The HEALTH : May 2019 - Page 4

Th e HealtH | may, 2019 04 Current News Briefs Briefs for page 4 edwards Lifesciences plans to invest rM100 million in Malaysia GLoBaL medical technology company Edwards Lifesciences (Edwards) expects to invest RM100 million in Malaysia over the next 5 years through its new regional business service centre (BSC) located at KL Eco City. Edwards, based in Irvine, California, USA, is the global leader in patient-focused innovations for structural heart disease and critical care monitoring. More than 60 years ago, it was the fi rst company to develop a commercially viable heart valve. The new Edwards BSC is expected to provide key support functions such as Finance, IT, Supply Chain, HR, Digital Health, Marketing and Quality Assurance to seven (7) offi ces across the Japan, Asia and Pacifi c (JAPAC) region. In the next phase of BSC growth, Edwards plans on setting up an analytics Centre of Excellence and hopes to attract talented employees with expertise in artifi cial intelligence & machine learning, data management, big data analytics and digital, to join the company. These talents will help support business needs in the JAPAC region out of the KL BSC offi ce, and more importantly, use their expertise to help patients with structural heart disease. Japan’s tech makes it possible to use turmeric to fi ght modern day diseases aCCordInG to WHO’s report released in September last year, NCDs are the leading cause of deaths globally, and accounts for 41 million, or over 71% of the world’s 57 million deaths in 2016. Four major NCDs are identifi ed as being responsible for 54 percent of all global deaths, or 79 percent of all NCD deaths. These are cardiovascular diseases (17.9 million deaths), cancers (9 million deaths), chronic respiratory diseases (3.8 million deaths) and diabetes (1.6 million deaths). SL Ho, whose company distributes a variety of popular health supplements to retail pharmacies across the country, explains, “It is in this context that we decided to introduce Theracurmin® health supplement that has an innovative and clinically-proven curcumin formulation using extracts of Curcuma Ionga, better known as Turmeric. “Studies have shown that curcumin can switch off the main infl ammatory activities in the body by blocking the protein complex known as NF-kB, or nuclear factor kappa- light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells, which is believed to play a major role in many chronic diseases such as arthritis, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer’s, as well as other degenerative conditions,” he explained. “Theracurmin® is effective because it is produced through a patented process using Japanese Nano-particle technology that leverages on ultra-fi ne granulation and suspension system to convert turmeric powder into sub-micron particles called Nano-particle curcumin. Theracurmin® health supplement is available at all leading retailers and pharmacists across the country. The supplements come in capsule form with each containing 100gms of curcumin, equivalent to four full tablespoons of Turmeric powder. — The health Malaysian cancer challenges in line with global trends Cancer incidence and related healthcare costs continue to grow Y eAR after year, the spectre of cancer remains on the front of our minds and in the sights of health- care professionals and offi cials. Th e World he alth Organi- zation mentions cancer among the Top 10 threats to global health in 2019 with approximately 9.6 mil- lion people worldwide estimated to have died from cancer in 2018. Yet, evidence suggests that between 30 percent and 50 percent of cancer deaths could be prevented by modi- fying or avoiding risk factors, which include unhealthy eating habits. “As a healthtech company, our vision at Philips is of a health continuum, where the healthcare and consumer worlds integrate to put people at the heart of a holistic system that monitors them continuously and helps the right people to take action when needed. Th rough our innovations, we pro- vide clinicians with better tools to help diagnose and manage the most eff ective delivery of care, besides also helping consumers eat health- ier with our innovative kitchen appliances,” said Mr Muhammad Ali Jaleel, Personal health and health Systems Leader for Philips Malaysia. Recently, Philips Malaysia spoke to prominent oncologist Dato Dr Mohamed Ibrahim Abdul Wahid of Beacon hospital on the latest cancer-related issues and challenges faced by Malaysians and the health- care system on the whole. “early detection and screening is important when it comes to cancer cases but the challenge in Malaysia is what policy you should implement to ease the process of screening and detection. What’s more important is the positive steps you take to ensure patients go for screening. In Malaysia, health screenings are still done on a voluntary basis. No one encourages you or guides you on where or when to go or tells you what to do. Th us, there is poor uptake of early detection in the country,” said Dr Ibrahim. “Th e next challenge is limitation of resources. If you want to do a mammogram screening in Malaysia, you can’t just walk into any public hospital to do the test, and in the private sector you have to pay for it and not everybody can aff ord it,” Dr Ibrahim added. Dr Ibrahim also lists the cost of cancer drugs as a challenge faced by Malaysia. he believes that the gov- ernment should play an important role in negotiating drug prices. “In some countries like Australia, South Korea and India, the government steps in and negotiates. Countries like the United Kingdom also have bodies like the National Institute for health and Care excellence (NICe), which advises on the aff ordability rate for medicines,” he said. For this year, Dr Ibrahim predicts that cancer cases will definitely increase due to Malaysians’ lifestyle including our diet, smoking habit and many other factors. “On a positive note, patients’ treatment outcomes have seen a huge improve- ment across the industry as we now Dr Ibrahim explains the various challenges in regards to cancer treatment and management in Malaysia and how little the diff erences compared to other parts of the world. have better treatment equipment thanks to technology and drugs development. For example, back in 1990, the survival period for lung cancer patients is about 3 months, while today, Stage 4 lung cancer patients can survive for a minimum of 1-2 years. Some can even survive more than 5 years,” said Dr Ibrahim. As cancer incidence and related healthcare costs continue to grow, there is a big need to diagnose and treat patients in effi cient settings with a focus on the best care. Philips helps in making this possible with tools and services for accurate first-time-right decision-making imaging and fast supporting right decision-making tools to enable targeted, patient-specifi c therapy. — Th e Health MenCare, a project to get men more involved with breast cancer B ReAST cancer has long been seen as a women’s issue, one in which men play a small part. Medical practitioners and social workers have discussed the role of men in breast cancer awareness and agree that there is an urgent need to educate the husbands, fathers and other members of the male community about breast health, as well as encourage their support to the women in their life. Men, espe- cially husbands, play a decisive role in ensuring women go for regular screening for early detection. Beyond screening, if a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer, her husband’s support is crucial in her journey to recovery. In September 2006, Pfi zer Malay- sia sought to involve men in the fi ght against breast cancer and thus col- laborated with the National Council of Women’s Organisation (NCWO) to launch MenCare or the Male Support of Breast Cancer Screening project. Touted as a breakthrough project, MenCare is essentially a comprehensive and nationwide training programme to encourage men to become more knowledge- able about breast cancer and adopt a new attitude of care, as well as instil in them a more supportive set of behaviours. Th is training programme is tar- geted at service providers of women and healthcare organisations as they were identifi ed as the stakeholder most likely to convey the message down to the ultimate audience i.e. the men. The project found its footing early in 2006, and it grew to become a stronger initiative as the years progressed. Th e latest development for the project in 2019 saw Men- Care adopted by the Selangor state government. Th e latest edition of MenCare campaign saw an alliance between NCWO and the Selangor state government to bring the message to all corners of the state through 12 instalments of Karnival 3Ws in 2019. Th e partnership also helped synchronise the awareness effort with MammoSeL, a free mammogram service for all women in Selangor offered by the state government. — Th e Health