In conjunction with the Ministry of Health’s World Salt Awareness Week (14th – 20th March 2022), the official launch of MyWASSH and the Ministry’s Salt Reduction Strategy was held on 12th May 2022. This event was launched by the Deputy Ministry of Health, YB Dato’ Dr Haji Noor Azmi bin Ghazali. Other guests include the Head of mission and WHO Representative to Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam and Singapore (Dr Rabindra Romauld Abeyasinghe), Disease Control Division (Dr Hamdan bin Mohamad), Research Presenters from Universiti Malaya (Professor Dr Hazreen Abdul Majid, Head of CePH) and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (Professor Dr Suzana Shahar and Associate Professor Dr Hasnah Haron), and MyWASSH Honorary Adviser (Professor Dr Sibrandes Poppema). Multiple relevant food industries and stakeholders were invited to engage in the session.
The main output of the salt reduction presented by the Disease Control Division was the three main strategies, namely Monitoring (M), Awareness (A), and Products (P). The general objective was to promote, educate, and collaborate with all related stakeholders to reduce salt intake among the population, working towards achieving the 30% global reduction target by the year 2025 to reduce the burden of NCDs in Malaysia.
In addition, university researchers presented research findings from multiple stakeholders that were done in a few selected states in Malaysia, including stakeholders such as food industries, stall food vendors, and schools (school canteen operators and parent-teacher associations etc.), with the goal of better understanding the barriers, enablers, and perceptions of the stakeholders toward salt reduction strategies and further strengthening salt reduction action in Malaysia. Last but not least, the Honorary Adviser then introduced the Malaysian Society for World Action on Salt, Sugar, and Health (MyWASSH), followed by a speech from the Deputy Minister of Health, and finally the launching of the Malaysian Salt Reduction Strategy to Prevent and Control NCDs 2021-2025.
This write-up was written by Professor Dr Hazreen Abdul Majid, Head of Centre for Population Health (CePH), Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Malaya.
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