Materia Medica Malaysiana

March 5, 2007

Technical Committee To Look Into Health Check For NS Trainees

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 6:58 pm

PUTRAJAYA, March 5 (Bernama) — A technical committee has been set up and given two weeks to look into the issue of subjecting trainees of the National Service Training Programme to undergo a medical examination before beginning training so as to avert deaths of trainees due to health reasons.
The decision was made at a meeting Monday among the Health Ministry, National Service Training Department (JLKN) and the National Service Training Council (MLKN) chaired by Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek, here.
The committee will be chaired by the Deputy Director-General of Health Datuk Dr Ramlee Rahmat and comprise representatives from the JLKN, three medical specialists, a nutritionist and a representative of the Defence Ministry.
“The important thing is for us to give an assurance to the trainees who will undergo the programme which will begin two weeks from now that every effort will be taken to ensure that medical services made available are satisfactory.
“Parents should not fear allowing their children to attend this programme, which is a good programme in terms of social integration and racial solidarity,” Dr Chua told a news conference after the meeting.
The latest NS trainee to die during training was Prema Elenchelian, 18. She died last Wednesday at a training camp in Pasir Putih, Kelantan.
Elaborating on the technical committee’s scope of work, Dr Chua said it would scrutinise the efforts to improve the medical services currently available at the training camps, including determining whether the medical services should be provided by a doctor or a paramedic.
Another aspect to be looked into would be on the need for trainees to undergo training comparable to their level of fitness, he added.
“For example, if a trainee suffers from asthma, will it be appropriate for him or her to undergo strenuous exercise?” said Dr Chua.
He also said that the committee would also look into the question of the quality and quantity of food provided to the trainees.
Dr Chua said the committee would recommend the health condition a trainee should be in to be exempted from certain training.
It would also consider the need for visits to the training camps to look into the cleanliness of the kitchen and toilets, as well as equipment and infrastructure.
Dr Chua said that of the 265,000 trainees who joined the programme since it was launched in 2004, only seven deaths were due to health reasons and five others from other causes.
“We are saddened and sympathise with all the families which lost their children during the training. However, death occurs not only during training. People not involved in the training also die.
“Our task is to reduce the causes of death arising from ailments that can be averted when the trainees are undergoing training,” he said.
Meanwhile, MLKN Chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said the would-be trainees should pay serious attention to the questionnaire on the level of fitness which they have to fill prior to joining the programme.

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