National Kidney Foundation (NKF) Malaysia has recently been recognised for its efforts towards kidney health management and education when it was awarded the prestigious Brandlaureate CSR Brandleadership Award 2018 by the Asia Pacific Brands Foundation in a gala ceremony held recently at The Majestic, Kuala Lumpur.
The inaugural award, conceptualised by the Asia Pacific Brands Foundation, recognises corporations, NGOs, societies, institutions and individuals that have gone out of their way to give back to the community. Receiving the award on behalf of NKF Malaysia was Dato Dr Zaki Morad Mohamad Zaher, Chairman of Board of Directors of NKF.
“We are truly grateful to be recognised by this award, which certainly bears testament to the tireless efforts championed by the often unsung heroes at NKF towards our combined efforts to fight kidney-related disease while increasing public awareness about kidney health. In Malaysia, unfortunately, our lifestyles have led to an increase by thousands of new patients every year who are diagnosed with kidney failure every year. This clearly indicates that there is an urgent need to increase public awareness on personal health, especially on diseases related to end stage renal disease,” said Dato Dr Zaki.
Peduli Sihat Health Screening in Collaboration with DoctorOnCall
A community health screening event was held in Pandamaran on 16th December 2018 as part of the Peduli Sihat scheme by the Selangor government and in collaboration with DoctorOnCall.com.my, Malaysia’s first telehealth service provider. The programme was aimed to promote awareness amongst the community about the importance of keeping their health in check.
During the event, attendees were offered free screening of blood sugar level, blood pressure, BMI and heart-related problems. Attendees also had the option to consult with the on-site doctors or online via DoctorOnCall’s platform. Pandamaran State Assemblyman, YB Tuan Tony Leong Tuck Chee also participated in the event, as he was very keen in promoting health awareness and benefits of Peduli Sihat programme among his constituents.
DoctorOnCall is an online clinic offering services such as online consultations with board-certified doctors via chat, phone call or video call. With this collaboration, geographical distance from a health facility will no longer be a challenge, as medical care is only a call away. This is in line with the motive to provide the best medical access from Selangor government through the Peduli Sihat scheme initiative headed by The Selangor Health, Welfare, Women and Family Affairs Committee Chairman, Y.B. Dr. Siti Mariah Binti Mahmud.
— The Health Restart life without smoke NCSM and partners kick-start anti-smoking social media campaign called #RestartNow
Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin (4th from left), Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad and Deputy Health Minister YB Dr Lee Boon Chye are all smiles at the launch of #RestartNow.
In light of Malaysia’s recent nationwide smoking ban, The National Cancer Society of Malaysia alongside partners; The Malaysian Council for Tobacco Control (MCTC), Public Health Malaysia (PHM), Medical Mythbusters Malaysia (M3), MedTweetMY, Malaysian Integrated Medical Professionals Association (MIMPA), Pertubuhan Ikram Malaysia (IKRAM), Malaysian Green Lung Association, and the Malaysian Medical Association Public Health Society (MMA PHS) have launched a social media campaign #RestartNow to support the government’s initiative on smoke-free eating establishments.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said it is still too early to judge the success of the campaign, but claimed that it has gotten overwhelming support. “It’s not only with the non-smokers. I have also gotten smokers telling me they are supporting this campaign.
This is an indicator that we are ready to move towards becoming a developed nation, with a civilised, cultured society,” he said at the launching of the Restart Programme (Restaurant Without Cigarette Smoke And Tobacco) on January 3rd. Also present at the launch was the Minister of Housing and Local Government, YB Puan Hajah Zuraida Binti Kamaruddin.
To participate in the campaign, participants will need to take photographs or videos of restaurants that have the ‘NO SMOKING’ sign displayed, no presence of any ashtrays, and no people smoking at the restaurant. These photos/videos will be then publicly posted on social media along with a short caption and location of the restaurant.
Participants will also need to hashtag #RestartNow on the post. In addition, participants will also need to tag the #RestartNow campaign page and five of their friends. Each winning entry will receive a RM100 cash prize with the photo published in the social media channel of participating partners.
The social media campaign which will run for a year is aimed at reinforcing the benefits of a smoke-free eating establishment and provide encouragement to Malaysian smoking establishments that has gone smoke free. — The Health New fact book on pharmaceutical industry
The Pharmaceutical Association of Malaysia (PhAMA) launched the 2018 edition of PhAMA Industry Fact Book, the newest edition since the first edition’s launch in 2012. The new edition of this fact book has been themed ‘Advancing the Health of a Forward Moving Nation’. Recent discoveries, breakthroughs and succesful partnerships achieved in regards to healthcare policy stakeholders in Malaysia.
The President of Pharmaceutical Association of Malaysia, Chin Keat Chyuan, delivered a speech, stating that, “The growth of the industry is reliant on the efforts of all stakeholders and has positive ripple effect on the rest of the economy. Through the second edition of PhAMA Industry Fact Book, we are highlighting Malaysia’s thriving pharmaceutical industry which is now being represented by over 445 pharmaceutical companies including some of the world’s largest companies – all of which have jointly contributed to a total estimated market value of RM7.5 billion, as of third quarter of 2018.”
The key highlights on new findings, trends, statistics and achievements incorporated in the Industry Fact Book include; Communicable diseases, the ageing population, drug registration and commercial availability, shared services unit (SSU), continuous medical education (CME), and corporate social responsibility (CSR).
Additionally, the Industry Fact Book also considers future trends and challenges in the healthcare industry. The merging of big data and artificial intelligence (AI) technology as well as its numerous capabilities could bring further important developments to the pharmaceutical industry.
According to YB Datuk Seri Dr Haji Dzulkefly bin Ahmad, Minister of Health Malaysia, “The Government has increased the budget allocation for the Ministry of Health (MoH) by 7.8 percent, or RM29 billion, as compared to RM27 billion the previous year.” A higher budget allocation for MoH could prove promising in terms of increasing utilisation of research and development (R&D) and improving the people health outcomes. — The Health The second edition of PhAMA Industry Fact Book focuses on the future.
Bento box comes alive with MILO
A ‘bento’ or ‘bento box’ is a Japanese lunchbox. What separates it from a more typical lunchbox is the attention to detail and the nutrition present in the ingredients. MILO’s recent workshop ‘Pack in the Energy for Champions: Bento Box Workshop’ taught parents tips on packing balanced meals full of energy for their school-going children.
The workshop was held as part of a three-day on-ground activation for MILO UHT at 1Utama, Bandar Utama to usher in the new school year.
“Making a conscious effort to pack balanced, nutritious meals into a recess box for your children before they leave home helps them acquire better consumption choices out of home and reinforces healthy eating habits,” says Angeline Lim, Consumer Marketing Manager of MILO. The workshop featured Georgen Thye, dietitian and founder of Georgen Cooking who highlighted the dietary needs of a growing child and pointers for preparing a balanced, nutritious bento box. He was joined by Lee Samantha, food artist renowned for her whimsical, colourful and unique creations in a demonstration on simple and quick recipes for healthy meals to pack for school.
Using everyday tools and fresh, healthy ingredients and a dose of imagination, Lee shared useful tips on making simple decorations from food cut-outs to spruce up the bento box that will make kids look forward to their recess meals.— The Health Korean red ginseng for wellness Korea Ginseng Corporation continues to advocate Malaysians to adopt a healthier lifestyle with its halal certification achievement at Malaysia CheongKwanJang Seminar 2018 Korea Ginseng Corporation (KGC), the world’s leading ginseng expert, hosted Malaysia CheongKwanJang Seminar 2018 with its local partner KMT Trading Sdn. Bhd., advocating Malaysians to inhabit a healthier lifestyle.
“Since 1899, KGC has been keeping traditions and quality as a founding company in the Korea red ginseng business to enhance the wellness of people in their everyday lives.
Today, we are pleased to announce the recent halal certification achievement on several Korean red ginseng extract products,” announced Jin Park, the Senior Manager of Global Sales Department, KGC. Malaysians consume approximately RM 2 million (US $0.5 million) worth of Korean red ginseng products every year, and is known to be the top 10 ginseng importer in the world.
Malaysia also shows the highest prevalence in a number of preventable diseases across the region such as diabetes and obesity, which can be improved by practicing healthy living.
“The newly halal-certified CheongKwanJang Korean red ginseng products have been designed to better accommodate the busy lifestyle of today’s consumers, offering a more convenient and easier way to intake Korean red ginseng as daily supplement.
We believe that our effort to expand our reach with a broader audience in Malaysia from different races and background will further benefit the public to inhabit a wellness lifestyle through Korean red ginseng,” Jin Park added. Dr Yuan Shiun Chang, a renowned professor of Pharmacognosy at China Medical University of Taiwan who is also a Korean red ginseng expert, also gave a special talk during the seminar.
Ginseng contains various pharmacological components, including a series of tetracyclic triterpenoid saponins (ginsenosides), polyacetylenes, polyphenolic compounds and acidic polysaccharides. KGC will actively continue its wellness journey in Malaysia through CheongKwanJang to effectively support the healthier lifestyle of Malaysian consumers with a wide range of Korean red ginseng products suitable for various individual lifestyle needs. — The Health
Healthier Roti Canai? Yes please
Food ingredient specialist Holista CollTech Ltd (Holista) has partnered Bursa Malaysia-listed Kawan Food Berhad (Kawan Food) to produce healthy Asian flatbreads, including roti canai, roti and chappati, for local and international markets.
Holista, which is listed in Australia and headquartered in Petaling Jaya, will use its proprietary mix of ingredients trademarked as GI Lite to develop a range of low-glycemic index (“low-GI”) Indian flatbreads with Kawan Food – Malaysia’s largest manufacturer and leading exporter of frozen Asian delicacies worldwide.
GI Lite added to Kawan Food range of products is expected to add up to AU$4 million to Holista’s top line this year. The low-GI roti canai will be sold in Malaysia by April 2019, while sales to U.S. consumers are expected to commence in June 2019.
GI Lite has had a favorable sensory testing by Kawan Food, and Kawan Food is now starting low GI testing. The GI indicates the rate at which foods containing carbohydrates raise human blood sugar levels, with a lower score indicating healthier food.
A diet high in carbohydrates is linked to diabetes, heart disease, obesity, poor energy levels, food cravings and drowsiness. Dato Dr Rajen Manicka, Managing Director and CEO of Holista, said: “We are excited to announce our partnership with Kawan Food, a home-grown producer and supplier of some of Malaysia’s favourite food.
Our low-GI versions of this popular staple food will help to address the growing problem of obesity and diabetes in Malaysia and abroad.”
Holista’s clean-label (all-natural) formula comprises a blend of okra, barley, lentils and fenugreek. When mixed with white flour, it lowers the GI reading of the final product without compromising taste or texture.
Mr. Timothy Tan, Managing Director of Kawan Food, said, “We are proud to work with Holista to be the first in the world to offer healthy flatbreads such as roti canai, effectively carving out a new niche in the food ingredients sector in Malaysia and beyond.” — The Health
Briefs Good Feng Shui for 2019 As the leading global colour authority, AkzoNobel is committed in making the world a more colourful place to live. To that extent, Dulux – AkzoNobel’s leading decorative paint brand – has been identifying a Colour of the Year (COTY) for the past 16 years to showcase the correlation between colours and one’s everyday life. This year, Dulux’s Colour of the Year is Spiced Honey.
Its warm amber tones, Spiced Honey (also knowns as Crème Brulee 00YY 26/220) is best described as versatile, sophisticated and timeless. Depending on the palettes the colour is complemented with, Spiced Honey can induce a sense of calmness, cosiness and burst of energy, and so will give one’s household a spruce of life this Chinese New Year.
The home is an integral element of the celebration as families reunite under one roof, and a fresh coat of paint will signify new beginnings and a fresh outlook for the new Lunar year ahead.
Case number 17 for rabies in Sarawak
The Ministry of Health had recently announced the 17th case of rabies in Sarawak. The victim was an 80 year old women from Kampung Sg Du’uh, Serian, Sarawak. She was scratched by her pet dog back in December of 2018. It occurred when she wanted to stop the dog from fighting with a cat. She never seek for treatment after the scratch.
On January 11, 2019, the victim came down with a fever, coughing, vomiting, lethargy, and weakness of the right hand. She received treatment on the same day. However she was forthwith about the dog and the scratch during the treatment. Her condition worsened, presenting neurological symptoms such as hydrophobia and aerophobia. She was declared dead on January 18, 2019. Her case marks the 17th case for rabies in Sarawak. — The Health
The state of Chikungunya in Malaysia The Ministry of Health has took notice upon the spread of the Chikungunya disease in Thailand, and the National Crisis Preparedness Response Centre (CPRC) has been monitoring the disease since its first reported case in 2008 in Malaysia.
Chikungunya has been reported in Malaysia in 2008 and 2009, where the highest reported cases being at 5,430 in 2009. Cases has since declined sharply every year since, with only 87 cases of Chikungunya reported in 2018.
Moreover, no reported deaths from the disease have been made from 2008 until 2018. For the year 2018, there has been cases reported in 6 Malaysian states. 77 cases in Kelantan, five in Kedah, two in Selangor, and one each in Perlis, Sarawak and Sabah. And so far this year up to January 14th, two cases have been reported in Kelantan.
Strengthened monitoring has been put in place in international crossings between Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, and Indonesia through body temperature screening method. The screenings aims to detect any signs of the disease among travellers coming into Malaysia.
Apart from that, preventative activities and vector control processes such as monitoring the rate of Aedes mosquito breeding in immigration points, eradication of Aedes mosquito’s breeding grounds, larviciding and fogging are continued. Education on Chikungunya among travellers are also strengthened.
The Ministry of Health will continue to share information regarding current disease situation for Chikungunya through the International Health Regulations (IHR) platform alongside neighbouring countries like Thailand, Singapore, Brunei, and Indonesia.— The Health
Preventive measures against Chikungunya
1. Keep your property or premise’s surrounding areas clean while locating and destroying Aedes mosquito’s breeding grounds.
2. Use aerosol spray for mosquitos detected inside your house or premise.
3. Prevent mosquito bites by using repellents as well as wearing long sleeved shirts and pants especially inside and around the house or premise.
4. Use correct poison for larva detected in small pools of water.
5. Install mosquito mesh on the windows and door to prevent mosquitoes entering your house or premise.
6. Stay away from areas with reports of Chikungunya.
New treatment for lung cancer in Malaysia
Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD) Malaysia launched an expanded label for KEYTRUDA®, MSD’s anti-PD-1 therapy, in combination with pemetrexed (ALIMTA®) and platinum chemotherapy for first-line treatment of patients with metastatic non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), with no epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) or anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) genomic tumor aberrations, based on results of the KEYNOTE-189 trial. This expanded label for first-line indication immunotherapy was approved by the Ministry of Health Malaysia and Drug Control Authority in October 2018.
In Malaysia, lung cancer is the most worrying cancer where 90% of lung cancer cases were detected at late stages (stage 3 and 4) and it has the LOWEST survival rate compared to other cancer types with 5-year relative survivals of 11.0% and a median survival time of 6.8 months3.
Dr Tho Lye Mun, Consultant Clinical Oncologist said, “I welcome the news, as KEYTRUDA® in combination with pemetrexed and platinum chemotherapy significantly reduced risk of death by half, prolonged overall survival and progression-free survival in the KEYNOTE-189 trial, compared with chemotherapy alone. This will bring great hope to patients and caregivers”.
“Over the past few years, we’ve seen significant clinical advances especially in lung cancer field, which has brought about an incredible shift in the way we approach the treatment of patients diagnosed with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer”, said Dr Matin Mellor Abdullah, Immediate Past President of the Malaysia Oncological Society, and one of the panel speakers.
Mr. Ashish Pal, Managing Director, MSD Singapore & Malaysia said, “The approval of the expanded label for KEYTRUDA® based on data from the KEYNOTE-189 trial is an important milestone, and reinforces our steadfast commitment to improving survival outcomes, and providing hope, for more patients with lung cancer”.
Nutrition booklet launched for cancer patients
Nestlé Health Science and Prince Court Medical Centre recently launched a nutritional booklet for patients recovering from cancer.
Mahenthiran Thanapal, CEO of Prince Court Medical Centre , Judy Ng, Dietitian for Prince Court Medical Centre, Chef Asiah Daud, Chef De Partie for Prince Court Medical Centre, and Andy Yap, Marketing Manager of Nestlé Health Science jointly launched the specifically commissioned booklet. Titled Bring Back the Joy of Eating, the book aims to help patients to get back on their feet through good food.
The booklet is an indispensable guide containing practical tips and delicious recipes specially curated by Chef Asiah Daud and Judy Ng. The recipes are prepared using Nestlé health Science’s complete and balanced range of nutritional supplements that provides support for medical conditions where he role of nutrition is vital. — The Health Eliminating cervical cancer through empowerment University Malaya and VCS Foundation initiates screening programme to help women become more forward for screening
Soon, more women in Malaysia will be more willing to come forward for cervical cancer screening, a life-saving decision which will enable the detection and treatment of the disease in its earlier stage.
Cervical cancer is one of the most preventable cancer compared to other types of cancer. Yet, it is still listed as the third most prevalent in Malaysia in terms of cases reported and deaths caused by it.
This is because the lack of awareness among women, as well as the ‘shame’ among them to go for early screening. The Ministry of Health records shows that women above 64 years old have higher risk for cervical cancer, and should therefore be more aware and go for early screening.
The Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato Seri Dr Wan Azizah Dr Wan Ismail had recently launched a programme to empower and enhance the need for cervical cancer screening among women, dubbed R.O.S.E (Removing Obstacles to Cervical Screening).
The programme is an initiative taken by University Malaya and VCS Foundation (VCFS) Australia which aims to encourage more women to go for cervical cancer screening. According to Professor Dr Woo Yin Ling, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at Universiti Malaya (UM), R.O.S.E integrates self-sampling, HPV testing, and e-health technology to enhance every woman’s personal journey of maintaining good cervical health.
Dr Woo starts, “the HPV (Human Papillomavirus) test is evidence-based and highly accurate, providing greater reassurance to women and their families. The improved diagnostic accuracy allows for significantly less frequent testing over a women’s lifetime.”
“Moreover, it utilises mobile technology and VCFS’s canSCREEN®, a population health management platform that enables healthcare professionals to track the progress of every woman screened through their lifetime, be it in a government or a private clinic.”
R.O.S.E was officially launched during an MoU signing between UM and VSCF. The ceremony was graced, besides Dr Wan Azizah, by Datuk Seri Dzulkefly Ahmad, Minister of Health as well as YB Hannah Yeoh, Deputy Minister of Women, Family, and Community Development.
The MoU was signed by Professor Dato Dr Adeeba Kamarulzaman, Dean of Medical Faculty, UM, and Professor Marion Saville, Executive Direcotr of VSCF. Both organisations will establish a non-profit joint venture to combine their expertise and enable the implementation of R.O.S.E as a cervical screening programme in Malaysia. — The Health
Targeted therapy welfare fund introduced
Roche Malaysia and Beacon Hospital launched the Targeted Therapy Welfare Fund recently as a way to help reduce the financial burden of breast cancer patients. This corporate responsibility initiative provides eligible HER2-positive breast cancer patients with targeted medicines at a lower cost. In the private sector, it can cost approximately RM8,000 to RM10,000 or more per treatment.
Patients may require up to 18 injections for a complete treatment. This will undeniably help reduce the financial burden of many patients who need this life saving medicine. Depriving the high risk patients of the treatment will result in early relapse or even premature death.
Datuk Seri Dr Haji Dzulkefly bin Ahmad, the Minister of Health, commended the two organisations for launching the welfare fund. “The government understands the plight of breast cancer women in lower income bracket and knows there is more that can be done. Whilst we have allocated budget to support this group, the private sectors can also do more to bridge the access gap for these women. I hope the partnership between Roche Malaysia and Beacon Hospital will serve as an exemplary corporate responsibility initiative for other pharmaceutical companies and healthcare organisations.”
Dato Dr Ibrahim Wahid, Consultant Clinical Oncologist at Beacon Hospital said with breast cancer being the most common form of cancer affecting Malaysian women, treating the disease continues to remain a key challenge for healthcare sectors.
He said, “Another issue that we always face when looking after patients is their financial challenges. Whilst breast cancer is a treatable condition, patients are not able to access the treatment they need due to affordability.”
“Our collaboration with Roche Malaysia enables us to extend our corporate responsibility efforts to underprivileged breast cancer patients and to further close the patient access gap, especially to innovative treatments,” said Dato Dr Ibrahim. Lance Duan, General Manager of Roche Malaysia said cancer has a huge impact on patients’ financial wellbeing.
“The ACTION (ASEAN Costs in Oncology) Study showed that more than 75% of cancer patients in Southeast Asia experience death or financial catastrophe 1 year after diagnosis,” he said. To help these groups of patients, Roche has initiated ‘Roche Cares’ – a co-payment model involving Roche, patients and funders (for example healthcare and non-governmental organisations, charitable corporations, and others) to reduce financial hurdle of patients in accessing innovative treatments.
The Targeted Therapy Welfare Fund for Breast Cancer is a Corporate Responsibility (CR) programme initiated by Roche Malaysia and Beacon Hospital. Under this programme, deserving early breast cancer patients in the adjuvant setting are given access to the targeted therapy (up to 18 cycles) at a subsidized rate. — The Health
Dato Seri Dr Wan Azizah Dr Wan Ismail launched a programme to empower and enhance the need for cervical cancer screening among women.