Introducing the new CVA delegate for Malaysia – Dr Helen Mitin

Q1. Tell us about you, your family and where you live?

 I am Dr. Helen Mitin, President of Malaysian Veterinary Medical Association (MAVMA) 2023-2025. I am married with 2 children. My husband, Hermisen, is also a veterinarian. I live in Selangor, my hometown is in Kuching, Sarawak.

 Q2. What is your favourite food?

Kolo mee and Sarawak laksa

 Q3. Do you have any favourite music?

 I like all types of music. From new to old, that includes classical, pop, rock, R&B, rap, pop rock, jazz, country, and alternative but not techno music.

 Q4. What is your favourite sport?

I like swimming and brisk walk.

 Q5. Tell up in a paragraph what your current veterinary position is.

I am a research officer at the Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) in Putrajaya since 2008. My area of research is animal welfare and behaviour and animal production. I just passed my viva-voce for my PhD at Universiti Putra Malaysia in January 2024 in animal welfare and behaviour. My PhD studies were on the effects of positive human contact, early life stress, and probiotic supplementation in alleviating stress due to pre-slaughter activities such as catching, crating, and transportation of ducks.

My research in DVS involves cattle and other small ruminants’ integrated farming systems with other crops that include palm oil and rubber. Other aspect that I investigate includes farmer’s KAP (knowledge, attitude, perception) on the farming systems, farming system’s efficiency and cost-effectiveness for small-scale farmers, green technology, and farming system sustainability in Malaysia.

Q6. What influenced you to become a veterinarian?

 I enjoyed having animals, whether they were farm animals or pets, because I grew up in a village where I was surrounded by many animals. As a veterinarian, I can spend much time with animals and interact with many people. My parents are my biggest supporters and have influenced me to be a veterinarian.

Q7. What do you enjoy most about being a veterinarian?

I enjoy being a veterinarian, as a veterinarian has a vast opportunity to apply your knowledge, share your experience, and venture into other veterinary sectors. I was a private practitioner at the Animal Medical Centre in Kuala Lumpur in 1999 until 2008, where my role as a veterinary clinician encompasses a wide range of clinical responsibilities. These include diagnostic imaging, surgery, anaesthesia, internal medicine, patient care, and various other clinical duties. With the desire to contribute more to society and the country in terms of food security and safety, I decided to join the civil service in 2008. I was also invited to teach the veterinary undergraduate students at a local veterinary institution on veterinary law, veterinary ethics, and professionalism.

Q8. What are some of the main challenges for you and your national veterinary association?

 My challenges in the association are that I would consider myself part of gen X, the sandwich generation, that is squeezed between the baby boomer generation, those successful, established, and experienced, and the millennials and gen Z, those that are just starting to join the profession and have a very different mindset and attitude. It is necessary to find the balance for all generations and to serve accordingly.

As the main veterinary association in Malaysia, we see the decline of younger veterinarian membership joining the main body because of the emergence of specialised veterinary associations such as small animals, zoo medicine, farm animals, and pharmaceuticals that dilute the voice of the veterinarians. Corrective measures are ongoing, such as developing the MAVMA Strategic Plan 2024–2030 to tackle major issues and challenges in the association for sustainability.

 Q9. How do you communicate to your organisation about the CVA and its activities?

 As a newly elected President of MAVMA and Councillor in CVA, my view is that most of the activities of CVA are actually member countries’ activities. I wish to see more activities by CVA that are more inclusive or region-based activities in the future. Our communication is mainly through our websites ( and social media networks like Whatsapp, Facebook and Telegram accounts.

 Q10. How do you think the CVA can assist you in your Councillor Role?

As a councillor in CVA, I hope CVA can be more visible on their role, responsibilities and activities to the veterinarian under the CVA. I am looking forward for the activities under the new CVA President and subcommittees in the future especially in professional dan skills development.

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