Materia Medica Malaysiana

December 25, 2006

Enough vaccines for typhoid and cholera

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 8:40 am

Star: SEGAMAT: There are enough vaccines for typhoid and cholera in Johor, said Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek.
He said typhoid jabs would only be given to food handlers at flood relief centres while cholera vaccinations were not normally given.
Dr Chua said that he had received a lot of complaints of “rescue” personnel demanding money for their services.
“We received complaints from the public and even local councillors that such personnel wanted as much as RM200 from flood victims.
“However, the complainants could not identify whether the culprits are from the fire and rescue department, the army or volunteers as all of them were wearing rain coats,” he said.
Dr Chua said some 600 personnel from the ministry, divided into 151 teams, were on standing by at various relief centres in the state to treat those with illness.

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December 24, 2006

High Alert For Dengue And Cholera In Flood Hit Segamat

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 4:52 pm

SEGAMAT, Dec 23 (Bernama) — The health authorities are on high alert for the outbreak of diseases, especially dengue and cholera, in Segamat, one of the districts worst hit by floods in Johor.
Segamat district senior health officer Dr Zaharah Mohd Salleh said that over the last five days, three cholera cases had been detected and the health authorities were bracing themselves for an outbreak of cholera.
“In the last five days (since the flooding began), we have treated 156 patients for various ailments. We have 10 health clinics in this district. We have also warded 30 people because of pre-natal treatment, jaundice and other viral infections,” she told Bernama Saturday.
She said the three cholera cases were detected at Sekolah Menengah Tinggi Segamat, which is now used as a flood relief centre.
Some of the victims had to be flown by helicopter to the Segamat Hospital, about 5km away, because flood waters had cut off the roads connecting the school and hospital, she said.
She said interviews with the cholera victims showed that they contracted the disease after consuming untreated water.
“We are also testing blood samples taken from flood victims at the relief centre to ensure that they are disease free. We advise anyone who has fever to immediately seek treatment from nearby clinics,” she added.
Meanwhile, the district health department had formed 60 teams to ensure that there is no dengue outbreak after the flood waters recede.
“During the floods dengue-carrying mosquitoes could have laid their eggs and after the waters recede, these eggs could hatch. What we want to do is to spray all flood-affected areas after the waters go down.
“We have also told the local councils to start fumigation exercise after the flood waters recede. We are not taking anything for granted. We want to put up all the necessary precautions in place to ensure that there is no outbreak of diseases during and after the floods,” Dr Zaharah added.

Perak gives RM500,000 for AIMST campus

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 4:52 pm

Star: IPOH: The Perak state government will give RM500,000 to start the construction of the branch campus of the Asian Institute of Medicine, Science and Technology at Tronoh, 35km from here.
Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Tajol Rosli Ghazali said locating the AIMST campus here would be in line with promoting Perak as a hub for quality higher education in the region.
The Universiti Teknologi Petronas is also sited at Tronoh. The others are Universiti Teknologi Mara in Bandar Seri Iskandar, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman in Kampar and Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris in Tanjung Malim.
“We want to attract local and foreign students to study here,” he said at the AIMST fund-raising dinner here on Friday.
“By 2010, we expect 100,000 students to enrol and up to 200,000 to study in Perak by 2020.”
Perak MIC chairman Datuk G. Rajoo said the dinner raised RM1.5mil, bringing the total raised in Perak to RM10.3mil.
“We will start raising funds for the Perak branch campus after the launch of the university,” he said.
The MIC-owned AIMST offers science and technology-based courses such as surgery, dental surgery, pharmacy and biotechnology.

December 21, 2006

Sex education gets Cabinet go-ahead

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 10:34 am

NST: KUALA LUMPUR: After years of discussion, the Cabinet has given the green light to introduce sex education into the school syllabus at all levels, said the Ministry of Education in a statement yesterday.
Reproductive and Social Health Education is designed with various age groups in mind. The Ministries of Education and Women, Family and Community Development have produced 160 pages of guidelines covering topics as diverse as teaching a child what kind of “touching” is allowed, contraception, teenage crushes and the dangers of online sexual predators.
The ministries worked with non-governmental organisations, experts and religious groups for three years to come up with the guidelines.
The age-groups are preschoolers aged four to six; children between seven and nine; early adolescents between 10 and 12; teenagers between 13 and 18; and adults 19 and above, said the statement.
Children aged four to six will be taught how to identify and say no to the “wrong touch”.
They will get a brief introduction to HIV/AIDS as “a virus that can make you easily susceptible to many illnesses if you get infected.”
Older children will learn about sexual orientation and how it can change in the course of life.
The language will be neutral, and topics like homosexuality or bisexuality will include a declaration that “most religions regard homosexuality as wrong”.
Teenagers whose “hormones are running wild” will be counselled on peer pressure, infatuation, platonic or exploitative relationships and love.
While the course does include a section on contraception, it will teach that abstinence is best.
The possible dangers of abortion will also be touched on.
For those 19 years and above, the course will touch on relationships, marriage, parenting and even sexual dysfunction, in addition to sexually transmitted diseases and their symptoms and the need to be tested.
The Education Ministry is reported to have been training teachers with the help of non- governmental organisations most familiar with these subjects.
The details of how the course will be implemented and when it will make its debut have not yet been announced.

December 20, 2006

Therapy for addicts bearing fruit

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 2:52 pm

NST: THE Health Ministry’s methadone replacement therapy (MRT) programme to wean addicts away from hard drugs has shown encouraging results.
Its Minister, Datuk Dr Chua Soi Lek, told the Dewan Negara that the programme has seen a retention rate (where those using drugs keep away from it after undergoing MRT) of 84 per cent.
He added that 1,240 drug addicts were on the MRT programme’s first phase. Under Phase Two, 5,000 addicts will be brought under it.
He said the misuse of methadone was low as it came in liquid form, as compared to another drug, Subutex.
Subutex is dispensed in the form of pills and can be obtained from any private medical practitioners.
To prevent the misuse of Subutex, the ministry has taken a number of steps, he said yesterday when replying to points raised by senators during the Budget 2007 debate.
This includes the creation of a Drug Substitution Registry to register all private practitioners involved in the substitute therapy programme, while at the same time registering drug addicts involved in such programme.
Touching on the Health Tourism sector, he said there were 35 hospitals nationwide which marketed products under the concept this year. He said 232,161 tourists sought treatment at these hospitals, generating for them RM150.9 million in revenue.
Replying to a point raised by Senator Datin Paduka Norhayati Onn, he said the current government policy was to equip all hospitals with haemodylasis centres.
The government will continue to provide financial assistance to those seeking treatment from haemodylasis centres run by non-governmental organisations.
“Out of the 4,169 patients seeking treatment in such centres, 2,132 patients are given treatment subsidies for each session,” he said.

Practise good toilet habits

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 9:18 am

Star: KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has called for an attitude change towards public toilet hygiene as it reflects the culture and civilisation of the people.
“Even if we have the best-looking toilets around it would not mean a thing if bad attitude becomes the order of the day,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
He said that in conjunction with Visit Malaysia Year 2007, the people must understand that the Government was trying its level best to ensure the cleanliness of toilets.
“Next year we are expecting at least 20 million foreigners and one of the ways an outsider can tell about the culture and civilisation (of a country) is from the condition of public toilets,” Najib said when launching the city’s latest public toilet along Jalan Bukit Bintang.
The toilet is fully automated, including the cleaning of the toilet bowls. It costs RM1 to use the toilet.
Twenty-three such toilets, each costing about RM400,000, will be strategically placed around the city by next year.
Najib said Japan was now the country rated the most outstanding for clean public toilets. The focus of that country had been clean toilets in schools.
“The Japanese see this as a mid- to long-term solution and their strategy is for the children to understand why toilets are important, and how toilets are kept clean.
“I cannot see why this cannot work in schools in Malaysia, and I believe that it can work for Malaysians if (the habit) is inculcated in the children,” he said.

Klang Valley records surge in dengue fever cases

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 9:17 am

Star: PUTRAJAYA: The Klang Valley has recorded a surge in dengue cases despite decreasing trends elsewhere.
The areas surrounding Setapak such as Ayer Panas, Taman Melati, Pulapol in Jalan Semarak, Wadieburn Camp, Section 10 in Wangsa Maju, Taman Danau, Keramat Wangsa and Jalan Gombak have become hotspots for dengue cases in the city.
Director of Disease Control Datuk Dr Ramlee Rahmat said unlike places such as Penang, which only reported 86 dengue cases last week, the number of dengue infections in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor continued to chart cases in the hundreds.
Other states reported on average 50 cases a week.
“This is due to the effective measures implemented by the various local authorities, particularly in searching out and destroying aedes mosquito breeding sites.
“However, in Selangor, the number of cases has actually climbed, from 313 to 329, and in Kuala Lumpur, from 190 to 242.
“This means that the local authorities in the Klang Valley have not been very effective in eradicating the disease,” Dr Ramlee told reporters here yesterday.
“They should do more, especially at a time when the country is experiencing frequent rains, which encourages the breeding of mosquitoes.”
The country has so far recorded 1,016 suspected dengue cases, 26% of which were later found to be positive.
A nine-year-old girl in Sabah and a 53-year-old woman in Malacca were the latest cases of haemorrhagic dengue fever fever.
So far this year there had been 72 deaths.
“In comparison, we had 99 deaths last year” Dr Ramlee said, adding that the authorities would continue to distribute free larvicide to schools and health clinics.

Ministry Registers Almost All Private Clinics

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 9:17 am

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 19 (Bernama) — The Health Ministry received 7,563 applications to register private clinics up to Dec 5, the Dewan Negara was told Tuesday.
Parliamentary Secretary to the ministry Datuk Lee Kah Choon said the ministry was sure that the figure represented nearly all private clinics nationwide.
“However, the ministry also believes there are private clinics with treatment facilities and provide health services in various forms that are not registered as private clinics,” he said in reply to Senator Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi.
Private clinics must register with the Health Ministry following the enforcement of the Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Act 1998 on May 1.
“Under the Act, only qualified people are allowed to give health treatment and should ensure that patients receive quality service at reasonable rates,” Lee said.

High Employment Draws More Men To Enroll In Nursing Programmes

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 9:16 am

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 19 (Bernama) — More males in the country prefer to enrol in nursing programmes and pursue a career in the profession due to high employment in this sector.
This could be seen in the increasing number of men enrolling in the nursing programmes offered by 18 private nursing colleges over the years, Masterskills College of Nursing and Health chief executive officer Edmund Santhara said Tuesday.
“The main pulling factors are high employability due to the high market demand for qualified nurses and the better salaries paid by the government and private hospitals,” he told Bernama Tuesday.
In addition, Santhara said, local qualified nurses, particularly males, were highly sought-after to serve in the United Kingdom, United States of America, Middle East and Australia, with lucrative salaries and benefits.
“Male nurses are more suitable to be placed at the Emergence Units at hospitals. They are mentality ready to face the daunting task of handling accident victims,” he added.
Citing the example of the college’s male undergraduate enrolment, Santhara said that this year alone 121 male students had taken up the programme compared with only four since the programme’s inception in 2001.
He said that in line with the Health Ministry’s emphasis on producing well-trained and qualified nurses locally, the college planned to recruit more male students beginning 2008.
The college’s Diploma in Nursing, he said, was fully accredited by the National Accreditation Board (LAN). It is currently one of the private colleges with the largest number of nursing undergraduates, totalling 3,038 students from 4,702 students overall.
“The intrinsic value such as recognised and approved by the Public Service Department, Higher Education Ministry and Nursing Board Malaysia, are among the attractiveness that make this programme value-added,” Santhara said.

December 19, 2006

Rosmah: Public vehicles still leaving the disabled behind

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 10:22 am

Star: KUALA LUMPUR: Despite repeatedly appealing to the authorities to include them in transport development, the disabled still have little access to public transport.
“This is indeed sad. I hope the relevant authorities will look into this and give priority to the underprivileged group,” said Bakti acting president Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor.
Quoting a World Health Organisation report, she said disabled people should be able to move along in the mainstream of development with others and fully utilise the facilities available to them.
She said this in her speech at the 2nd Bakti-Mind Conference: Empowering Persons With Disabilities Through Information Provision here yesterday.
Meanwhile, a coalition of 16 non-governmental organisations championing the cause of a barrier-free environment said they had sent a memorandum to Rapid KL asking accessible buses for all, including the disabled.
Barrier-free Environment and Accessible Transport (BEAT) coordinator Christine Lee said: “We tested out the buses when Rapid KL launched its new buses in September but they were not accessible to us.”
She said the memorandum was sent on Nov 6.
BEAT assistant coordinator Peter Tan said they were not asking for just disabled-friendly buses but universally accessible buses which the elderly, children, pregnant women and adults with prams or heavy baggage could travel in with ease.

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