Displaying publications 1 - 20 of 23 in total

  1. Chan HK, Ismail S
    Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 2014;15(13):5305-9.
    PMID: 25040993
    BACKGROUND: This study aimed to assess the most common physical side effects experienced by local chemotherapy patients. Their perceptions of these side effects and informational needs from clinical pharmacists were also evaluated.

    MATERIALS AND METHODS: This was a single-center, cross-sectional study. A face-to-face interview guided by a structured questionnaire with cancer patients admitted to receive repeated cycles of chemotherapy was conducted. Information collected included chemotherapy-related side effects after last chemotherapy experience, the most worrisome side effects, the side effects overlooked by healthcare professionals and the preferred method, amount and source of receiving related information.

    RESULTS: Of 99 patients recruited, 90 participated in this survey (response rate: 90.9%). The majority were in the age range of 45-64 years (73.3%) and female (93.3%). Seventy-five (83.3%) and seventy-one (78.9%) experienced nausea and vomiting, respectively. Both symptoms were selected as two of the most worrisome side effects (16.7% vs. 33.3%). Other common and worrisome side effects were hair loss and loss of appetite. Symptoms caused by peripheral neuropathies were perceived as the major symptoms being overlooked (6.7%). Most patients demanded information about side effects (60.0%) and they would like to receive as much information as possible (86.7%). Oral conversation (83.3%) remained as the preferred method and the clinical pharmacist was preferred by 46.7% of patients as the educator in this aspect.

    CONCLUSIONS: The high prevalence of chemotherapy-related side effects among local patients is of concern. Findings of their perceptions and informational needs may serve as a valuable guide for clinical pharmacists to help in side effect management in Malaysia.

  2. Chan HK, Hassali MA
    Int J Clin Pharm, 2014 Oct;36(5):904-13.
    PMID: 25135804 DOI: 10.1007/s11096-014-0003-1
    BACKGROUND: Inability to read instructions on drug labels has been identified among the Malaysian population since 1990's.
    OBJECTIVE: To assess the impact of font-enlarged and pictogram-incorporated labels used for long-term medications on patients' adherence, comprehension and preferences.
    SETTING: Outpatient pharmacy in one of the major general hospitals across Northern Malaysia.
    METHOD: This was a three-arm, randomized controlled trial. Outpatients with refill prescriptions of selected oral antihypertensive or antidiabetic medications were screened for eligibility. They were randomly allocated with standard (n = 35), font-enlarged (n = 40) or pictogram-incorporated (n = 35) labels. Assessment of baseline adherence scores using the 8-item Morisky Medication Adherence Scale, comprehension scores using a structured questionnaire and preferences was conducted upon recruitment. Follow-up telephone interviews were conducted after 4 weeks.
    MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: The changes of patients' adherence and comprehension scores and their preferences.
    RESULTS: Within-group comparisons demonstrated an increase of total adherence scores after 4 weeks in all three groups (mean changes 0.35, 0.58 and 0.67; p = 0.029, 0.013 and 0.011, respectively). The repeatedly measured total comprehension score of pictogram-incorporated label group was significantly higher than baseline (mean change 0.37, p = 0.010). Two intervention groups obtained significantly higher scores for few items in both adherence and comprehension measurements after 4 weeks as compared with baselines. As indicated by F tests, three groups did not significantly differ in the changes of both total adherence and comprehension scores (p = 0.573 and 0.069, respectively) with the subjects' age adjusted. Elderlies and those with a higher number of morbidity preferred pictogram-incorporated label over font-enlarged label.
    CONCLUSION: We did not find a significant change of both adherence and comprehension levels after the introduction of modified medication labels. However, on the basis of within-group comparisons, they may have positive influences on certain aspects of patients' adherence and comprehension. Variations in preferences may reflect the unique need of different subgroups in receiving written medication instructions.
    Study site: Outpatient pharmacy, Sultanah Bahiyah Hospital, Alor Setar, Kedah, Malaysia
  3. Chan HK, Lim YM
    Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 2016 11 01;17(11):4951-4957.
    PMID: 28032722
    Background: Apart from reducing occupational exposure to cytotoxic hazards, the PhaSeal® closed-system transfer device (CSTD) can extend the beyond-use dates (BUDs) of unfinished vials of antineoplastic drugs for up to 168 hours (seven days). In this study, the total material cost incurred by its use in a Malaysian government-funded hospital was calculated. Methods: A list of vial stability following initial needle punctures of 29 commonly-used antineoplastic drugs was compiled. The amount of the materials used, including drugs, infusion bottles, the PhaSeal® CSTD and other consumables, was recorded on a daily basis for three months in 2015. The total cost was calculated based on the actual acquisition costs, and was compared with that of a hypothetical scenario, whereby conventional syringe-needle sets were used for the same amounts of preparations. Results: The use of the PhaSeal® CSTD incurred a cost of MYR 383,634.52 (USD 92,072.28) in three months, representing an average of MYR 170.5 (USD 40.92) per preparation or an estimated annual cost of MYR 1,534,538.08 (USD 368,289.14). Compared with conventional syringe-needle approach, it is estimated to lead to an additional spending of MYR 148,627.68 (USD 35,670.64) yearly. Conclusion: Although there was a reduction of drug wastage achieved by extending BUDs of unfinished vials using the PhaSeal® CSTD, cost saving was not observed, likely attributable to the wide use of lower-priced generic drugs in Malaysia. Future studies should further evaluate the possibility of cost saving, especially in health settings where branded and high-cost antineoplastic drugs are more commonly used.
  4. Lim YM, Eng WL, Chan HK
    Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 2017 07 27;18(7):1925-1930.
    PMID: 28749622
    Background: In Malaysia, the treatment for chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) has long been delivered under the
    Malaysian Patient Assistance Program (MYPAP), but research on identifying factors contributing to non-adherence to
    tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) is still limited. The current study explored understanding and challenges of Malaysian
    CML patients in taking imatinib and nilotinib. Methods: Semi-structured, face-to-face interviews were conducted
    with 13 CML patients receiving treatment at a public tertiary care center, and were analyzed using the content analysis
    approach. Results: The patients generally demonstrated inadequate knowledge, particularly of the natural history and
    staging of CML, the function of TKIs, and the methods used for monitoring the effectiveness of treatment. A number of
    them also had experiences of withholding, skipping or altering the treatment, mainly due to the life-disturbing adverse
    drug effects (ADRs), forgetfulness, and religious and social issues. Besides, most of them were found having limited
    skills in managing the ADRs, and not using prompts as reminders to take the medications. Furthermore, even though
    nilotinib was generally perceived as better tolerated as compared with imatinib, the inconvenience caused by the need
    to take it twice daily and on an empty stomach was constantly highlighted by the patients. Conclusion: While TKIs
    are widely used for CML treatment in Malaysia, the findings have revealed a lack of patient education and awareness,
    which warrants an integrated plan to reinforce medication adherence.
  5. Chan HK, Hassali MA, Lim CJ, Saleem F, Tan WL
    J Clin Pharm Ther, 2015 Jun;40(3):266-72.
    PMID: 25865563 DOI: 10.1111/jcpt.12272
    WHAT IS KNOWN AND OBJECTIVE: It has been reported that more than 80% of out-of-hospital medication errors among the young children involve liquid formulations. The usefulness of pictorial aids to improve communication of medication instructions has not been extensively investigated for child health. The objective of this study was to determine the effectiveness of pictorial aids used to assist caregivers in the administration of liquid medications.
    METHODS: MEDLINE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, ScienceDirect, Scopus and the Cochrane Library were searched for articles published up to February 2015. Studies that used pictorial aids with liquid medications and measured at least one of the following outcomes were included: dosing accuracy, comprehension of medication instructions, recall of information and adherence of caregivers. Two authors independently selected studies, extracted data and assessed methodological quality of studies using the Cochrane Collaboration's tool.
    RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: Five experimental studies (four hospital based and one community based) with a total of 962 participants were included. A wide range of liquid formulations were studied, including both prescription and over-the-counter medications. The existing findings suggest that pictographic interventions reduced dosing errors, enhanced comprehension and recall of medication instructions and improved adherence of caregivers. Incorporating pictorial aids into verbal medication counselling or text-based instructions was more beneficial than using the single approach alone. Mixed results were identified for the relationship between health literacy of caregivers and effectiveness of pictorial aids.
    WHAT IS NEW AND CONCLUSION: The evidence remains limited due to the small number of studies found and variations in methodological quality. This review suggests that pictorial aids might be potential interventions, but more high-quality studies are needed to support the routine use of any pictogram-based materials with liquid medications in the clinical settings.
    KEYWORDS: caregivers; graphics; health literacy; medication adherence; medication errors; paediatrics
  6. Chew CC, Hss AS, Chan HK, Hassali MA
    Hosp Pharm, 2020 Dec;55(6):405-411.
    PMID: 33245714 DOI: 10.1177/0018578719851719
    Introduction: Medication errors are more likely to occur in chronically ill children, who are highly dependent on caregivers for medication administration. This study aimed to explore the issues related to medication safety among pediatric outpatients in Malaysia from the caregivers' perspective. Methods: This was a qualitative study conducted between May and June 2018 at a pediatric clinic of a regional referral hospital. Caregivers of children who (1) were under 6 years of age and (2) had hypothyroidism, epilepsy, thalassemia, asthma, or other chronic diseases were recruited via purposive sampling. Each selected disease was represented by at least 3 caregivers, who were identified from the medical records of their children. Face-to-face interviews were conducted with each of them, facilitated by a semi-structured interview guide. All the interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed using the thematic analysis approach. Results: A total of 15 mothers with a median age of 34 years were interviewed. Three themes emerged from the interviews: (I) actual experiences with medication errors, (II) underlying risk factors for medication errors, and (III) recommendations to improve medication safety. Several cases of administration errors, including missed doses and self-decided dose adjustment, were detected. Furthermore, the caregivers were found to have inadequate understanding of the medications in general. Conclusions: While children were shown to be consistently exposed to medication errors at home in Malaysia, the recommendations of the caregivers, including the use of written instructions and a diary, could be effective strategies to improve the out-of-hospital medication safety in children.
  7. Ang JY, Bhojwani K, Chan HK, Chan AC
    Acupunct Med, 2021 Feb;39(1):64-68.
    PMID: 32539426 DOI: 10.1177/0964528420920307
    INTRODUCTION: The objective of this retrospective study was to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of acupuncture-assisted anesthesia (AAA) in breast lump excision.

    METHODS: The medical records of all patients who underwent breast lump excision under AAA in combination with electrical stimulation at traditional acupuncture points in 2016 were examined. All of them (n = 17) received electrostimulation (2-4 Hz) using single needles inserted at bilateral LI4 and PC6. They also underwent insertion of four acupuncture needles at the lump site, which were electrically stimulated at 30 Hz frequency.

    RESULTS: All surgical procedures were successful with minimal use of analgesics and local anesthetic. The median pain score reported was 1/10 (interquartile range (IQR) = 2/10) at the first hour, and slightly increased to 2/10 (IQR = 2/10) between 24 and 48 h of the surgery. No major postoperative adverse events were documented, except for drowsiness in one case.

    CONCLUSION: AAA was found to be generally safe and effective for anaesthesia and analgesia in breast lump excision. However, a large-scale randomized controlled study is required to verify the findings.

  8. Chan HK, Hassali MA, Lim CJ, Saleem F, Ghani NA
    Pharm Pract (Granada), 2016 Apr-Jun;14(2):699.
    PMID: 27382422 DOI: 10.18549/PharmPract.2016.02.699
    BACKGROUND: Inadequacies of drug labeling have been frequently reported among Malaysian healthcare institutes, in which the Hospital Information System (HIS) is used.
    OBJECTIVE: To identify potential areas to improve the existing labels used for pediatric liquid medications.
    METHODS: This study was qualitative in nature, whereby focus group discussions (FGDs), face-to-face interviews (FTFIs), and onsite observation were used for data collection. Pharmacists stationed at three units (outpatient, inpatient and clinical pharmacy) of a tertiary hospital were targeted. Both FGDs and FTFIs were facilitated using a semi-structured interview guide, video-recorded and transcribed verbatim. All transcripts were thematically analyzed using content analysis approach.
    RESULTS: Thirteen pharmacists participated in FGDs, while five were approached for FTFIs. Data analysis resulted in four major themes: format of labels, presentation of medication instructions, insufficiency of information, and the need for external aids and education. Participants unanimously agreed on the need for enlarging font sizes of key information. Suggestions were made to use more specific instructions for administration times and pictograms to illustrate important directions. The absence of information about storage, stability and handling of liquid medications was also highlighted. While discussion mainly focused on improving drug labeling, participants consistently stressed the need for an instruction sheet and pharmacist-based, one-to-one education regarding medication instructions.
    CONCLUSION: This study provides important insights into critical shortcomings in current labeling practice, underlying the need for developing a new label that incorporates a new format, additional information and pictograms for pediatric liquid medications.
    KEYWORDS: Child; Drug labeling; Hospital; Hospital Information Systems; Malaysia; Medication Errors; Pharmacy Service
  9. Parumasivam T, Ashhurst AS, Nagalingam G, Britton WJ, Chan HK
    Mol. Pharm., 2017 01 03;14(1):328-335.
    PMID: 27977216 DOI: 10.1021/acs.molpharmaceut.6b00905
    Rifapentine is an anti-tuberculosis (anti-TB) drug with a prolonged half-life, but oral delivery results in low concentrations in the lungs because of its high binding (98%) to plasma proteins. We have shown that inhalation of crystalline rifapentine overcomes the limitations of oral delivery by significantly enhancing and prolonging the drug concentration in the lungs. The delivery of crystalline particles to the lungs may promote inflammation. This in vivo study characterizes the inflammatory response caused by pulmonary deposition of the rifapentine particles. The rifapentine powder was delivered to BALB/c mice by intratracheal insufflation at a dose of 20 mg/kg. The inflammatory response in the lungs and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) was examined at 12 h, 24 h, and 7 days post-treatment by flow cytometry and histopathology. At 12 and 24 h post-treatment, there was a significant influx of neutrophils into the lungs, and this returned to normal by day 7. A significant recruitment of macrophages occurred in the BAL at 24 h. Consistent with these findings, histopathological analysis demonstrated pulmonary vascular congestion and significant macrophage recruitment at 12 and 24 h post-treatment. In conclusion, the pulmonary delivery of crystalline rifapentine caused a transient neutrophil-associated inflammatory response in the lungs that resolved over 7 days. This observation may limit pulmonary delivery of rifapentine to once a week at a dose of 20 mg/kg or less. The effectiveness of weekly dosing with inhalable rifapentine will be assessed in murine Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection.
  10. Hoe CH, Suan MAM, Hoe CH, Tang TH, Kiew KK, Hassan MRA, et al.
    Med J Malaysia, 2018 08;73(4):260.
    PMID: 30121693
    No abstract provided.
  11. Chan HK, Soelar SA, Md Ali SM, Ahmad F, Abu Hassan MR
    Asia Pac J Public Health, 2018 03;30(2):137-146.
    PMID: 29292654 DOI: 10.1177/1010539517751312
    The current study examined how the trends in childhood vaccination refusal in Kedah, Malaysia, changed over a 4-year period (2013-2016). Data contributed by 60 public health centers were used to determine the annual incidence rates (per 1000 newborns) of vaccination refusal, and to identify the reasons for refusal among the mothers. The trend analysis revealed a 2.2-times increment in the incidence rates of vaccination refusal from 4.72 in 2013 to 10.51 in 2015, followed by a 52.2% reduction to 5.02 in 2016 ( P = .046). Besides, the proportion of mothers who refused vaccination because of religious belief reduced from 78% between 2013 and 2015 to 67.1% in 2016 ( P = .005). Overall, the finding confirms the positive impact of the educational and religious interventions introduced by the State Health Department of Kedah since January 2016; nonetheless, efforts to strengthen the existing strategies and thereby to maximize the vaccination coverage in Kedah are warranted.
  12. Chang CT, Hassali MA, Hss AS, Lee JCY, Chan HK
    Int J Pharm Pract, 2019 Dec;27(6):555-564.
    PMID: 31294496 DOI: 10.1111/ijpp.12559
    OBJECTIVES: To explore the perceived motivators, training supports and challenges to career advancement among fully and provisionally registered pharmacists (FRPs and PRPs) in the Malaysian public service.

    METHODS: Nine hundred and fifty-three pharmacists in the public service of Perak State, Malaysia, were invited for participation in an online survey that was conducted in October 2018. Based on a 5-point Likert scale, they were required to respond to 56 items, ranging from the perceived availability and importance of both motivators and training supports, the challenges to career advancement, to the awareness of the need for career planning. Their responses were subsequently dichotomized into 'agree'/'important' and 'disagree'/'not important'.

    KEY FINDINGS: Four hundred and eighty pharmacists participated in the survey, yielding a response rate of 51.2%. More than half of them agreed with the inflexibility of working time and the absence of a performance-based salary and promotion scheme. More than 80% of them also highly valued the training in both pharmacy-related areas and management. Apart from inadequate training, no specialization in pharmacy as a profession and the absence of a performance-based promotion scheme were identified as the major challenges to their career advancement. As compared with the PRPs, the FRPs had greater concern over the absence of a performance-based salary and promotion scheme, flexible working time and periodic feedback for their work performance.

    CONCLUSIONS: The findings indicate the inadequacy of the current system in providing recognition, training, feedback for work performance and a clear career pathway to pharmacists in the Malaysian public service, which warrants a change.

  13. Syed Soffian SS, Ahmad SB, Chan HK, Soelar SA, Abu Hassan MR, Ismail N
    PLoS One, 2019;14(10):e0223383.
    PMID: 31581261 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0223383
    INTRODUCTION: While Kedah has recorded the highest prevalence of diabetes among all the states in Malaysia, the information on the practice and effectiveness of disease management in public health institutions remains limited. This study aimed to evaluate the management and glycemic control of patients with type-2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) at the primary care level in Kedah.

    METHODS: All T2DM patients, who made at least one visit to any of the 58 public health clinics in Kedah during August 2016 and July 2017, were included in this study. The sample was selected from the National Diabetes Registry using the stratified random sampling method. The information on the demographic and clinical characteristics, laboratory findings and pharmacological treatment was gathered from medical records of patients. The differences in mean HbA1C levels across subgroups of each variable were tested using the general linear model. The evaluation of the appropriateness of treatment was performed based on the recommendations of the latest Clinical Practice Guidelines for T2DM.

    RESULTS: The patients (n = 23,557) were mainly female (63.4%), of Malay ethnicity (80.1%) and middle-aged (62.2%), with a mean duration of T2DM of 6.2±7.16 years. Only 15.6% of them had a HbA1C level <6.5%, and 28.6% did not have their HbA1C levels tested over the 12-month period. Yet, the underutilization of combination treatment (≥2 antidiabetic agents) and insulin in the patients with a poor glycemic control was evident. Retinopathy emerged as the most prevalent diabetes-related complication (12.6%). Along with those with a longer duration of T2DM, the patients who were younger, female and of Indian ethnicity were found to generally have a poorer glycemic control.

    CONCLUSION: This study discloses the suboptimal T2DM management at the primary care level in Kedah, which warrants a statewide plan for improvement.

  14. Tan KC, Chang CT, Cheah WK, Vinayak CR, Chan HK
    Med J Malaysia, 2019 Jun;74(3):215-218.
    PMID: 31256176
    INTRODUCTION: This study was designed to determine the influence of bariatric surgery on changes in the body mass index (BMI), and the control of diabetes, hypertension and dyslipidaemia among obese patients in Malaysia.

    MATERIALS AND METHODS: This was a retrospective cohort study undertaken at a public tertiary care centre in the state of Perak, Malaysia. Information of obese patients who underwent bariatric surgery was obtained from their medical records. The changes in the BMI, HbA1C, systolic and diastolic blood pressure (SBP and DBP), and lipid levels between three months before and after the surgery were assessed.

    RESULTS: The patients (n=106) were mostly Malay (66.0%), had at least one comorbidity (61.3%), and had a mean age of 40.38±11.75 years. Following surgery, the BMI of the patients was found to reduce by 9.78±5.82kg/m2. For the patients who had diabetes (n=24) and hypertension (n=47), their mean HbA1C, SBP and DBP were also shown to reduce significantly by 2.02±2.13%, 17.19±16.97mmHg, and 11.45±12.63mmHg, respectively. Meanwhile, the mean total cholesterol, triglyceride and low-density lipoprotein levels of those who had dyslipidaemia (n=21) were, respectively, lowered by 0.91±1.18mmol/L, 0.69±1.11mmol/L and 0.47±0.52mmol/L.

    CONCLUSION: The findings suggest that in addition to weight reduction, bariatric surgery is helpful in improving the diabetes, hypertension and dyslipidaemia control among obese patients. However, a large-scale trial with a control group is required to verify our findings.

  15. Wan Ibrahim NR, Chan HK, Soelar SA, Azmi AN, Mohd Said R, Abu Hassan MR
    Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 2020 Apr 01;21(4):1057-1061.
    PMID: 32334470 DOI: 10.31557/APJCP.2020.21.4.1057
    BACKGROUND: While the world witnesses an increasing trend of young-onset colorectal cancer (CRC), the information regarding the impact of age on CRC is limited in Malaysia. This study aimed to compare the incidence, clinic-demographic profiles and survival rates of CRC between patients above and under 50 years of age in northern Malaysia.

    METHODS: This was a registry-based, cross-sectional study. All the CRC cases reported by 18 hospitals to the National Cancer Patient Registry - Colorectal Cancer (NCPR-CC) between January 2007 and December 2017 were included in the analysis. The patients were categorized by age into the above-50 and under-50 groups. The changes in the age-standardized incidence and mortality rates of both the age groups were determined using the time-series analysis, and the impact of age on the mortality risk was assessed using the Cox regression analysis.

    RESULTS: Of the 6,172 CRC patients enrolled in the NCPR-CC, 893 (14.5%) were in the under-50 group. As compared with their older counterparts, the patients in the under-50 group were more likely to be female, be of Malay ethnicity, be non-smokers, have a family history of CRC, and present late for treatment. The age-standardized incidence and mortality rates of CRC in the under-50 group remained stable over the years, while a decreasing trend was clearly seen in the mortality rates of CRC in the above-50 group (p=0.003). Nevertheless, the two age groups also did not differ in the mortality risk (adjusted hazards ratio: 1.10; 95% CI: 0.90, 1.36).

    CONCLUSION: Young-onset CRC constituted a considerable proportion of CRC cases in Malaysia. However, in contrast with the findings of most studies, it demonstrated neither an uptrend in age-standardized incidence rates nor a higher mortality risk. Our findings suggest the need to upscale and lower the recommended age for CRC screening in Malaysia.

  16. Halim NAAA, Chang CT, Chan HK, Hassali MA, Nouri A
    Malays J Med Sci, 2018 Nov;25(6):141-147.
    PMID: 30914888 MyJurnal DOI: 10.21315/mjms2018.25.6.15
    The aim of this cross-sectional study was to evaluate the knowledge and attitudes concerning antibiotic use and resistance among members of the local community in Pulau Pinang, Malaysia. The study was conducted among 326 residents of the Jelutong district, Pulau Pinang state, from August to October 2013. A self-administered five-part questionnaire was used for the data collection. The respondents exhibited inadequate knowledge of antibiotics in general. Approximately 80% of them did not know the indications for antibiotic use, while 76% believed that antibiotics were useful in terms of resolving viral fever. Additionally, 52.6% believed that antibiotics could be used to treat all types of infections. Inadequate knowledge of antibiotic resistance was also evident among the respondents, since 72.9% of them did not agree that resistant bacteria can spread from human or animal to human, while 32% were unaware that bacteria can develop resistance to antibiotics. More than 60% of respondents admitted that they took antibiotics in order to accelerate their recovery from illness, while 34.8% claimed that they only stopped taking antibiotics when they felt better. The findings hence indicate that most respondents had poor knowledge and attitudes concerning antibiotic use and resistance, which suggests the need for more community-based educational campaigns designed to improve the public's knowledge and attitudes regarding antibiotics.
    Study site: General public, Jelutong district, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
  17. Tamin NSI, Razalli KA, Sallahuddin SN, Chan HK, Hassan MRA
    Cancer Epidemiol, 2020 Dec;69:101829.
    PMID: 32998070 DOI: 10.1016/j.canep.2020.101829
    INTRODUCTION: The immunochemical fecal occult blood test (iFOBT) has been widely used for opportunistic colorectal cancer (CRC) screening in average-risk individuals seeking care from public health clinics in Malaysia. This study provides a 5-year outcome evaluation of such a practice.

    METHODS: The findings for a few outcome indicators, ranging from the iFOBT uptake to the CRC and polyp detection rates, were generated from the data contributed by 583 public health clinics between 2014 and 2018. The trends in their changes were also evaluated.

    RESULTS: The iFOBT uptake constantly increased over the years (p < 0.001), totaling 2.29 % (n = 127,957) as at 2018. Nearly 10 % (n = 11,872) of the individuals screened had a positive test result. Of those who underwent colonoscopy (n = 6,491), 4.04 % (n = 262) and 13.93 % (n = 904) were found to have CRC and polyps, respectively.

    CONCLUSION: An uptrend in the CRC screening uptake was witnessed following the introduction of the iFOBT in public health clinics.

  18. Md Said R, Mohd Zain R, Chan HK, Soelar SA, Rusli N, Nasir NH, et al.
    J Viral Hepat, 2020 Jun;27(6):638-643.
    PMID: 31997563 DOI: 10.1111/jvh.13267
    Approximately 2.5% of the Malaysian population is currently living with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Yet, the public awareness of the disease is limited and under-screening remains a major challenge. With the support of international non-for-profit organizations, the Ministry of Health in Malaysia recently launched a one-week nationwide hepatitis C screening campaign in conjunction with the World Hepatitis Day. For the first time, the rapid diagnostic test (RDT) for HCV screening was introduced in public health institutions. This campaign involved 49 hospitals and 38 health clinics across the country, targeting the adult general population with unknown HCV infection status. Of the 11 382 participants undergoing the RDT, 1.9% were found to be positive for hepatitis C antibody (anti-HCV) and were referred to on-site medical departments or nearby hospitals for confirmatory testing and treatment. Men, the Malay ethnic group, intranasal and injection drug users and ex-prisoners were shown to have higher odds of being positive for anti-HCV. In addition to serving as a model to educate the general population about the disease, this campaign demonstrates the feasibility of decentralizing HCV screening, particularly by promoting the use of RDT, and linking the HCV-infected patients to care in Malaysia.
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