In conjunction with International Women’s Day, the Mental Illness Awareness and Support Association (MIASA) hosted a half-day event at Royale Chulan, The Curve (Kuala Lumpur) on March 11, 2023.
TRANSCENDING ALL BOUNDARIES: BE REVOLUTIONARY
The theme of International Women’s Day this year, ‘Transcending All Boundaries: Be Revolutionary’, calls for the championing of efforts that will empower women in spite of continuing challenges faced across many sectors of society.
The Founder and President of MIASA, Puan Anita Abu Bakar, outlines the different barriers faced by women due to various cultural and societal norms, which are further compounded and exacerbated for those who have a particular disability or struggles with their mental health.
“When women find it hard to talk about difficult feelings, they tend to internalize them,” she says. “This can lead to depression, eating disorders, and self-harm.”
She shares that past statistics indicated that around 1 in 5 women faces a mental health challenge such as depression and anxiety.
“So, today, we want to let every woman know that there is help, there is support, there is recovery when facing mental health issues. No one has to struggle alone. You don’t have to struggle alone,” she asserts.
BREAKING DOWN BARRIERS ACROSS ALL GENDERS, BECAUSE MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES DON’T DISCRIMINATE
While MIASA champions and supports the efforts to empower women across various social and political sectors of life in Malaysia, the association also is well aware that mental health issues do not discriminate based on one’s gender.
Hence, to achieve the goals and objectives of the association, Puan Anita highlights that broad discussions of gender stereotypes and gender equity should not be restricted to only barriers faced by women.
“In our work within the mental health field in particular, we have a front-row seat to witness the harmful effects gender stereotypes can have not only on women but men too, namely when it comes to expressing one’s feelings. For example, we know that many young boys are implicitly taught to believe that they need to ‘man up’ and that crying is a sign of weakness for example,” she explains.
“So let’s take this opportunity to acknowledge those barriers and boundaries as well, and ensure that all of us, man and woman alike, work harmoniously together to ensure gender equity from all sides,” she concludes.
LAUNCH OF YOUNG ADVOCATES FOR MENTAL HEALTH PROGRAMME TO ACHIEVE GENDER EQUITY THROUGH A ZERO-STIGMA GENERATION
This inaugural programme from MIASA will build on the importance of building a generation free of stigma and discrimination—the zero stigma generation.
The MIASA Young Advocates for Mental Health programme is a 6-month programme that provides a platform for young people to:
Learn about mental health and mental health conditions
Understand the stigma and discrimination around mental health
Acquire qualities and skills of an effective advocate
Receive access to the different resources that support people struggling with mental health issues.
“It is a programme that also goes beyond acquiring knowledge; it provides participants hands-on experience with mental health peers through the shadowing sessions,” Puan Anita further elaborates.
For more information on MIASA and its mental health services as well as programmes, you can visit their website by clicking here (link opens in a new tab).
As we welcomed 2023, China reported a huge spike in daily COVID-19 cases during the end of year holiday seasons 2022.
After a period of pandemic fatigue and indifference, the event sparked sudden and short-lived fear and caution among the global as well as Malaysian community.
The news triggered some Malaysians to be up in arms, calling for a ban on travellers from China and reinforcement of pandemic SOPs such as the mandatory wearing of mask in public areas.
Nonetheless, the interest soon died down as other headlines made their way in the news.
It appears that it is only when crises are about to hit our shores that we react.
In fact, as highlighted by the World Health Organisation (WHO), we need to always be prepared and cannot afford to be reactive.
On January 27, 2023, it announced and reminded member countries that COVID-19 remains a public health emergency of international concern.
WHO compared 28-days data between Dec 5, 2022 to Jan 1, 2023 and Jan 2 to Jan 29, 2023.
It found that although the number of cases reported decreased by 78%, the number of deaths increased steeply by 65%.
This result is mainly due to the large wave of cases and deaths in the Western Pacific Region, especially in China.
WHO further states that the numbers may be an underestimation due to the reduction in testing and delay in reporting in many countries.
STAY VIGILANT & PROTECT THE VULNERABLE
3 years into the pandemic, Malaysia has reported more than 5 million cases and over 36,000 deaths.
In 2021, it became the main cause of death in Malaysia, overtaking heart disease.
The risk of death is higher among:
Those above 60 years
Individuals with underlying health conditions
According to MOH data between Jan 1, 2022 to July 31, 2022, 75% of COVID-19 deaths were among individuals 60 years and above, and 86% of deaths were among those with at least one underlying health condition .
Compared to the first year of pandemic, we are now more prepared to curb COVID-19 due to advancement in preventive measures, rapid diagnoses, and management tools such as vaccination, rapid test kits (RTK) as well as early treatment with antivirals.
These tools are important particularly to prevent severe COVID-19, keeping individuals especially those with risk factors away from hospitalization, intensive care unit (ICU) admissions and ultimately death.
Nonetheless, these tools will only be useful if they are being utilized optimally.
While Malaysians were quick on the uptake of primary COVID-19 vaccination doses, the uptake of booster doses are very poor with only 49.7% uptake of the 1st booster and a mere 1.6% of the 2nd booster (as of Feb 7, 2023) .
While no concrete data is available, there are good reasons to believe that due to pandemic fatigue, people are now less likely to test and seek treatment for COVID-19.
It is also important to note that antiviral treatment needs to be taken within the first 5 days of symptom onset. Thus, speed is of the essence.
We cannot risk another surge of COVID-19 globally or locally as it would put a toll on our healthcare system and risk overwhelming it.
As it stands, we are currently experiencing overcrowding in Emergency Departments.
Hence, it is crucial that we answer the calls of WHO and the Ministry of Health Malaysia to continue urging the public especially those who are in the high-risk groups (older persons, individuals with underlying medical conditions) to take precautions against COVID-19.
The Malaysian Society of Infection Control and Infectious Diseases (MyICID) in collaboration with the Family Medicine Association Malaysia (FMSA) and Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) are organising an educational campaign themed COVID-19: QUICKLY TEST & TREAT.
This campaign aims to urge the public especially individuals who are at high-risk as well as their family members to continue protecting themselves and others from severe COVID-19 by:
Getting primary and booster doses
Testing immediately upon onset of symptoms
Seeking early treatment, within the first five days of symptoms
Our campaign’s panel of experts
Dr Alif Adlan Mohd Thabit Infectious disease physician
Dr Ang Peng Peng Infectious disease physician
Dr Suriani Sulaiman Family medicine specialist
Dr Balachandran S Krishnan General practitioner
THIS IS A PUBLIC COMMUNITY MESSAGE BROUGHT TO YOU BY
On January 17, 2023, Malaysian Osteoporosis Society (MOS), the Academy of Medicine Malaysia, and our Ministry of Health launched their jointly-published 3rd Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPG) for the Management of Osteoporosis.
In the media briefing held in conjunction with this launch, our Director General of Health Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah shares that:
Malaysians are now growing older and living longer. As a result of this, many of us will be affected by age-related non-communicable diseases, which includes osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis results in bone fractures, which are associated with disability and premature death.
WHY IS OSTEOPOROSIS SUCH A CONCERN?
A 2020 study revealed that all people with hip fractures, upon treatment and discharge from the hospital, need walking aids.
6 months later, only 24% (that’s about 1 out of 4 people) regain their mobility and their ability to live independently.
Another 26% die within one year after the fracture.
Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah voices his concern that osteoporosis is a serious disease that requires early detection, intervention, and management even at later stages.
This is especially relevant, as the incidence of hip fractures is projected to rise from 5,880 in 2018 to 20,893 in 2050, a 3.6-fold increase!
THE KEYSTONES TO IMPROVING THE AWARENESS OF & TREATMENT OUTCOME OF OSTEOPOROSIS
Dr Yeap Swan Sim, the current President of the Malaysian Osteoporosis Society, states that the cornerstone principles in ensuring that Malaysians can age healthily and gracefully while minimizing the threat of osteoporosis are:
Understanding the disease
Taking preventive measures
Good management of osteoporosis
Knowing the appropriate surgical options, should these options become necessary
FRACTURES & OSTEOPOROSIS ARE NOT “NATURAL” AGEING PROCESS, SO TAKE THEM SERIOUSLY!
Dr Terence Ong Ing Wei points out that osteoporosis usually happens in older people and is almost as common as diabetes. “Diabetes evokes fear and concern, yet most people wouldn’t give osteoporosis a second though,” he muses.
Many people often assume that bones weaken and falls and fractures become more common because all these are a ‘natural’ part of ageing.
Dr Terence disagrees, stating that there is nothing natural about osteoporisis.
In fact, it is actually a very complex condition influenced by many factors. “Some things that we do not think too much about in our everyday lives have a huge impact on our bone health. These include physical inactivity, fad diets, cigarette smoking, and age-related hormonal changes such as oestrogen in ageing women and testosterone in men. All these increase the rate of bone loss at a time when strong bones are most needed.”
DIAGNOSIS AT LATE STAGE OSTEOPOROSIS FORCES DOCTORS TO RULE OUT IDEAL TREATMENT OPTIONS
Dr Yeap says, “We usually only see osteoporosis at its late stages—after a fracture has occurred. By then, the patient would have incurred significant amounts of bone loss. At that stage, it is no longer possible to offer treatments to replace the lost bone, which is the ideal scenario. Instead, treatment options will instead attempt to minimize the detrimental effects of a fracture experienced by the patient.”
“Clearly, we should be giving more emphasis to screening and early detection, followed by suitable interventions so that we can protect the most vulnerable persons from this terrible illness,” she adds.
EARLY DETECTION CAN ALLOW FOR EARLY PREVENTIVE MEASURES
Professor Emerita Chan Siew Pheng concurs with the other experts. “This is because mainly because you don’t even realise osteoporosis is there until you suffer from a fracture. So, the only way to know if you have osteoporosis before a fracture occurs, is by going for a bone density scan, also called dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry, DEXA or DXA.”
More about bone density scan Prof Chan explains that the bone density scan is a quick and painless X-ray procedure that allows doctors to find out whether osteoporosis is present.
It also allows doctors to predict the risk of future fractures in order to provide timely and suitable treatment. “This would save you so much trouble in the future!” she says.
According to Prof Chan, women aged 65 years or older and men 70 years or older should have a DXA scan done every two years.
Younger individuals may also need to be screened if they have certain conditions such as diabetes, thyroid disorders, nutritional malabsorption, eating disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, or are taking certain medications (like steroids) long term.
If you fall into any of these categories, you should consult your doctor for more information as to how you can benefit from a DXA scan.
With the right steps at the right time, osteoporosis can be effectively managed
Prof Chan explains: “There are effective medicines that can be tailored to suit all sorts of patients based on their disease stage and lifestyle. Moreover, whenever pharmacological treatment is necessary, the medications that are available in Malaysia can reduce the risk of fractures from 15% up to 70%!”
She adds that these anti-osteoporosis medicines are generally well-tolerated and effective.
THIRD-EDITION CLINICAL PRACTICE GUIDELINES LAUNCHED TO IMPROVE SCREENING, DIAGNOSIS, & TREATMENT OF OSTEOPOROSIS
Dr Yeap Swan Sim shares that this clinical practice guidelines, meant for healthcare professionals in Malaysia, consists of evidence-based statements intended to assist healthcare providers in optimizing patient care.
“We must first recognize the fact that osteoporosis is a multi-factorial condition,” she says. “Nutrition, age, hormone, lifestyle and the presence of pre-existing disease are some of the aspects that can affect bone health. All these requires not only input from one profession but multiple of them in order to provide patients with proper and effective care.”
She adds: “As such, the clinical practice guidelines had to be written by a panel of experts from all the related disciplines, such as nutrition, geriatrics, endocrinology, orthopaedic surgery, obstetrics and gynaecology, rheumatology, primary care and pharmacy. The wide variety of expertise involved in the writing of the clinical practice guidelines ensures extensive coverage so that the guidelines will be able to inform all types of healthcare professionals who would be involved in the screening, diagnosing and treatment of osteoporosis.”
The 3rd Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPG) for the Management of Osteoporosis was the fruit of the labour of the CPG Working Group comprising:
Dr Yeap Swan Sim (Chairperson)
Dr Terence Ong Ing Wei (Co-chairperson)
Associate Professor Dr Lim Lee Ling (Co-chairperson)
Professor Emerita Dr Chan Siew Pheng
Professor Datuk Dr Sabarul A Mokhtar
Interested healthcare professionals can download the 3rd Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPG) for the Management of Osteoporosis by clicking here. This link will open in a new tab.
Alpro Pharmacy hosted an industry roundtable, called Safe Medication Disposal Practices in Malaysia–Past, Present & Future, on 15th December 2022 at Monash University Malaysia.
HIGHLIGHT #1 THE NEED FOR PROPER DISPOSAL OF MEDICINES
According to Foon Hwei Foong from Malaysian Community Pharmacy Guild, unwanted medications disposed into landfills are reabsorbed by water streams. This means that these medications eventually leads back to the water that we drink.
Dr Saw Pui San, a lecturer from Monash University Malaysia’s School of Pharmacy, cited how irresponsibly discarded contraceptive medicines ended up in our waterways and caused the sterilization of fishes.
Antibiotics are strictly regulated prescription medication, and many efforts were made to prevent antibiotic resistance. However, another often overlooked possible cause of antibiotic resistance is the leakage of improperly discarded antibiotics into our water systems.
HIGHLIGHT #2 THE POLICY IS THERE, BUT THE AWARENESS AMONG THE PUBLIC IS LACKING
Amrahi Buang, President of the Malaysian Pharmacists Society, stated that laws and policies are in place across all access points of medication distribution in this country, with the Malaysian National Medicines Policy (MNPP) clearly stating the measurements and governance in place for medication safety.
He opined that health and medication literacy is still lacking within the Malaysia public, hence the need for an pharmaceutical industry medium to act as an education platform for the public.
Furthermore, he stated that pharmacists are strongly encouraged to start working collaboratively with their colleagues as well as other key players in the pharmaceutical industry to educate on, implement, and practice safe medication disposal.
Ostwin Paw, the CEO of Alpro Foundation, called for leaders in the industry to kickstart the conversation on the impact and risks of unsafe medication disposal methods on the environment.
HIGHLIGHT #3 ALPRO PHARMACY HELPS TO LEAD THE WAY
Lim En Ni, the Chief Pharmacist of Alpro Pharmacy, shared that Alpro Pharmacy launched the Safe Medication Disposal campaign in 2021 in a joint effort with several key pharmaceutical companies in the country.
To date, the initiative has safely disposed more than 1,000 kg of medication waste as well as garnered more than 100,000 signatures from the community pledging their support within 3 months since July 2022.
One of the key initiatives of the Safe Medication Disposal campaign is the placement of dedicated medication disposal bins at all Alpro Pharmacy outlets nationwide to collect excess medicines for proper and ethical disposal. For more information on this as well as on proper medical disposal, click here to visit the Safe Medical Disposal Campaign webpage (link opens in a new tab).
DR MOHAMAD ZAIMI ABDUL WAHAB Vice President
Malaysian Society of Transplantation
THE URGENT NEED FOR KIDNEY DONORS
Malaysia has an estimated number of 48,000 patients on dialysis and awaiting kidney transplant.
Each patient has an average waiting period of 13 years to get a transplant done due to the low donation rate.
A scoring system is put in place because of this and with it, only about 10,000 patients are eligible to receive a kidney from a deceased donor.
The current statistics of organ donation and organ transplant could be even better if many stepped forward to help advocate this cause.
Although a 2% rise was seen since 2020 with 77 transplants conducted from 16 deceased donors this year, the numbers could certainly get better.
WILL ORGAN DONATION LEAD TO MUTILATION OF THE DECEASED’S BODY?
The permissibility of organ transplant has been a cause for concern and a challenge in changing mindsets.
While most religions in Malaysia encourage organ donation, some beliefs like Jehovah’s Witness and Shinto do not permit organ donation.
Based on the statistics provided by the National Transplant Resource Centre (NTRC), bodily mutilation and the lack of knowledge as to what the deceased would have wanted are two of the most common reasons why families refused to give consent for organ donations from a deceased.
Mutilation of the deceased body is a misconception.
In order to successfully conduct a transplant, the deceased would also have to undergo a surgery similar to that of the living.
This procedure is done in the very best of manner to preserve the anatomy of the deceased so that no obvious disfigurement is seen after the retrieval process.
HAVE YOU PLEDGED TO BE AN ORGAN DONOR? HERE’S WHY YOU SHOULD
The self-satisfaction you can get in stepping forward to do an altruistic act through this pledge either for their loved ones, or any recipient in need.
Discovery of your risk of developing certain diseases or any undiagnosed diseases during the process of being a potential donor. You have the benefit of getting diagnosis and management earlier depending on their case if they are found to have something concerning.
So, have you asked yourself if you have the courage to pledge your kidney for the support of another and to give a fuller life to a patient with kidney failure? If you have done so, kudos to you, but if you have not, ask yourself what is stopping you and address those doubts scientifically.
Have the courage; make a pledge to be an organ donor now via your MySejahtera app.
The theme of World Diabetes Day in 2022 is Education to Protect Tomorrow, which calls for the need for better access to quality diabetes education for healthcare professionals and people living with diabetes.
During the recent World Diabetes Day (WDD) 2022 celebration in Putrajaya, which was jointly organized by the Endocrine Institute of Putrajaya Hospital, the Malaysian Endocrine & Metabolic Society (MEMS), and Novo Nordisk Pharma Malaysia, the experts present reflected on the need to raise public awareness among Malaysians on diabetes.
After all, the latest National Health and Morbidity Survey reported 1 in 5 adult Malaysians has type 2 diabetes!
EFFORTS NEED TO BE DOUBLED TO STOP RISING PREVALENCE
Dato’ Dr Asmayani Khalib, the Deputy Director-General (Medical), Ministry of Health Malaysia, said: “The rising number of people affected by diabetes is putting added strain on healthcare systems. Healthcare professionals require quality diabetes education on how to detect and diagnose the condition early and provide the best possible care; while people living with diabetes need access to ongoing education to understand their condition and carry out the daily self-care essential to staying healthy and avoiding complications.”
Datuk Dr. Zanariah bt Hussein, the Head of the Endocrinology Subspecialty Service of the Malaysian Ministry of Health, felt that, as more Malaysians are diagnosed with diabetes, current efforts need to be doubled to stop this rising number from escalating further.
“Access to quality diabetes education is a goal we must all strive in, to educate and empower not only patients and the community but also family members who are providing support and care,” she said.
DIABETES EDUCATION KEY TO SUSTAINABLE LONG-TERM DIABETES CARE
“The focus on access to diabetes education is a critical aspect that will enable sustainable long-term care, with both healthcare providers and people living with diabetes receiving quality diabetes education,” said Richard Abela, the Vice President and General Manager of Novo Nordisk Pharma Malaysia. “This is an essential component of diabetes care as we develop a patient-centric approach in care, that is sustainable for lifelong chronic disease management.”
FROM DECEMBER 2022 TO FEBRUARY 2023, MALAYSIANS AGED 40 & ABOVE CAN GET FREE HEALTH SCREENING
This is thanks to SCREEN.DETECT.ACT, a campaign jointly organized by Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) and Viatris Malaysia.
This campaign aims to have more Malaysians aged 40 and above screened for risk factors for non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol.
LACK OF HEALTH SCREENING LEAVES MANY UNAWARE THAT THEY HAVE NON-COMMUNICABLE DISEASES
The campaign is an effort of the MMA to support of the National Health Screening Initiative (NHSI) 2022, launched in July this year by the Ministry of Health, to address the low rate of health screening among the public.
Dr Muruga Raj Rajathurai, the President of the MMA, tells us: “It is concerning that a high number of Malaysians with high blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol were unaware of their health status, as they did not see a doctor for a medical check-up to get a diagnosis.”
He adds that the SCREEN.DETECT.ACT campaign is timely because the rate of health screenings has dropped over the last 2 years due to the lockdowns.
PILOT PROGRAMME ROLL-OUT
The SCREEN. DETECT. ACT campaign will roll out in Klang Valley and Negeri Sembilan, targeting 1,000 people above 40 years of age and those at higher health risks.
“We urge those above 40 years of age, those at higher risk, and especially, those who have yet to undergo any medical check-ups or health screening, to seize this opportunity to get yourself screened. Early detection and timely treatment can potentially lower your risks of complications and result in better outcomes. Health screening can save lives,” says Dr Muruga.
Free health screening under the SCREEN.DETECT.ACT is available at participating general practitioner clinics. For more information, contact Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) at 03-4041 1375 (office) or 018-277 8794 (WhatsApp only) from Monday to Friday (9 am to 6 pm).
In conjunction with World Mental Health Month in October, Suria KLCC together with The Body Shop invites the public to be part of the change in temoving the stigma of mental health problems. Also coming onboard this year is the is Mental Illness Awareness & Support Association (MIASA).
The campaign with the tagline #YouMatter will run until 10 November 2022.
A SAFE SPACE FOR PEOPLE TO GATHER AND CONVERSE ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH
A safe space is available Suria KLCC for people to come together and converse about mental health without the fear of receiving judgment and being stigmatized by the rest of society.
This safe space, called Safe Space @ Suria KLCC, will be open for the duration of this campaign.
SAFE SPACE @ SURIA KLCC
Located at Level 1, Ampang Mall (you can’t miss it)
Will be opened throughout the campaign (until 10 November 2022)
10 am to 10 pm daily
Participate in workshops, talks, and panel discussions with mental health professionals
Talk to the stationed mental health volunteer for more information
WELCOMING THE CALM AFTER A TURBULENT MCO
“The last two years marked a turbulent and uncertain time for all,” says Andrew Brien, the Executive Director of Suria KLCC Sdn Bhd. “With the pandemic in the rear-view mirror, there’s no better time to reconnect and focus on recovery.”
He adds: “The Safe Space @ Suria KLCC is a welcoming space where the community can come together to share and learn. After all, a problem shared is a problem halved—we want people to leave the space feeling better and with more insight about themselves or others.”
A TIMELY EFFORT TO REACH OUT TO AND EMPOWER YOUTHS
YAM Tengku Puteri Raja Tengku Puteri Iman Afzan Al-Sultan Abdullah, the Founder and President of the Green Ribbon Group, emphasizes that Safe Space and similar efforts are needed to show our support for those with mental health problems as well as to highlight an ongoing commitment towards doing more for the cause.
She adds that for this year, the focus is on the mental health of youth. “The focus on youth mental health this year is especially timely for the Green Ribbon Group. We are very fortunate to be able to pilot programmes in secondary schools and universities that focus on mental health literacy, self-management and peer support. This has always been a dream of mine—to reach out to our youth and empower them to prioritise their mental health.”
Founder and President of MIASA, Anita Abu Bakar shares a similar sentiment. “Looking after each other should be everyone’s responsibility and not just the health sector alone,” she says. “This is why we should strive to prioritise community-based mental health support—so that the burden of care can be shifted from being shouldered solely by our incredible frontliners to being shouldered by all of us. Through efforts like this, it is our sincere hope that the scale of our response to the issues surrounding community mental health can begin to match the scale of the challenge itself.”
For more information on MIASA, you can visit www.miasa.org.my (link opens in a new tab), while more information on the Green Ribbon Group can be found by visiting greenribbongroup.com (link also opens in a new tab).
See the map below if you’re unsure as to where KLCC Suria is.
On September 15 2022, our Minister of Health YB Tuan Khairy Jamaluddin officiated the launch of Healthy Little Bloomers programme and the roll-out of its maiden campaign Junior Germ Busters.
The Healthy Little Bloomers programme aims to promote child health, safety and well-being through a network more than 30,000 early childhood care and education centres nationwide, potentially benefiting more than 800,000 children.
This is an initiative led by the Malaysian Paediatric Association (MPA) in collaboration with 10 prominent early childhood care and education organisations from both private and government sectors. These organisations are Jabatan Kemajuan Masyarakat (KEMAS), ECCE Council, Malaysian Association of Professional Early Childhood Educators (MAPECE), Persatuan Tadika Malaysia (PTM), Jabatan Kebajikan Masyarakat (JKM), Persatuan Pengasuh Berdaftar Malaysia (PPBM), National Association of Special Education, Malaysia (PPKK), Majlis Kebajikan Kanak-Kanak Malaysia (MKKM), Persatuan Tadika Sabah (PTS) and Association of Kindergarten Operators Sarawak (AKO).
In his speech during the launch, YB Tuan Khairy highlighted the following:
Young children, especially those under the age of 5, are vulnerable to health and safety threats, such as infectious diseases, injuries, abuse and neglect
Children who are overweight or obese are 5 times more likely to become overweight and obese adults
Child abuse survivors are at higher risk of becoming abusers or getting involved in abusive relationship during adulthood
Unmet emotional and mental health needs during childhood will lead to difficulties and problems during adolescence and adulthood
PROGRAMME IN STEP & LINE WITH MALAYSIAN GOVERNMENT DEVELOPMENT GOALS
YB Tuan Khairy is pleased with the launch of Healthy Little Bloomers because, as he puts it: “Children are the nation’s future. Therefore, addressing their health, safety and well-being needs holistically is one of the government’s key priorities. It has been part of the Malaysian government development goals since the 1960s and outlined in our latest Child Health 2021-2023 national framework”.
He applauds the campaign as an initiative that brings together MPA and partner organisations for bringing together medical professionals and early childhood care and education experts in a systematic and potentially long-term collaboration to help bring to fruition the goals of the government.
This is a vital programme as many young children spend most of their waking hours in kindergartens and children centres every week, abd studies have shown that health promotion intervention in kindergarten and childcare centres can be effective, especially if parental engagement is involved.
THE PROGRAMME IN MORE DETAIL
Professor Datuk Dr Zulkifli Ismail, Chairman of Healthy Little Bloomers, shares that the programme is meant to be cover all key domains and aspects of child health, safety and well-being in a holistic manner.
He further elaborates that the programme will take an annual thematic approach.
WHAT THE HEALTHY LITTLE BLOOMERS PROGRAMME OFFERS
Training for early childhood care and education operators and personnel
Fun, exciting, and interactive lessons for children; the programme is inclusive and will cater to children from various population segments, including those that are underprivileged and with special needs
Information and educational materials for parents and primary caregivers; available in Bahasa Malaysia and English
Roadshows to cater to less advantaged children, featuring activities that will consider the needs of those with hearing or vision impairments.