the time spent exchanging thoughts and ideas with Pharmacy students from other countries with different backgrounds and religious beliefs were probably the most precious lesson of all.
** ‘Apt’ is an abbreviation for ‘Apoteker’ which denotes ‘authorized Pharmacist’ in Indonesian language.