The Health October 2021 | Page 5

| Local News |



MeDKAD can meet growing demand

MEDKAD SDN BHD , the manufacturer of Salixium products , announced it could produce up to seven million units per month of its Covid-19 antigen rapid self-test kits ( saliva / nose smear samples ) to meet the growing demand in Malaysia and the international market .
In this regard , the health technology company said it had invested more than RM10 million to increase its production capacity by hiring more than 500 new local workers in addition to the existing 700 .
In a recent statement , MeDKAD CEO and Co-Founder Ezuan Yaacob said frequent testing was a critical response in a pandemic , and Salixium could help with early detection .
“ With this investment and development , we can produce up to seven million self-test kits a month to ensure the people , regardless

Safeguarding welfare of kidney patients

MALAYSIA HAS amongst the highest rates of kidney disease in the world , with over 7,000 people diagnosed with kidney failure every year .
“ While a kidney transplant is often seen as an ideal solution for someone with kidney failure , the limited amount of donor kidneys available means that for most patients , regular dialysis treatment is the only real available option ,” said Dato ’ Dr Zaki Morad Mohamad Zaher , Chairman of NKF Malaysia . For over 30 years , NKF has safeguarded the welfare of kidney patients by providing subsidised dialysis treatment , psychological support , as well as financial assistance and job placements . The non-profit also uses its funds to provide specialised dialysis training for healthcare workers , and carry out outreach and awareness-raising programmes on kidney disease .
“ Since we started dialysis operations in 1993 , we have delivered compassionate and holistic care to over 6,000 patients of all backgrounds across the country . Throughout the turbulence of this pandemic , we continue to treat approximately 1,700 people at 28 dialysis centres nationwide ,” said Dr Zaki Morad . “ As a non-profit , the majority of our work
According Chew , nothing could compare to the satisfaction of having an opportunity to significantly contribute to the society .
Besides this success and his entrepreneurial achievements , Chew ’ s Asian origin did not stop him from being elected onto the seven-member board of WEL Energy Trust , a public philanthropic trust that has assets of about NZ $ 1 billion ( RM3 billion ).
“ I was the only Asian among the 28 candidates that stood for election ,” he said .
of income , have access to our products ,” he added .
Launched in July this year and available at registered pharmacies and health facilities nationwide , Salixium is the first Malaysianmade product of its kind . It has been approved for sale in Malaysia by the Ministry of Health .
Test results showed the Salixium sensitivity measure was 91.23 per cent and the specification measure was 100 per cent , making it among the most accurate on the market , according to the company .
Dato ’ Dr Zaki Morad Mohamad Zaher
is reliant on the generosity of our donors . Every year , NKF needs to raise approximately RM25 million to subsidise the cost of dialysis treatments for its patients .”
Dr Zaki Morad added that the pandemic has meant that even more dialysis patients are in a vulnerable state , particular those from lower-income groups . “ Despite our own limited resources , we were still compelled to go above and beyond our usual mandate to address the socio-economic and public health disruptions caused by the pandemic ,” he said .
NKF also assisted the Ministry of Health ( MoH ) by donating medical supplies , including surgical gowns , personal protective equipment ( PPE ) and face masks . Being aware of the overwhelming number of patients seeking treatment in government hospitals during the pandemic , NKF loaned 58 haemodialysis machines and six units of the portable reverse osmosis ( RO ) water system to MoH , to ensure that kidney patients received proper treatment and care . In addition to this , NKF also took on more patient referrals from public hospitals nationwide , providing treatment to these patients on a complimentary basis .
“ We hope more people will support us in our mission to save lives ,” said Dr Zaki Morad . To help kidney failure patients receive life-saving dialysis treatment , go to nkf . org . my / support-us / donations /. Donations can be made via bank transfer or e-wallet payments . Alternatively , members of the public can contact NKF at 03-7954 9048 to learn more about the organisation ’ s ongoing efforts .


Intel Malaysia allocates additional funds
INTEL MALAYSIA has committed an additional RM2 million to assist in the battle against Covid-19 in the country . This is in addition to RM3.2 million already contributed since the onset of the pandemic last year , making the total contribution over RM5 million so far . Intel ’ s latest donation will target three main areas :
• Medical equipment and support for hospitals tackling Ccovi-19 , focused on the Penang and Kulim , Kedah areas . Items provided will include oxygen concentrators , hospital beds , parameter monitors , advanced syringe pumps , nasal canula machine tubes and nose probes , etc .
• ‘ Community Care ’ packages of food and essentials for underserved groups , including healthcare and security frontliners .
• Technological assistance to support the remote learning needs of underserved students .
These donations are being administered and managed by the Penang Science Cluster to ensure the donations reach the institutions and individuals who need them in a timely manner .
Robin Martin , Corporate Vice President and General Manager of Assembly Test Manufacturing at Intel Corporation , said , “ The healthcare system is under a huge strain right now , especially in states like Penang and Kedah where Covid-19 cases continue to rise .”
Spotlight on Thalassaemia
REPSOL MALAYSIA announced on Sept 15 the conclusion of its successful five-month long Thalassaemia awareness campaign ‘ NowyouSEEme 2021 ’, which was done in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education .
Thalassemia is an inherited condition that disrupts the production of red blood cells . In turn , the function of the cells is affected .
Based on the figures in the 2018 Thalassemia Registry Report , Sabah showed the highest number of Thalassemia cases in Malaysia with a total of 1,814 patients that account for 22.72 per cent of the cases .
Out of 7,984 Thalassaemia patients in Malaysia , the age group between 11-15 years old have the highest number of patients with 1,394 patients ( 17.46 per cent ), followed by 16-20 years old and 6-10 years old with 1,286 .
The campaign aimed to educate secondary school students on the medical condition , encouraging them to be better informed , and to play an active role in society to manage and eventually eradicate the disease .
Students had the opportunity to express their creativity in communicating their understanding and information about Thalassaemia through social media and other competitions organised in their respective schools .
More than 13,000 students and teachers from 50 schools across Kelantan , Terengganu , and Pahang were involved in the campaign activities .
Covid-19 vaccines effective
ACCORDING TO the Real-World Evaluation of Covid-19 Vaccines under the Malaysia National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme ( Recovam ) study conducted by the Malaysian Ministry of Health ( MoH ), Covid-19 vaccines had an efficacy rate of between 86 and 90 per cent in preventing illnesses .
The study , which involves 1.2 million people , also found that vaccines administered in the country have up to 88 per cent effectiveness in preventing symptomatic infections .
Dr Kalaiarasu M . Peariasamy of the National Institute of Clinical Research ( ICR ) said those who have only had partial vaccination have a 53 per cent chance of not contracting the virus , and between 33 per cent and 37 per cent chance of developing symptoms if they did .
On admissions to the intensive care unit ( ICU ), the rates varied according to vaccine brands . The study was carried out by both the ICR and the Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force ( CITF ), he said . On prevention of death , the effectiveness rate was up to 88 per cent for the fully vaccinated , between 92 per cent and 98 per cent for AstraZeneca recipients , 92 per
“ So , the message here is clear : those who are fully vaccinated greatly reduce their chances of death and even of developing mild or severe cases of Covid-19 . This is why people should get vaccinated .” — The Health