5 Things You Probably Didn't Know About National Hero Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah

Not all heroes wear capes, some wear personal protective equipment.

Cover image via Noor Hisham Abdullah/Facebook

Malaysia's fight against the COVID-19 pandemic has got everybody paying attention to one particular person: Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah

His daily live update on the COVID-19 situation in Malaysia is quickly becoming the most watched programme in the country.

People everywhere have been praising him and the Ministry of Health for their effort in fighting the novel coronavirus.

Besides that, many Malaysians are in awe with Dr Noor Hisham's no nonsense attitude and humility. Malaysiakini reported that during one of his live sessions, a member of the media had asked the Health director-general on how he felt upon being called a "national hero".

He responded, "It is not about me but what we (citizens) can do as one to fight COVID-19."

We decided to compile a list of facts about Dr Noor Hisham so you can get to know our Health director-general better:

1. He has a Masters in Surgery and a Doctorate of Medicine from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM)

Born on 21 April 1963 in Sepang, Selangor, Dr Noor Hisham started serving as a medical officer in 1988.

He then went on to specialise in endocrine surgery and did his training at various universities in Adelaide and Sydney, Australia.

According to the Ministry of Health's official portal, in 2008, he attended the Advanced Management Program at Oxford Business School in United Kingdom.

2. He was appointed as the Ministry of Health director-general in 2013

For the past seven years, he has worked alongside three different Health Ministers. They are Datuk Seri Dr S Subramaniam Sathasivam (2013 - 2018), Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad (2018 - 2020), and Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba (2020 - present).

Prior to that, he held the post of Deputy director-general since 1 February 2008.

3. Dr Noor Hisham is the president of the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC)

Not only that, he is also a board member of Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) and at Putrajaya Hospital, he is the head and senior consultant for breast and endocrine surgeons.

4. He has an impressive list of other special appointments under his belt

Recently, Dr Noor Hisham was selected to join a coalition of global scientists to stop the COVID-19 pandemic.

He will be joined by prominent scientists from universities such as Harvard and Oxford among others and together, they will push for much-needed COVID-19 research.

His other special appointments include:

- Royal Australasian College of Surgeons foundation visitor in Hong Kong (2008)

- Sri Lanka College of Surgeons special guest in Colombo (2010)

- Royal Australasian College of Surgeons International Visitor in Kuala Lumpur (2012)

- General Surgeons of Australia International Guest in Hobart, Tasmania (2012)

- Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in London, UK (2012)

- Goatcher Surgeon in Residence at Royal Perth Hospital, Australia (2013)

5. He has also received multiple national awards for his excellent service

Image via theSundaily

Back in 2004, Dr Noor Hisham was given the honorary award dubbed the 'Officer of the Order of the Defender of the Realm' or also known as Kesatria Mangku Negara (KMN).

Three years after that, he was bestowed with the title of 'Commander of the Order of Meritorious Service' or Panglima Jasa Negara (PJN). This award carries the title 'Datuk' and and is limited to only 300 living recipients at a time.

His other awards include:

- Darjah Sri Sultan Ahmad Shah Pahang (2014)

- Darjah Yang Mulia Pangkuan Negeri Pulau Pinang (2013)

- Darjah Seri Paduka Mahkota Perlis (2013)

- Darjah Dato' Paduka Mahkota Perlis (2010)

- Excellent Service Award, Kuala Lumpur Hospital (2000)

- Excellent Service Award, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya Health Department (2004)

Remember to #JustStayAtHome. Watch the latest update on the COVID-19 situation:

Thanks to Dr Noor Hisham and other medical frontliners in Malaysia, the nation's COVID-19 curve is flattening:

Read more COVID-19 stories on SAYS:

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