By Azman Zakaria
Photo by Noor Azreen Awang
SERDANG, July 22 - Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) senior lecturer, Dr. Mohd Mokrish Md Ajat from the Department of Veterinary Preclinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, has won 2016 UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Young Scientists Award Programme.
The selection was done by International Coordinating Council of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme during its 28th session in Lima, Peru, recently.
Dr. Mohd Mokrish was informed of his selection as the winner by the Director of the Division of Ecological and Earth Sciences, Han Qunli, who is also MAB Programme Secretary, via an email.
The MAB Programme which commences in 1989, has been granting awards up to US$5,000 each to encourage young scientists below 40 years old to undertake work on ecosystems, natural resources and biodiversity.
He said he was surprised to have received the email from UNESCO MAB Secretary in Paris which stated that he had won the award
“At first, I did not believe it as I thought it was a SPAM email. Later, I checked with the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry for verification and it was confirmed that I won,” he said in an interview.
Dr. Mohd Mokrish added that the grant he received will be used for his study on Assessment of Zoonotic Disease Awareness Among Primary and Secondary School Students in Malaysia.
“The first stage of the research will involve some 160 students from several primary and secondary schools in the Klang Valley,” he said.
He also said the study would be carried out in stages between October and November 2016, and February and May 2017 before a full report of the findings is sent to MAB Programme in August 2017.
He added that the in-depth study was aimed at educating and inculcating awareness among students about zoonotic diseases as prevention is better than cure.
With better understanding about the diseases such as leptospirosis, they will be able to take precaution when they go for picnics at waterfalls or able to take steps from being infected by parasites transmitted by their pets such as dogs and cats.
“We will be using the facilities at UPM, and will be taking the students to EDU Park and Dairy Farm to witness the cow milking process,” he said. – UPM
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