KUALA LUMPUR: In Malaysia, the number one killer in terms of diseases and health-related problems is coronary heart disease. In 2010, the total number of deaths in Malaysia resulted from coronary heart disease was at 22,701 according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). This constitutes to about 22.18% of the total deaths in the country.
The fight against this disease gained traction as UCSI University’s (UCSI) pharmacy students made it the theme for this year’s UCSI 16th Annual Public Health Campaign 2017. Held three times over a span of three months at a Cheras housing area, the campaign aimed to promote greater public awareness towards heart diseases and a healthier lifestyle.
Themed ‘Lead Your Life to a Healthy Heart’, the four-day campaign was graced by Yang Berusaha Dr Sirajuddin bin Hashim, Deputy State Health Director of Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya (Public Health), as the guest of honour.
During his speech, Dr Sirajuddin commended the University for promoting public awareness in the fight against cardiovascular diseases.
“There is so much to be done but we cannot depend on the government alone to tackle this worrisome phenomena; this is why what UCSI is doing right now, is so important. I trust this Annual Public Health Campaign will continue to succeed in educating and instilling awareness among the members of the public.”
The event was also attended by Senior Professor Dato’ Dr Khalid Yusoff, Vice-Chancellor and President of UCSI, as well as Associate Professor Dr Yeong Siew Wei, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Academic and Research and the founder and advisor of the annual campaign.
According to Organising Chairperson Foo Jun Hoe, a second-year student in the Bachelor of Pharmacy (Hons) programme, organising the Campaign has been a challenging and fun experience.
“The experience of organising and participating in the Public Health Campaign has been memorable and has benefitted me a lot. It taught me how to shape myself to be a tougher person, and to cope with my studies and at the same time, organise this event under stressful situations.
“I have also learned how to be humble and understanding when serving the public. Lastly, being able to share our knowledge and raising health awareness among the public has been very satisfying.”
To date, the UCSI Annual Public Health Campaigns have been held in states including Malacca, Pahang and Selangor. More than 10,000 members of the public have been positively impacted by these campaigns throughout the years.
The UCSI University Public Health Campaign is a community project by the Pharmacy Student Association (UCSIUPSA) of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences. It aims to promote and educate the public on health-related issues and encourage healthy lifestyles.
The campaign included various health screening tests such as the waist-to-hip ratio measurement, blood pressure tests, body fat tests and blood glucose tests. An interactive session with the public on the safe use of drugs titled, ‘Know Your Drug’ was also held. Talks focusing on health and lifestyle was conducted by cardiologist and pharmacists.
Organised by UCSI’s pharmacy students since 2002, the campaign seeks to help bridge the community-academia divide and to provide an excellent platform for members of the community and students to learn from each other.