Materia Medica Malaysiana

June 30, 2007

More men taking up nursing now

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 9:43 am

Star: KUALA LUMPUR: Don’t be surprised when the next time you are in a hospital and you call for a nurse, a man shows up instead.
This is because more men have joined the traditionally female-dominated profession.
Deputy Health Minister Datuk Dr Abdul Latiff Ahmad said more men were beginning to take up nursing as a career and that it was untrue that the profession was monopolised by women.
Dr Abdul Latiff said that from the yearly intake of some 3,000 trainee nurses, about 10% were males.
“These figures are from the ministry and there are a lot more male nurses who go for private training.
“There is a need for more male nurses in certain aspects of the services,” he told a press conference after launching the 1st International Nursing Congress 2007 at a hotel here yesterday.
The theme of the three-day congress organised by the Universiti Malaya Medical Centre is Innovations in Nursing: Trends, Issues and Strategies.
Dr Abdul Latiff said more nurses should pursue higher education and aim for Masters or PhD qualifications in the field and not just stop at diploma level.
“It is better to have mature and responsible nurses,” he said.
He added that most countries around the world faced a shortage of nurses and Malaysia was no exception, as many trained nurses hopped over to the private sector or went overseas due to better salaries.

New bat virus detected

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 9:43 am

Star: MALACCA: Malaysian scientists have discovered a new bat virus, called the Melaka Virus, which causes respiratory illness in humans.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek said that a team of scientists from the ministry, led by Dr Chua Kaw Bing, had discovered the virus through study and research.
Kaw Bing said the virus was first spotted when a 39-year-old man living in the suburban area near Bemban complained of high fever, cough, sore throat and runny nose in May last year.
“The disease then spread to his two children and wife.
“At the moment, these are the four known patients who were infected. With medication and treatment, however, they have since recovered.
“We then found out that the family had been exposed to a bat which flew into the house about a week before the man started falling ill, and we believe that the bat could have been the cause of the disease,” said Kaw Bing.
The disease was spread through water droplets, he added.
The symptoms of the disease, Kaw Bing said, were high fever for about four days, a temperature of up to 41°C, cough, runny nose, fatigue and a swollen throat that makes swallowing painful.
“Analysis indicated a close genetic relationship between the Melaka Virus and the Pulau Virus, which was isolated in 1999 from fruit bats in Pulau Tioman.
“Screening collected from human volunteers on the island revealed that 14 out of 109 people (13%) tested were positive for both Pulau and Melaka viruses,” said Kaw Bing.
The minister said that a joint research on the virus would be conducted by the Institute for Medical Research, the National Public Health Laboratory and the Australian Animal Health Laboratory to develop laboratory diagnostics, surveillance and viral pathogenesis.
“In Malaysia we are always monitoring contagious diseases because we pay attention to the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) warning that there is a possibility of a new virus appearing each year.
“Therefore, surveillance and monitoring through our chain of clinics are very important,” he told newsmen after launching the Know Your Medicine campaign at Dataran Pahlawan Mega Mall here yesterday.

June 29, 2007

Tough task against VIP smokers

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 8:41 am

Star: SUNGAI SIPUT: Please Yang Berhormat, this is a no-smoking zone.
Health officers are finding it an uphill task to enforce the ruling on VIPs, including elected representatives, found smoking in smoke-free areas.
“We want to respect them by not issuing summonses against them. But if we don’t do that, we’ll be seen as not doing our duty,” Perak Health Department director Datuk Dr Ahmad Razin Ahmad Mahir said.
He said this after the opening of the state-level joint celebration of TB (tuberculosis) Day and a Week Without Tobacco campaign.
Dr Ahmad Razin declined to elaborate when asked how many of such “difficult situations” his enforcement officers had come across.
He noted that several measures had been taken to ensure public places were smoke-free.
Among them were ensuring that indoor public places and work places be gazetted 100% smoke-free, he added.
Earlier, state Health, Human Resources and Environment Committee chairman Datuk Tan Chin Meng said statistics last year showed that one out of two men aged between 25 and 64 were smokers.
“This group represents 2.9 million (or 93.5%) of the 3.1 million smokers in the country,” he said.

High blood pressure tops list of ailments

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 8:41 am

Star: KUALA LUMPUR: High blood pressure tops the list of ailments suffered by Malaysians, according to a health survey.
The Reader’s Digest Asian health survey indicates that 61.6% of Malaysian respondents are affected by high blood pressure followed by high cholesterol (48.2%), obesity (40.7%) and diabetes (36.6%).
The survey also indicated that sight problems affected 35.3% of the respondents, arthritis (23.4%), insomnia (20.8%), osteoporosis (15.5%), depression (12.9%) and cancer (9.8%).
A statement by Reader’s Digest yesterday said 60.8% of Malaysian respondents indicated that they were in good health, the highest in Asia, 9.7% revealed excellent health and only 2.1% said they were of poor health.
“Though they rate their health as healthy, 40.7% are actually affected by weight and obesity problems,” the statement added.
The survey also indicated that 63.3% of Malaysian respondents knew quite a lot about awareness of health conditions and treatment available whereby 40% would consider going overseas for medical treatment.
The survey that cut across seven nations in Asia – Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and the Philippines – attracted more than 24,000 respondents from across the region.
Urbanites in these markets were asked a total of 26 questions pertaining to their health and ailments as well as the use of medicine and remedies.

Chua welcomes MMA proposal

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 8:41 am

Star: KUALA LUMPUR: Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek welcomed the proposal to set up a one-stop centre for the public to send information on bogus doctors.
“It’s a good idea. We need to study the details about the matter first,” he told newsmen at the Parliament lobby yesterday.
Dr Chua was commenting on the Malaysian Medical Association’s proposal that the Health Ministry provide a call centre and an SMS number which will help the public to lodge complaints on suspicious treatment or bogus doctors.

Round-the-clock medics from August

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 8:40 am

Star: MALACCA: Medical personnel will be stationed round the clock in national service camps nationwide from August as an extra measure to look into the welfare of trainees.
National Service Training Council chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said there would be three medical assistants and two nurses working in shifts in each of the 80 camps.
The Health Ministry, he said, would deploy the 240 medical assistants and 190 nurses required for the time being.
The NS Department would apply for the posts to be filled by the Public Services Department in September
“The Government has allocated RM20mil for this purpose. Parents need not worry because the trainees’ health and welfare will be our highest priority,” said Lee when launching the year’s third NS training session at the Kem Hutan Rekreasi Ayer Keroh here yesterday.
Lee also urged camp commandants and trainers to ensure that training sessions were accident-free by showing higher commitment in carrying out their duties.
“In the second session, there were no accidents or deaths reported, and that can be considered an achievement.
“I hope that this batch too, will be accident-free.
“But if something does happen, the trainees’ welfare will be looked into as they are covered by insurance,” he said.

June 28, 2007

MMA: Set up centre for public to send SMSes

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 8:58 am

Star: PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) has proposed the setting up of a “one-stop call centre” for the public to send SMSes on suspicious treatment and bogus doctors.
Its immediate past president Datuk Dr Teoh Siang Chin said that an SMS number, which was easy to remember, would benefit the public which was still confused over which agency to lodge complaints to.
“They still get mixed up and they call up MMA to complain. So, we refer them to the correct numbers. There should be an easier way,” he said.
He was commenting on a statement by Health Ministry director-general Tan Sri Dr Ismail Merican that an additional 69 officers had been requested for to conduct raids nationwide on bogus doctors.
Dr Teoh said that while certified doctors should always display their annual practising certificate, locum doctors could face a problem if they do a last-minute stand-in.
Subsequently, he said that it was the responsibility of the “incumbent” doctors of the clinics to ensure that their locums already had the APC.
He suggested that it be sufficient for MMA members to carry their membership cards as proof.

Addiction that’s not to be sniffed at

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 8:58 am

Star: KUALA LUMPUR: More children and teenagers are getting addicted, so let’s expedite the process of making glue-sniffing an offence, said National Association for the Prevention of Drug Abuse (Pemadam).
“Glue is a substance which is cheap and easy to buy, making it popular for the young to get “high” on.
“We all know this phenomenon is nothing new and the number of glue addicts is increasing,” Pemadam secretary-general Datuk Kamilia Ibrahim said.
She noted the difficulty in completely banning glue, which is commonly used in many businesses such as in bicycle shops.
“Continuous use of glue leads to brain damage and even failure of the kidneys and liver,” she said at the pre-launch of the Anti-Glue Sniffing Campaign.
The campaign is held in conjunction with the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking 2007.
“The sad fact is that children have died from it.
“Last year, three teenagers in Cheras were found dead as a result of continuous glue-sniffing,” she said.
Less than two months ago, two street kids, aged seven and nine, were found slumped among paper boxes near a rubbish dump next to a shopping complex in Miri. Cans of tyre glue were found near them.
Kamilia said social problems and stress were the main causes of children and even adults adopting glue-sniffing.
Asked on the number of addicts in the country, she said it was hard to determine as many cases went unreported and that glue-sniffing is not considered an illegal act.
She said 75 cases were detected between 2000 and 2005.

Pathology Laboratory Act To Adopt International Standards

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 8:57 am

KUALA LUMPUR, June 27 (Bernama) — Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek today tabled for second reading in the Dewan Rakyat the Pathology Laboratory Bill 2007 which seeks to adopt international standards in the supervision and control of 200 private pathology laboratories and 90 pathology laboratories in private hospitals.
He told reporters afterwards that the pathology laboratories, classified under anatomy, chemical, medical microbiology and haemotology, would provide accurate and reliable laboratory results.
“At the moment, there is no legislation on the control of pathology laboratories, resulting in anyone being able to set up such a laboratory,” he said.
The new act will provide for the supervision and control of pathology laboratories set up by individuals, partnerships, companies and statutory bodies.
A pathology laboratory is a facility that tests human tissues or fluids with the aim of prevention, diagnosis or treatment of diseases.

June 27, 2007

Cop’s wife becomes first dengue fatality in Penang

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 9:56 am

NST: GEORGE TOWN: A policeman’s wife has become the first dengue fatality in Penang this year.
State Health Committee chairman P.K. Subbaiyah said the victim, a 40-year old housewife, died at the Penang Hospital late last month.
Following the death, the authorities have beefed up cleanliness at a police barrack where the victim stayed and its surrounding neighbourhood.
Subbaiyah said he had a meeting with the state Health Department and the police chief of the affected area and told them to clean up the place.
Declining to state where it was, Subbaiyah said the area had been identified as an Aedes breeding ground for quite some time.
“They have cleaned up the whole area and it is no longer an outbreak area now,” he said yesterday.
He said several dengue hot spots had been identified, namely Taman Lip Sin, Cangkat Minden and Sungai Ara on the island and Taman Pelangi on mainland Prai.

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