Materia Medica Malaysiana

May 31, 2006

25,000 to get full stipend

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 9:45 am

Star: KUALA LUMPUR: Some 25,000 allied health professionals can look forward to a full specialist allowance once the current masters programme for public health is reviewed.
Health Minister Datuk Dr Chua Soi Lek said he had instructed director-general Datuk Dr Ismail Merican to review the current four-year programme at local universities.
“Currently, the four-year masters programme for public health produces allied health professionals who get a partial specialist allowance,” he said after attending the MCA presidential meeting yesterday.
“The time has come to change the programme to two years of study and a further two years of sub-specialist study.
Dr Chua said this meant that the professionals could benefit from a full specialist allowance, on par with doctors who were specialists.
Allied health professionals include nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and dental nurses.
Dr Chua said the change was needed as the current masters programme was created 20 years ago and that medical needs, technology and information had all changed since then.
“The ministry received RM1.5bil for training under the Ninth Malaysia Plan and so this is where some of the money will go,” he said.
He said the ministry would develop more masters programmes to train specialists and had also identified 32 different sub-specialties that individuals could train in.
“The figure of 25,000 is not something we plucked from the air. We have to see Malaysia’s needs, the amount of money involved and the availability of places for training. Training for specialists is very limited everywhere in the world,” he said.
He added that the focus of the recent World Health Assembly in Geneva that he attended was on human resource development and it was in line with the Prime Minister’s call to create human capital.
In February, Dr Chua said, there was a shortage of 129,634 allied health professionals.
There are only 61,472 such professionals in the country.

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May 30, 2006

Msian Medical Team Leaves Today For Quake-hit Yogyakarta

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 5:52 pm

KUALA LUMPUR, May 30 (Bernama) — Malaysia will send a medical team of 76 armed forces personnel to help victims of last Saturday's earthquake in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Tuesday.
He said the team, comprising eight officers and 68 other ranks, would leave with medical supplies in four Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) aircraft at 4 pm from the RMAF base in Subang.
"We realise that the number of victims is huge and there is a great need for medicines as the local hospitals there are unable to cope with the large number of quake victims," he told reporters after presenting armed forces veteran entrepreneurs awards and launching a book, "Pahlawan Tanahair", here.
The quake, of 6.2 intensity on the Richter scale, has taken the lives of more than 5,000 people and left up to 200,000 homeless.
Najib gave the breakdown of the medical personnel as one anesthesiologist, three medical officers, two dental officers, 40 paramedics and several support staff.
He also said that Malaysia would establish a field hospital and a mobile hospital in Yogyakarta.
"We will also send two ambulances and a landrover," he added.
The medical team is headed by Col Dr S. Jegathesan.
On Malaysian students remaining in Yogyakarta, Najib said students who wanted to return to Malaysia could do so in the RMAF aircraft that sent supplies there.

Health Minister In US And Canada For Official Visit

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 5:51 pm

PUTRAJAYA, May 30 (Bernama) — Health Minister Datuk Dr Chua Soi Lek will be in the United States and Canada for a seven-day official visit next week.
A statement issued by the ministry Tuesday said Chua and members of the delegation would visit, among others, the National Centre for Complementary and Alternative Medicine and Vaccine Research Centre at Bethesda, Maryland; the Harvard Centre for Cancer Prevention in Boston in the United States and the Chondrogene Facilities at Toronto in Canada.
Senior officers in the delegation will include Health Director-General Datuk Dr Mohd Ismail Merican, Deputy Director-General (Research and Technical Support) Datuk Ir Dr M.S Pillay and Director of the National Institute of Natural Products, Vaccine and Biological Dr Nor Shahidah Khairullah.
Chua, will be in New York from tomorrow until June 3 for the "High-Level Meeting and Comprehensive Review of the Progress Achieved in Realising the Targets Set-out In The Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS".
The declaration was endorsed during the United Nations conference on HIV/AIDS in New York in 2001.

UMMC launches CDs on mental illnesses

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 8:26 am

NST: KUALA LUMPUR: Hospital statistics show that 21,000 people were treated for mental illnesses by the University Malaya Medical Centre last year, mostly for depression.
Dr Sharmila Kanagasundram, a lecturer and psychiatrist at UMMC, says the number of patients seeking treatment for mental illnesses is increasing by 15 to 30 per cent every year.
UMMC Head of Department of Psychological Medicine Prof Dr Hussain Habil estimates that, "up to 21 per cent of the population suffers some form of mental illness".
He says 17 per cent of these suffer from schizophrenia, bipolar affective disorder, depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
These shocking figures were the catalyst for the launching of a series of Family Audio CDs by UMMC and the Committee of Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia Training (CAST) to educate patients and their family members on the four most common mental illnesses.
"The CDs will help lay persons gain a better understanding of the common mental illnesses," Dr Sharmila, the project co-ordinator, said.
"They are recorded in simple language in Malay and English with no technical terms."
There are four sets of CDs — on schizophrenia, bipolar affective disorder, depression and ADHD — available for RM10 each at UMMC’s psychiatric ward, outpatient clinic and at the Universiti Malaya bookstore.
UMMC and CAST will be working with several pharmaceutical companies to produce the next series of CDs on functionality in schizophrenia anxiety disorder, sleep disorder and dementia.

HFM alert issued for Gawai Fest

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 8:26 am

Star: MIRI: A statewide alert has been issued in Sarawak of another possible outbreak of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) – from the exodus of people from cities and towns to the rural regions for the Gawai Dayak festival.
The state health and medical services department had issued an alert to all hospitals and clinics and also informed the state disaster relief committee.
Deputy Chief Minister and committee chairman Tan Sri Dr George Chan Hong Nam said past experience showed that the mass movement of people during the Gawai period could result in a sudden peak in HFMD cases.
He said this trend was seen in 2001 during the HFMD outbreak that year. An initial deadly attack was followed by a decline in cases, but during the Gawai period, the outbreak peaked a second time.
“We are worried it may happen again. The rush by urban folks to get back home to the rural longhouses and settlements for Gawai – on June 1 – may result in swift transmission of the virus in rural regions,” he said in an interview here yesterday.
The recent HFMD epidemic claimed 10 lives – the last death was that of a six-year-old girl in Miri on May 6.
“Since then, there has been a decline in new cases daily and there is no critical case now,” Dr Chan said.
“Every divisional health officer has been instructed to be on the alert and be prepared for any eventualities.
“They have been told to spread the message to as many rural settlements and longhouses as possible so that the villagers themselves would be on the alert also,” he added.
Dr Chan said the daily number of new cases has been low over the past few weeks, adding that 24 new cases were detected state-wide yesterday.

Organ transplant programme needs more support

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 7:38 am

NST: Without strong financial backing, it will be difficult to develop the nation’s organ transplant programme.
Health Ministry Medical Development Division director Datuk Dr Noorimi Morad said the emphasis of the Ninth Malaysia Plan (9MP) is on other fields, including oncology, rehabilitation medicine and nuclear medicine.
At the 9th Scientific Meeting of the Malaysia Society of Transplantation held here, she said getting appropriate logistical support systems for organ transplants is another problem.
“For example, when there are changes in Malaysia Airlines’ management, we have to undertake a time-consuming review of the previous arrangements,” she said, stressing the need to set up a National Transplantation Policy and a dedicated fund to support it.
“The policy will incorporate strategies, act as a reference for medical professionals, and encompass the ethical issues of transplantation,” she said.
A special committee, she added, would hold its first meeting at Putrajaya today to look into organ transplantation in the country.

Malaysian Mission To Build Temporary Hospital To Treat Victims

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 7:36 am

BANTUL (Yogyakarta), May 29 (Bernama) — The Malaysian Humanitarian Mission will build a temporary hospital here to treat victims of Saturday's devastating earthquake.
Head of the mission, Supt Abdul Aziz Ahmad, said the hospital would be built by the Medical Corps of the Malaysian Armed Forces.
It would be completed within days once the construction materials arrived, he told Bernama Monday.
He said the mission members were now focused on search and rescue operations.
The mission is made up of 37 members of the Special Malaysia Assistance and Response Team (Smart), 10 military medical officers, 20 members of the Malaysian Red Crescent Society, 39 firemen, 30 policemen and five doctors from the Kuala Lumpur Hospital.
The death toll in the magnitude 6.2 earthquake rose to 5,135 this afternoon, up from 3,700 reported yesterday as more bodies were pulled out from the rubble. More than 200,000 have been left homeless.
The Malaysian mission is based in Bantul, about 20km from Yogyakarta.
In KUALA LUMPUR, non-governmental organisation (NGO) Global Peace Mission (GPM) said today it has sent a medical team to Yogyakarta while another NGO Yayasan Salam Malaysia (Salam) said it will send medical volunteers tomorrow.
The GPM team left this morning on the Royal Malaysian Air Force aircraft to Solo, which is near Yogyakarta where the airport was damaged by the earthquake.
The team took along RM300,000 worth of medical supplies donated mainly by Kotra Pharma (M) Sdn Bhd and Kampung Baru Medical Centre, said GPM president Datuk Dr Abdul Razak Kechik in a statement.
He said the team is led by GPM chief executive officer Fauwaz Hasbullah and includes Dr Hassan Mat, Dr Khalil Ramli, nurses Juwita Yatim and Dayana Omar, and a GPM volunteer.
They will be assisted by the Indonesian missionary body Dewan Dakwah Indonesia to identify the locations where they will provide assistance.
Anyone wishing to donate to GPM can do so through its bank accounts in Bank Islam Malaysia Berhad (No. 14-023-01-002922-4) and Maybank (No. 5642-2161-1602).
Meanwhile, Salam will send a team of eight volunteers comprising experts in emergency medical operation.
The team will operate a mobile clinic in the quake-hit area for 10 days, it said in a statement.
The public wishing to donate to Salam can do so through its account in Public Bank Bhd (No. 3072879302).

100 M’sian Students Opt To Remain In Yogyakarta To Help Quake Survivors

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 7:33 am

PUTRAJAYA, May 29 (Bernama) — About 100 Malaysian medical students in Yogyakarta have chosen not to return to Malaysia following Saturday's devastating earthquake in the city as they want to help survivors there, Higher Education Ministry Parliamentary Secretary Datuk Dr Adham Baba said.
He said that they had verbally informed him of their decision to stay back as they felt that besides being able to help victims, the experience would serve them in good stead when they qualified as doctors later.
"They see this as an invaluable experience for them," he told reporters after giving a talk to 31 university students who will be going to Australia for a study trip, here Monday.
The 12-day trip to Melbourne and Canberra is meant to expose the students to campus life Down Under.
Adham said that there were about 350 Malaysian students pursuing higher education in Yogyakarta province and that about half of them had returned to Malaysia following the killer quake, which has claimed more than 4,000 lives so far.
Those remaining behind were mostly medical students doing their practical at various hospitals there, he said, adding that all of them were spared in the earthquake.
However, he said these students needed to get in touch with the Malaysian embassy in Indonesia or Malaysian Students Department representatives so that their welfare could be monitored.
He also advised them to be in constant contact with the families so that they did not needlessly worry about their well being.
Meanwhile, in YOGYAKARTA, all the 100 Malaysian medical students studying at the Gadja Madha Medical university have been delegated tasks depending on their seniority to help survivors.
A final year medical student, Shan Nair, 25, told Bernama that he had chosen to remain in the city on humanitarian grounds as he felt that he could be of service to the people here.
Nair, who is from Taman Chi Lung in Klang, about 60 km west of Kuala Lumpur, said that he had informed his family in Malaysia of his decision to remain behind to help.

May 29, 2006

Rise due to risky behaviour

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 8:32 am

Star: KUALA LUMPUR: Issues involving sexuality and drug use as well as the link to HIV/AIDS need to be discussed more openly and thoroughly, said the Malaysian AIDS Council.
President Prof Dr Adeeba Kamarulzaman said in a statement that one of the council’s functions was to act as a bridge between the Government and the community in dealing with these controversial and sensitive issues.
She was clarifying a report in The Star yesterday that quoted her as saying that homosexuality was one of the reasons why HIV/AIDS was so widespread.
She was also quoted as saying that if the issue could be tackled with the Government's help, the number of people infected could be reduced.
Clarifying further on the report, Dr Adeeba said she had responded to a query at a press conference on Saturday to mark the council’s 8th biennial general meeting and did not, at any stage, ascribe the widespread rise in HIV to homosexuality.
“MAC has always maintained a stand that the rising cases of HIV/AIDS in the country is due to risky behaviour and not perceived risky groups of people.”
She reaffirmed the council’s commitment to HIV treatment, prevention and care in a non-discriminatory and non-judgmental manner.

Health D-G’s message is food for thought

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 8:27 am

Star: PENANG: There is a downside to living in a hawker food paradise like Penang.
Health director-general Datuk Dr Ismail Merican said yesterday Penangites were prone to contracting the virus from contaminated food.
“To continue enjoying hawker food, Penangites should vaccinate themselves against Hepatitis A,” he said during the Penang Hepatitis Day awareness campaign at Gurney Plaza yesterday which was opened by Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon.
“The symptoms become apparent only at the late stage of the disease and by then it is usually too late to take any action,” he said.
Hepatitis B, which was linked to liver cancer, could be prevented by vaccination, said Dr Ismail, who is also Malaysian Liver Foundation president.
Dr Koh called on hawkers to be hygienic, adding that: “Cleanliness must be given the utmost importance.”

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