2021 Anne Anderson Award Prize money recipient, Wai Cheng

Wai Cheng

The Anne Anderson Award recognizes a female member of Cochrane who has made a significant contribution to the enhancement and visibility of women's participation within Cochrane. The winner then designates the cash award to assist a woman from a low-resource setting with her Cochrane activities. Here the winner of the 2021 cash award reports back a year later.

The Anne Anderson Award is one of several prizes awarded annually (in 'normal times'). The goal of the Anne Anderson Award is to recognize and stimulate individuals contributing to the enhancement of women’s visibility and participation in Cochrane’s leadership. In the footsteps of Anne Anderson, many outstanding women continue to contribute and inspire other women to improve health knowledge for the good of their communities.

The Award recipient receives a plaque from Cochrane honouring her contributions (usually, this would happen at the annual Colloquium). She then designates the cash award of 3000 USD to assist a woman from a low-resource setting with her Cochrane activities, who should eventually provide a brief written report on how the funds have been used.

Wai Cheng

2021 Anne Anderson award winner, Jackie Ho nominated Wai Cheng to receive the award money.
Wai Cheng is a Paediatrician from Malaysia. We spoke to her to find out her plans for the prize money.

How will receiving the prize money help you personally?
It means I will be able to further develop my advocacy work to promote Kangaroo Care (KC) here in Malaysia. The Cochrane review, Kangaroo mother care to reduce morbidity and mortality in low birthweight infants, by Agustin Conde-Agudelo and colleagues shows that besides improving survival in preterm infants, it has other benefits. This is why WHO have endorsed it as an essential care. In spite of this we know that KC uptake in Malaysia has been generally low. It is for this reason that Kangaroo Mother Care Advocates Malaysia (KAMY), an advocacy group, is established in Malaysia and I am currently the secretary. So far, our work has been mainly in providing KC training to healthcare institutions and our members are all healthcare personnel. Due to lack of manpower, we have done little towards patient and public involvement in KC advocacy. Receiving the prize money means that I will be able develop a strategy to involve patients and the public in advocacy work.
What are your future plans?
I plan to set up a website to reach out to the public and engage someone with an interest to maintain it. Once the webpage is set up, I aim to identify people (patients and the public) to join and advocate KC with the aim of creating a demand for kangaroo care that pushes the healthcare system to support KC both during hospitalisation and at home, for preterm and term alike. We also hope to bring the public into KAMY to work together in implementing and sustaining KC practices in Malaysia.
What is your message to people thinking about submitting a nomination for the Anne Anderson Award?
I think that Jackie, the 2021 winner who nominated me to use the award money, is the perfect example of the type of person that should be nominated for the Anne Anderson Award. I truly appreciate that someone took the time and effort to nominate her. She is an advocate herself and even played a role helping me in the establishment of KAMY. She works to improve the lives of women who are around her and she has the contacts with people who can use the award money to improve the lives of others. In fact, with KC, I believe the money will not only save lives but will bring about improved healthcare for women and their babies in Malaysia.  

Jackie Ho
13 December 2021