RESPIRE ASM: Making headlines in Malaysia
Respiratory diseases were in the spotlight in Malaysia following this year’s RESPIRE Annual Scientific Meeting, held in Kuala Lumpur.
The RESPIRE Annual Scientific Meeting 2019 opened with an External Showcase for invited guests, including high profile representatives from the Malaysian Ministry of Health, University of Malaya, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Institute of Clinical Research and Malaysian Thoracic Society.
Improving respiratory health
Officiated by Dr Lee Boon Chye, Deputy Minister of Health, Ministry of Health Malaysia, the morning showcase highlighted the impact of respiratory diseases in Asia – which are the top three causes of hospitalisation and death in Malaysia.
Attendees at the showcase heard how research teams in RESPIRE are tackling a number of issues to improve respiratory health across Asia, with presentations from RESPIRE Directors, Professor Aziz Sheikh and Professor Harry Campbell, as well as representatives from RESPIRE partner countries Bangladesh, India, Malaysia and Pakistan.
Informing policy for better respiratory care
It was fantastic to have engagement from Malaysian Ministry of Health officials during the event, recognising the importance of ongoing research. Shining a spotlight on RESPIRE, Dr Lee Boon Chye took to Facebook to share his experience at the meeting.
“With the support of organisations like RESPIRE, governments and policy makers can draw on findings from the research to inform policy for better respiratory care. The Malaysian Ministry of Health is ready to support and work with physicians and academicians to promote respiratory research and health.”
A topic of public interest
During the meeting’s press conference, several questions focused on the impact of the haze (air pollution caused by nearby forest fires) experienced in Malaysia – a particularly hot topic as it descended on the capital, and more widely across the country, during the conference.
Coverage following the event in several national papers also drew attention to the stigma around and lack of awareness of respiratory conditions, including asthma and COPD, among Malaysians.
More on the ASM
RESPIRE PhD student Lois King has written a blog about her experience at the conference.