On the 21st of August, Universiti Malaya Medical Center (UMMC) was invited to participate in a Health Carnival at Projek Perumahan Rakyat (PPR) Lembah Subang 1 organised by the Pejabat Parlimen Petaling Jaya. Representatives from the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine (SPM), Department of Public Health, Department of Medicine, Department of Surgery, Department of Primary Care Medicine, and Department of Sports Medicine graciously rose to the occasion and provided various health promotional activities during the Health Carnival.
The target population for this event was the B40 community in PPR Lembah Subang 1 and the main aim of the event was to increase awareness of common health issues, provide free health screening and counselling, provide free screening for early detection of various types of cancers, as well as to provide free dietary and nutritional counselling.
The event commenced at 8 am. Associate Professor Dr Mohd Nahar Azmi Mohamed from UMMC Department of Sports Medicine got the ball rolling and the participants moved with an energetic Zumba session. A total of 300 people visited the event and we were able to perform health screenings for 160 of them. The health screening booth, which was led by Associate Professor Dr Nik Daliana Nik Farid and Dr Sumitra, offered anthropometric measurements, blood pressure and blood glucose monitoring as well as counselling and advice by Dr Ananth and Dr Ooi from the Endocrinology Unit of UMMC.
The average age of the participants screened was 47.6 years old. 11.6% of them smoked cigarettes while 5.8% of them reportedly used e-cigarettes. However, 87.5% of those who smoked or vaped wanted to quit smoking. The average BMI was worrying as it was 27.38kg/m2, indicating that most of the residents of the PPR Lembah Subang 1 were overweight or obese. Although the average blood pressure and blood glucose were within the normal limits, at 133/76mmHg and 7.3mmol/L respectively, some of the residents screened were found to have very high readings of blood pressure and blood glucose. In total, 18 people were referred to Klinik Kesihatan Kelana Jaya for newly diagnosed Hypertension or Type 2 Diabetes, while another 10 who were already on follow-up were given a memo to their respective clinics to suggest further optimization of medication.
The Occupational Health and Safety education booth was led by Professor Dr Victor Hoe Chee Wai Abdullah, Dr Rama Krishna, and Dr Faiz Baharudin had multiple displays and promotional material highlighting the 5 main types of hazards namely; Chemical, Physical, Biological, Ergonomic, and Psychosocial. They also educated the public on basic fire safety and demonstrated the steps to use a standard fire extinguisher, as they had 2 types of extinguishers on display. In the interest of preventing the spread of the deadly Covid-19 virus, information was also provided to the public on the proper ventilation for indoor areas based on the DOSH guidelines.
Other health promotional activities provided by the team from UMMC included basic education on the four most common types of cancer (breast, colon, lung and cervical) by the Department of Surgery UMMC under the Rebung project, screening for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease by the Respiratory Unit, and counselling for smoking cessation by the Department of Primary Care Medicine. The event ended at 1 pm and the team left feeling satisfied having spend a productive Sunday giving back to the community. We are very grateful to the teams from SPM and UMMC for making this event a raging success. After all, to quote Hellen Keller, “Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much”.
The article was written by Mohdmmad Haizril Arif Md Mokhtar, Nik Dialiana Nik Farid and Victor Hoe
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