Materia Medica Malaysiana

November 30, 2005

Dengue Cases Down To 649 Last Week

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 7:18 am

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 29 (Bernama) — The number of dengue cases dropped to 649 for the week ended last Saturday compared to 814 a week earlier.
Of the 649 cases, 22 were haemorrhagic dengue, said the Health Ministry’s Disease Control Division in a statement, Tuesday.
The number of dengue cases in Putrajaya fell to one from four, Sabah fell to six from 20, Perlis fell to seven from 19, Penang fell to 43 from 85, Melaka fell to 17 from 32, Kelantan fell to 18 from 33, Pahang fell to 31 from 53, Kedah fell to 26 from 38, Kuala Lumpur fell to 61 from 85, Terengganu fell to 13 from 15; Selangor fell to 204 from 231 and Perak fell to 49 from 231.
However, the cases in Negeri Sembilan rose from 20 to 32 and Johor rose from 101 to 113.
Cases involving students dropped from 119 from 102 with Selangor recording the highest number with 38 cases.
The Disease Control Division also said that 51,873 premises had been inspected and 551 of them had been found to breed aedes mosquitoes. A total 284 compound fines were issued and fines worth RM43,000 collected over the past week.

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Infectious Diseases Brought In By Illegal Workers

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 7:16 am

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 29 (Bernama) — Illegal immigrant workers are responsible for some of the infectious diseases detected in the country.
The ministry’s Parliamentary Secretary Datuk Lee Kah Choon said the matter was compounded by the fact those who enter illegally and fall sick avoided treatment fearing they would be detained and deported home.
At the same time employers are also reluctant to send their sick illegal workers for treatment fearing they could be penalised for employing illegal workers.
He said this when winding-up the committee level debate on the 2006 Budget at the Dewan Rakyat sitting here, Tuesday.
Earlier, during the debate Datuk Mohd Said Yusof (BN-Jasin) asked the government to review the foreign workers health screening monopoly given to FOMEMA Sdn Bhd.
He suggested that the task should be given to local companies as Fomema is now a Singaporean company.
“Government should review the monopoly given to Fomema and we should establish three companies owned 100 percent by Malaysians to screen foreign foreign workers in Malaysia,” he said.
He said the doctors in Fomema’s panel also failed to carry out their responsibility with due diligence.
“There are doctors who don’t conduct proper screening and there were instances all the blood samples of 100 foreigners were type “O”. How can all of them have the same blood type. Maybe the doctor only screened one of the workers, not all,” he said.

November 29, 2005

Action sought over drug blog

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 9:07 am

Star: A 24-YEAR-OLD systems engineer in Kuching has allegedly shared his drug-taking experiences in his blog, detailing the substances, and how to get an enhanced high.
The blog came to the attention of a Nanyang Siang Pau reader, who sent an e-mail to the daily to complain about the blogger, who was supposedly a computer graduate from an Australian university.
The blog, according to the reader, had developed into an information exchange platform for drug users.
Established in 2002, the blog has categories like Chinese New Year, Fast Food Inc, Food Reviews and Travel.
There were also comments from visitors to the site.
Under the Drug category, the blogger had included at least 50 articles describing prices of drugs, their packaging, methods of use and photographs showing how to take them.
Among the substances featured were methamphetamines, benzodiazepines, amphetamines and cannabis.
The blogger had expressed his worries about getting HIV/ AIDS but later claimed that a medical check-up showed that he was not infected.
There are also photographs in the blog showing him injecting himself with drugs.
Nanyang said the blogger demonstrated an intention to spread his knowledge of drugs to the public.
The police were reportedly making a case against the blogger based on the complaint while Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation vice-chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said such a blog was akin to defying Malaysian laws.
He urged the police to take immediate action against the blogger, and added that the blog must be shut down.

Bar smokers from varsities

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 9:06 am

Star: A Vice-Chancellor has made a radical proposal to ban smokers from getting enrolled at public universities as a move to ensure smoke-free campuses.
Universiti Malaysia Sabah vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Mohd Noh Dalimin said the idea might sound harsh but the suggestion was necessary as students so far had no qualms about puffing away, ignoring the Tobacco Products Control Regulation (Amendment) 1997.
Under the law, those who light up in no-smoking zones could be fined up to RM5,000 or jailed a maximum two years.
Kosmo! quoted Prof Mohd Noh as saying that smoking was difficult to curb among university students as they picked up the habit in school.
His proposal was supported by several vice-chancellors, including Prof Datuk Dr Ibrahim Abu Shah of Universiti Teknologi Mara, who agreed that stricter measures were needed when enrolling students.
He said this could be the first step towards ensuring the problem did not get out of control in the universities.
Prof Ibrahim added that university staff also mustn’t smoke on campus and students should not hesitate to report those who do so to the management.

Drug rehab centres to upgrade living conditions

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 9:05 am

Star: PADANG BESAR: About 20,000 inmates in the 28 drug rehabilitation centres nationwide can expect better living conditions, including sleeping on thicker mattresses.
National Anti-Drugs Agency (AADK) deputy director-general Zamri Hamid said under the upgrading plan, concrete buildings would replace the existing wooden ones.
Security fencing had also been erected at 11 centres while the fencing of 17 other centres would be replaced next year.
“The new fencing has high security features to prevent inmates from escaping,” Zamri told reporters after launching the new facilities at the Bukit Chabang Drug Rehabilitation here yesterday.
The facilities include a visitor’s room, reception area and cooperative club.
Also present was the centre’s commandant Nazer Mustaffa.
Zamri added that to date, the hostel at three centres in Sepang in Selangor, Bachok, Kelantan and Papar, Sabah, had been replaced with concrete buildings while 22 remaining hostels would be replaced next year.
“With such facilities, we hope the inmates will not feel left out and they will not take drugs again,” he said.

November 28, 2005

Malaysian men prefer to keep silent

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 4:20 pm

NST: Malaysian men prefer to keep problems below the belt to themselves. They ranked below the Taiwanese, South Koreans and Chinese when it came to seeking treatment for erectile dysfunction (ED).
“In every country, including Western countries, there is an uptrend in ED, but Asian men and Malaysian men in particular are not so forthright and don’t want to tell us about their problems,” consultant urologist Prof Datuk Dr Tan Hui Meng said.
He recently concluded the first phase of the “Asian Men’s Attitudes to Life Events and Sexuality Study” which showed Malaysians are still hesitant to talk about ED.
The RM4 million study polled 9,057 male respondents aged between 25 and 70 in four countries, with 3,000 respondents in Malaysia, 2,000 in Taiwan, 2,055 in China and 2,002 in South Korea.
“Although we asked embedded questions, Malaysians were still less forthcoming,” he said.
The questions included: “How do you rate your confidence that you can get and keep an erection?” and “During sexual intercourse, how difficult was it to maintain your erection to completion of the intercourse?”
Dr Tan, who is secretary-general of the Asia Pacific Society for Sexual Medicine, said this was the first time a psychosocial study on quality of life issues, health treatment issues and men’s attitude towards health had been studied.
Despite the high prevalence of ED, seeking a treatment was low among Malaysian men, with only 36 per cent seeking help.
“The interesting bit about this study is that we found that 20 per cent of Malaysian males with ED sought traditional treatment,” he said in an interview.
The study concurred with an earlier Western study that the older men became, the more they reported their struggle with ED.
Between ages 20 and 29, only one to three per cent of men in the four countries reported ED to their doctors.
Of those in their 60s, between 10 per cent (Malaysia and Taiwan) and 30 per cent (China and Korea) reported such cases.
In Malaysia, 11 per cent of men in their 60s reported ED cases. The low figures among Malaysians could indicate reluctance to talk about their sex life or the inability to have one, Dr Tan said.
In South Korea, Taiwan and China, men with ED were significantly dissatisfied with their quality of life.
Dr Tan said Malaysian men were a “generally satisfied bunch”.
“In all countries, people with ED were less satisfied with their quality of life but Malaysia ranked the lowest.”
Various aspects of respondents’ lives were studied, including their career, relationship with partners and their sex life.

Number of fatalities alarming

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 4:19 pm

NST: The industrial accident rate has dropped but the number of fatalities is still alarming.
More than 80 per cent of fatal accidents occurred in small and medium-sized industries (SMIs).
Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Dr Fong Chan Onn attributed this to the SMIs lackadaisical and “hardcore” attitude in the implementation of safety features for workers.
“They are more concerned with making profits rather than looking into workers’ safety. They feel that implementing safety features is an extra financial burden,” he told the New Straits Times.
“There were a number of serious and fatal industrial cases reported this year, especially in SMIs,” he said.
He has directed the Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) to come down hard on those who do not adhere to Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) regulations.
He cited a recent incident at a SMI in Puchong where both hands of a worker were crushed inside a die-cutting machine resulting in the woman bleeding to death.
“DOSH’s initial investigation revealed that there were no safety features put in place to protect workers operating the machine and neither was the deceased wearing protective gear,” Fong said.
The work site has been ordered to close pending further investigation and a detailed report from the company.
Between 2000 and last year, industrial accidents resulted in 54,207 workers suffering permanent disability.
“These industrial accidents can be averted if only industries complied with the OSH regulation,” he said.
He said DOSH and Socso were already on the ground visiting the more than 50,000 registered SMIs to create awareness on the importance of them adhering to the OSH Act and regulations.
“SMIs play a vital role in economic development and their workers are major players in the economy. It’s the responsibility of employers to ensure a safe and healthy work environment,” said Fong.

Biggest male effort to end violence against women

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 4:17 pm

Sun2Surf: PETALING JAYA: The White Ribbon Campaign, the largest effort in the world, of men working to end men’s violence against women,was launched at 1 Utama New Wing here on Sunday.
The campaign, running globally from Nov 27 to Dec 11, is organised by the Men’s Action Network Against Violence (Man.V) and All Women’s Action Society Malaysia (Awam) with the support of Watsons Personal Care Stores Sdn Bhd.
Throughout the campaign, men across the world are encouraged and called on to wear a white ribbon, as a personal pledge never to commit, condone, or remain silent about violence against women.
Initiated in 1991 by a group of Canadians, the campaign now involves 47 countries.
Man.V, an affiliate of Awam, aims to encourage men to speak up about the issue and their experience of violence, leading these men to make a personal pledge to confront and eradicate this problem.
“Society should respect human rights and gender equality,” said Man.V coordinator David Anthony.
“Men’s violence against women continues because explicit or tacit permission is given to men by social customs, legal codes, and even by religious norms,” explained Awam president Judith Loh-Koh.
“We recognise the importance of working with men to bring about change and realise that if men are part of the problem, they can also be part of the solution.”
Meanwhile, Watsons Malaysia general manager Ian Cruddas, who launched the campaign by spray-painting a white ribbon on a poster, said: “I hope that men will stand by their mothers, wives, sisters and daughters and give them full support.
“I also hope that men and boys alike will help promote gender equality.”

Bird flu scare: Patient tests negative

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 3:58 pm

Malay Mail: The man warded recently at Penang Hospital with symptoms of lung infection does not have the deadly H5N1 strain of avian influenza.
Initial tests on the 61-year-old man showed he was free from the virus.
“Hospital authorities have, however, advised him to stay for a few more days so that they can continue to observe his condition,” parliamentary secretary to the Health Ministry, Datuk Lee Kah Choon, said yesterday.
“All I can say is that he does not have the deadly virus but the health authorities need to conduct more tests to determine what he is suffering from.
“There are no bird flu cases in Penang or other parts of the country,” he added.
The man was warded on Friday, five days after returning from China with his family.
He felt ill soon after his return and began to show flu-like symptoms three days later.
The man said he did not have any contact with live or dead birds in China and did not visit any poultry farm.
Lee said the Ministry had identified 21 hospitals nationwide in anticipation of bird flu.
“The Government is also looking at providing Tamiflu as and when there is a need.
“We have a comprehensive plan to protect every one, be it patients, medical staff and the people at large,” he said.
He also said the Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Ministry as well as the Customs and Immigration departments had an equally important role to play in the fight against avian flu.

Guidelines for treatment of hypertension

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 3:03 pm

Malay Mail:A total of 70,000 Malaysians aged 18 and above will be probed deeper for evidence of hypertension in the 2006 National Health and Morbidity Study (NHMS) to be conducted next year.
“Doctors believe that a much more aggressive stance is needed to ascertain incidence of hypertension in treating the disease,” said chairman Datuk Dr Zaki Morad Mohd Zaher, together with a working group developed the Malaysian Guidelines for the treatment of hypertension.
The guidelines were developed on behalf of the Health Ministry and Academy of Medicine.
The International Society of Hypertension estimates 42 per cent of the world’s population or almost one in two adults will be hypertensive by the year 2020.
According to the president of Malaysian Society of Hypertension, Datuk Dr Azhari Rosman, one in three Malaysians aged 30 and above suffer from hypertension while only six out of every 100 have their blood pressure under control.

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