Paving the Path to Better Breathing: Malaysia’s Collaborative Roadmap for Lung Health Initiative 2025-2030

On the 1st and 2nd of July 2024, the Disease Control Division, the Ministry of Health and the National Cancer Society Malaysia (NCSM) hosted a pivotal roundtable discussion to draft a comprehensive Roadmap for the Lung Health Initiative Malaysia 2025 – 2030. The event brought together key stakeholders from various sectors, including government and non-government agencies, public and private universities, and professional associations. Notable contributors included Associate Professor Dr Farizah Mohd Hairi and Dr Siti Idayu Hasan from the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Malaya, along with Dr Mohd Afiq Mohd Noor, Dr Wong Chee Kuan and Dr Vijayan Munusamy from the Universiti Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC).

The agenda focused on critical areas including smoking cessation, environmental and occupational exposure prevention, advanced screening techniques for lung cancer, chronic obstructive airway disease (COAD), and asthma using AI-driven tools and handheld spirometers. Additionally, discussions covered low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) for diagnosis, treatment modalities across public and private sectors, the establishment of a Lung Health Registry, and robust monitoring and evaluation mechanisms.

Given the significant lung health challenges in Malaysia, this roadmap aims to reduce the prevalence of lung diseases, enhance early detection, and improve overall treatment outcomes. By leveraging advanced technologies and fostering collaborative efforts, the initiative aspires to create a sustainable and effective healthcare framework that can serve as a model for addressing other health challenges.

The impact of this roadmap is far-reaching. It promises to not only improve lung health but also to elevate public health standards, reduce healthcare costs, and enhance the quality of life for Malaysians. This collaborative effort underscores the importance of integrated approaches in tackling public health issues and paves the way for a healthier future.

This write-up was prepared by Dr Siti Idayu Hasan and Associate Professor Dr Farizah Mohd Hairi from the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Malaya.

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