Materia Medica Malaysiana

September 30, 2007

Heart-stopping news for women

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 9:52 am

Star: KUALA LUMPUR: Contrary to popular belief, heart disease occurs equally among men and women, albeit at an older age in women.
In 2005, statistics from the Health Ministry indicated that 22.5% of women died of cardiovascular disease, and this is an increase of 135% compared with 1990.
“Most men and women still think that it is a man’s disease,” states Datuk Dr Khoo Kah Lin, Malaysian Medical Association president and Yayasan Jantung Malaysia director.
“In a way, that is true, as oestrogen provides some protection from heart disease.
“What women don’t realise is, those who have diabetes may lose this protection, and also, the risk of having heart attacks increases to the same rate as men for women over 62.”
“Most women have their heart attacks after menopause, especially 10 years after menopause due to the decline of oestrogen in the body,” Dr Khoo said.
This is a timely reminder to women, especially since it’s World Heart Day today.
World Heart Day was initiated by the World Heart Federation (WHF) and created by WHO and Unesco in 2000 to create public awareness of risk factors for heart disease and stroke and to promote preventive measures.
This year’s World Heart Day theme, Team Up For Healthy Hearts, highlights the importance of fighting heart disease together as a community.
“Worldwide, an average of more than 16 women per minute die of cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke,” the WHF states in its website.
Other factors can also predispose women to heart disease.
Women who have hypertension, high cholesterol levels, metabolic syndromes, smoke, had their ovaries removed or have a family history of heart disease were also prone to developing the disease, said Dr Khoo.
World Heart Day is held on Sept 30 worldwide.
For more information, log on to the WHF website, or the Yayasan Jantung Malaysia website,

September 29, 2007

Malaysians can now study medicine in Poland

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 9:09 am

Star: KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians have more options to study medicine abroad with three Polish universities gaining accreditation here for their medical degree programmes.
The institutions are the Medical University of Warsaw, Medical University of Lodz, and Jagiellonian University Medical College in Krakow.
A Higher Education Ministry team visited Poland in 2005 to vet the country’s medical programmes.
Polish Ambassador Eugeniusz Sawicki said ministry secretary-general Datuk Dr Zulkefli A. Hassan relayed the news to him when they met with Polish education officials who were here for the recent European Higher Education Fair.
The Public Services Department, in a letter to the envoy, confirmed that minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamed had made the decision in a meeting on Aug 9.
“It’s a breakthrough for us as this is the first time Poland’s medical programmes are recognised by Malaysia.
“The cost of pursuing a medical degree in Poland is much lower compared to other European countries.
“For example, you pay ?12,000 euros (RM60,000) a year in Poland, compared to about ?30,000 (RM150,000) in Britain,” the envoy said in an interview.
Sawicki, who has been working hard to promote bilateral educational co-operation, is feeling optimistic in tapping his country’s developing education market from here.
Last week, he sent off the first private Malaysian student to pursue medicine at the Medical University of Warsaw. Thirty government-sponsored students will enrol at the university later. The medical course is conducted in English.
The envoy said education networking between Poland and Malaysia was gaining further strides with co-operation extended to the technical field as well.
Four UiTM Skudai students will study Optics in Science and Technology at the Warsaw University of Technology under a technical co-operation programme.

Sarawak to have disease test, treatment centre

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 9:09 am

Star: KUCHING: Malaysia will be able to conduct early phase testing of new disease treatments when its first dedicated facility is operational at the Sarawak Hospital here in two years’ time.
Health Ministry director-general Tan Sri Dr Ismail Merican said there was now no such facility in the country for pharmaceutical companies or researchers to conduct early phase clinical trials.
The proposed state-of-the-art facility, to be housed in the new clinical research centre (CRC) in the hospital’s extension block, will be equipped to support both in-patient and out-patient treatments.
Dr Ismail, who laid the foundation stone for the proposed RM29mil facility yesterday, said Sarawak was spearheading the drive to promote Malaysia as a regional clinical hub.
He said the country did not want to lose out to Singapore and Thailand in attracting international experts.
He said the CRC, headed by the hospital’s head of cardiology Dr Sim Kui Hian, would focus on cardiology research.
He said similar dedicated facilities had been planned for Penang, Johor and Sabah.

Private hospitals, clinics can refer civil servants to IJN

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 9:08 am

Star: SEREMBAN: Civil servants and pensioners will be able to get referrals from private practitioners and hospitals to the National Heart Institute (IJN) from Oct 1.
Public Services Department director-general Tan Sri Ismail Adam said their spouses and certain family members would also qualify for the free treatment at IJN.
Presently, civil servants and pensioners can only be referred to IJN by doctors from government hospitals or clinics.
He said this in a circular dated Sept 25.
Cuepacs president Omar Osman said the Government’s move reflected efforts to improve the public delivery system.
“Government employees, particularly retirees, will not have to queue up at public hospitals or clinics and wait even longer to get treatment at the IJN,” he said when contacted.
Omar said the Government should also bear the cost for government servants and retirees who seek treatment at private hospitals and clinics.
“Guarantee letters should be issued on the spot or electronically. You cannot expect them to pay first and claim later as they may not have cash with them,” he added.

Non-profit hospital out to raise funds

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 9:08 am

Star: SEREMBAN: Close to RM3mil has been raised so far for the redevelopment of the Negri Sembilan Chinese Maternity Hospital, the only non-profit medical entity in the state.
Project fund-raising committee chairman Datuk Peter Lai said response from the public was encouraging, adding that RM20mil had to be raised.
“We hope more will step forward to help,” he said, adding that RM15mil will be spent for the redevelopment and the rest on equipment.
Hospital president Datuk Dr Nellie Tan-Wong said the 105-bed hospital would be the biggest in the state.
“We will be a non-profit hospital and patients need pay only RM10 for outpatient treatment,” she said, adding that the hospital, established 75 years ago, now had 70 beds.
There are also plans to set up a nursing school at the hospital, under a tie-up with Nilai International University College.
Dr Tan-Wong said the hospital planned to woo medical tourists from Sumatra, adding that six doctors had visited Dumai in Indonesia last month for the purpose.
She said the hospital was also negotiating with India’s Aashwasan Life Enhancement Services Pvt Ltd chief executive officer Rashmi Aiyappa to open a counselling clinic at the hospital.
A fund-raising dinner, to be attended by MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting, will be held at Allson Klana Resort on Oct 6.

September 26, 2007

Bodies slam eKesihatan fiasco

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 10:07 am

NST: KUALA LUMPUR: Various non-governmental organisations have lambasted the Road Transport Department (RTD) over the eKesihatan fiasco.
The NGOs held a press conference yesterday to voice their dissatisfaction over the way the matter was handled and said they would be handing a memorandum to the prime minister.
The groups that attended the press conference, organised by the Social Action Initiative Foundation, included Transparency International, Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations (Fomca), Private Care Doctors Organisation Malaysia (PCDOM), Pan Malaysian Lorry Owners Association and the Taxi, Limousine and Rented Car Owners and Operators Association.
Also present was former special adviser to the United Nations Secretary-General on Ethics, Tunku Abdul Aziz.
Social Action Initiative Foundation executive deputy chairman Tan Sri Robert Phang said the Anti-Corruption Agency should probe the transport ministry secretary-general and the RTD director-general, deputy director-general and enforcement director.
He said RTD deputy director-general Solah Mat Hassan should be given a showcause letter asking him to explain certain comments he had made in the press.
“He (Solah) had said that he had secured the necessary co-operation from the Ministry of Health and the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) before implementing the eKesihatan scheme.
“This is a big lie because the ministry and the MMA both said they didn’t know anything about it.
“Until today, has anybody heard the RTD apologising about the matter? Why haven’t they? Are they being big-headed?
Phang said it was not just two or three NGOs complaining about the matter, but the public themselves who were up in arms over this issue.
He also re-issued his earlier challenge to the RTD to a debate on the matter and said it was in the absolute interest of the public to have some accountability about what had gone wrong.
Tunku Abdul Aziz said the RTD must do more to fight corruption.
“There is no law that we don’t have.
“What we lack is enforcement.
“We have this tutup sebelah mata culture and the RTD is not enforcing the laws of the government,” he said.
Fomca director Darshan Singh said the end victim of such problems was the consumer.
“Something seriously needs to be done here.
“Our country lacks ethics and enforcement and we hope the people at large are protected from such malpractice because our lives are at stake.”
Taxi, Limousine and Rented Car Owners and Operators Association deputy president Mohd Syahrir Abdul Aziz said the eKesihatan initiative was good if it had been carried out properly.

KL Hospital to get RM1.5bil facelift

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 10:07 am

Star: KUALA LUMPUR: The Kuala Lumpur Hospital (HKL) will be redeveloped under a RM1.5bil facelift programme to transform it to the country’s best medical and healthcare facility.
The redevelopment – slated under the Ninth Malaysia Plan – would focus on specific specialised medical and health disciplines, said hospital director Datuk Dr Zaininah Mohd Zain.
Under the plan, the number of hospital beds would be halved to 1,200 from the current 2,400 to allocate more funds to specialised expertise and professional services.
Dr Zaininah said that basically, the hospital would have a spanking new premises without having to relocate to another place.
She said the facelift would be implemented in stages.
Speaking to reporters after receiving Raya goodies from the Federal Territory Islamic Religious Council yesterday, Dr Zaininah said the hospital treated about a million patients last year, of whom 380,000 were outpatients.
Meanwhile, the council has allocated more than RM2mil this year to provide medical equipment and financial aid to patients at HKL, University Malaya Medical Centre and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Hospital in Cheras.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Dr Abdullah Md Zin said the council extended the aid during Ramadan every year.
Abdullah, who is the council’s chairman, handed RM250,000 to the HKL Hospital Welfare Fund and medical equipment worth about RM96,300.

Survey: 62% lead exciting sex lives

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 10:07 am

Star: KUALA LUMPUR: Four in five Malaysians have sex on a weekly basis, and 35% actually “do it” three times or more.
With those figures, Malaysia is already head and shoulders above the rest of the world when it comes to frequency, as globally, only 67% make love every week while a measly 10% actually “do it” three times a week or more.
But despite the lead, Malaysians are obviously more randy judging by the results of the latest part of the Durex Sexual Wellbeing Global Survey, aptly called “In The Bedroom.”
More than half (54%) of the respondents actually want to have sex more often, just slightly lower than the global average of 62%.
And for every three out of five Malaysians, it is no holds barred for them as 60% of the respondents actually admitted to being uninhibited when it comes to sex.
At the other end however, as many as 31% still felt uncomfortable telling their partners what they want.
On a more ironic note, almost two-thirds (62%) of Malaysians claim to lead exciting love lives, quite a contrast when compared with the result of the survey’s first part released in April that reported only 38% being satisfied with their sex lives.
Globally, only half the respondents said they led exciting love lives, with 43% of Thais and 32% of the survey takers from Hong Kong responding similarly.
And despite being pretty much world-renowned for their kinkiness, only 10% of the Japanese confessed to leading exciting love lives.
The survey also revealed that a relaxing massage was important to two thirds (67%) of Malaysians while 45% confess to having a thing for wearing sexy underwear.
When asked what would improve their love lives, Malaysians rated “more romance” (74%) as their top pick, followed by better communication with their partner (66%) and more fun (64%).
Apart from that, the survey also revealed that 62% of Malaysians expect their partners to become more experimental in their love lives and are optimistic that it would happen within 10 years.
More than 26,000 people from 26 countries took part in the online survey conducted in August and September last year.
Durex is publishing the data over a period of 18 months to take an in-depth look at a variety of topics, including sexual experimentation, physical pleasure, emotional aspects of sex, first sex and education.

September 25, 2007

Empowering them with hope

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 10:22 am

NST: MY Journal is a practical, easy-to-use guide for patients diagnosed and living with cancer which complements treatment and offers support to cancer patients to deal with challenges.
The book is divided into nine parts which includes a patient’s medical history, definitions on the types of testing, treatments for cancer, managing side effects, personal experiences and contact resources.
Patients are empowered with hope and information as it defines cancer phases and records treatment, like stages of chemotherapy, which allows doctors to refer and track progress of the patients.
It lists a resource centre which offers tips on side effects.
It also educates the patients’ family and caregivers on how to care for the patients and precautions needed.
The book is offered free-of-charge at the oncology clinic at University Malaya Medical Centre.

A book that helps patients deal better with cancer

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 10:22 am

NST: PETALING JAYA: “My Journal has helped me deal with the trauma of having cancer, and it has helped me to reduce stress. The guide helps me to be proactive with my treatment and it has improved my quality of life.”
Forty-seven-year-old Budi Kartini was diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus in April. She was among the first to receive My Journal from the oncology clinic at Universiti Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC). And she says the guidebook for cancer patients has helped her immensely, especially in dealing with the side effects of her seven sessions of chemotherapy.
Since April, 300 cancer patients at UMMC have received the free book, and another 100 copies have been donated to Kuala Lumpur Hospital.
Datuk Lim Boon Kuang, 65, who was diagnosed with oral cancer in January, said: “My Journal is a personal, informative diary that tells me of the progress of my treatment.
“It’s been a relief because I’ve been undergoing chemotherapy for more than six months.”
Officially launching My Journal yesterday, UMMC director Professor Dr Ikram Shah Ismail said, “For the first time, patients are better informed and have a base of support that will ease the burden of cancer on both the patients and caregivers.”
The person behind My Journal, consultant medical oncologist Dr Cristina Ng Van Tze, said the response to the English version had been good and there were plans to translate it into Malay, Chinese and Tamil.
My Journal was developed with a grant of RM37,000 from Roche (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd.
Sanofi Avantis (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd gave RM11,000 for the first-ever colorectal cancer kit that comes with the guide.
Dr Ng said there were also plans to establish a Patient Advocacy Programme that will support patients and their caregivers through a core team.

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