IMU is one of 17 institutions of higher learning conducting the Bachelor of Pharmacy course
in Malaysia. The White paper on pharmacy student professionalism by the Task Force of the American Pharmaceutical Association Academy of Students of Pharmacy together with the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy Council of Deans mentioned10 essential traits of a professional, recommending their early development. Since the beginning of theIMU Bachelor of Pharmacy (BPharm) (Hons) course in July 2004 on Registration Day, IMU has adopted the concept of developing professionalism in the pharmacy student from the very first day of university, by having the White Coat Ceremony where the entire class takes the Pledge of Professionalism (adapted from the Task Force) against the “Code of Conduct for Pharmacists and Bodies Corporate” by the Pharmacy Board of Malaysia in the presence of the Senior Director of the Pharmaceutical Services Division of the Ministry of
Health, Malaysia and the President of the Malaysian Pharmaceutical Society (MPS). Throughout their 4 years in IMU, the pharmacy students are exposed to various aspects of professionalism in different subjects in their curriculum. On 23rd April 2012, when the fifth cohort of BPharm students received their final examination results, “Pharmacy Professional Day” was launched. The graduating students took the Oath of a Pharmacist (adapted from the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy’s Oath with slight amendment). Talks by alumni and speakers from MPS aimed to facilitate the transition of the new graduate to working life as a pharmacist.
There has been a significant decline in maternal mortality from 540 per 100,000 live births
in I957 to 28 per 100,000 in 2010. This decline is due to several factors. Firstly the introduction of the rural health infrastructure which is mainly constructing health centres and midwife clinics for the rural population. This provided the accessibility and availability of primary health care and specially, antenatal care for the women. This also helped to increase the antenatal coverage for the women to 98% in 2010 and it increased the average number of antenatal visits per women from6 in 1980 to 12 visits in 2010 for pregnant women. Along with the introduction of health centres, another main feature was the introduction of specific programmes to address the needs of the women and children. In the 1950s the introduction of Maternal and Child Health (MCH) programme was an important
step. Later in the late 1970s there was the introduction of the High Risk Approach in MCH care and Safe Motherhood in the 1980s. In 1990, an important step was the introduction of the Confidential Enquiry into Maternal Deaths (CEMD). Another significant factor in the reduction is the identification of high risk mothers and this is being done by the introduction of the colour coding system in the health centres. Other factors include the increase in the number of safe deliveries by skilled personnel and the reduction in the number of deliveries by the Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs). The reduction in fertility rate from 6.3 in 1960 to 3.3 in 2010 has been another important factor. To achieve the 2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDG) to further reduce maternal deaths by 50%, more needs to be done especially to identify maternal deaths that are missed by omission or misclassification and also to capture the late maternal deaths.
Climate change is a product of human actions. The extreme events such as flash floods, droughts, heat waves, earthquakes, volcano eruptions and tsunamis seen in the world today are the result of indiscriminate human intrusion into the environment. Vulnerable countries and populations are the most affected by these climatic events. This places a burden on the resources of these countries. The Kyoto Protocol is a milestone in environmental management and the impetus created by it must be maintained by carrying out the much needed research into appropriate mitigating measures that will alleviate the climate
change impact globally. A paradigm shift is needed in addressing the associated risks on human health to assess socioeconomic determinants and the related impacts on disease burden. Some wealthy nations emphasize economic benefits and downplay sustainability goals, health and equality. However the rising cost of energy is beginning to influence their outlook towards this issue. The implications on economics, human health and wellbeing are implicit. In order to strike a balance between disadvantaged and privileged nations, many
international agencies are spearheading various research agenda to improve adaptation programmes on effects of changing climatic conditions on health. Malaysia too has such programmes initiated under its 5-year development plans.
Developing and adult worms of the human lymphatic filarial parasites (Wuchereria bancrofti,
Brugia malayi, and Brugia timori) are located mainly in the lymphatic system and occasionally in aberrant sites like subcutaneous and conjunctival cysts. Lymphatic
pathology ranging from dilatation of lymphatic channels and lymphangiectasia are detected on ultrasonography in apparently healthy, amicrofilaraemic, but filarial antigen positive individuals in endemic areas. Microfilariae are distributed in various organs and may be associated with immune mediated pathology at these sites; tropical pulmonary eosinophilia is characterized by intense immune mediated destruction of microfilariae in the lung parenchyma. In the spleen and other sites, nodular granulomatous lesions can occur where microfilariae are trapped and destroyed. The finding of Wolbachia endosymbionts in all stages of lymphatic filarial parasites has provided new insight on the adverse reactions
associated with anti-filarial chemotherapy. Inflammatory molecules mainly lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-like molecules released from endosymbionts on death of the
parasites are largely responsible for the adverse reactions encountered during anti-filarial chemotherapy. Prenatal tolerance or sensitization to parasite derived molecules can immune-modulate and contribute to both pathology and susceptibility/resistance to infection. Pathological responses thus depend not only on exposure to filarial antigens/infection, but also on host-parasiteendosymbiont factors and to intervention with antifilarial treatment. Treatment induced or host mediated death of parasites are associated with various grades of inflammatory response, in which eosinophils and LPS from endosymbionts play prominent roles, leading to death of the parasite, granulomatous formation, organization and fibrosis. The non-human primate (Presbytis spp.) model of
Brugia malayi developed for the tertiary screening of anti-filarial compounds has provided unique opportunities for the longitudinal study of the pathology associated with lymphatic filariasis. The pathology in this non-human primate model closely follows that seen in
human lymphatic filarial infections and correlates with clinical evidence of lymphatic pathology as detected with ultrasonography. These studies also show that successful treatment as detected by loss of motility and calcification of worms on ultrasonography is associated with reversal of early dilatations of lymphatic channels.
Microalgae are important biological resources that have a wide range of biotechnological
applications. Due to their high nutritional value, microalgae such as Spirulina and Chlorella are being mass cultured for health food. A variety of high-value products including polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), pigments such as carotenoids and phycobiliproteins, and bioactive compounds are useful as nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals, as well as for industrial applications. In terms of environmental biotechnology, microalgae are useful for bioremediation of agro-industrial wastewater, and as a biological tool for assessment and monitoring of environmental toxicants such as heavy metals, pesticides and pharmaceuticals. In recent years, microalgae have attracted much interest due to their potential use as feedstock for biodiesel production. In Malaysia, there has been active research on microalgal biotechnology for the past 30 years, tapping into the potential of our
rich microalgal resources for high-value products and applications in wastewater treatment and assessment of environmental toxicants. A culture collection of microalgae has been established, and this serves as an important resource for microalgal biotechnology
research. Microalgal biotechnology should continue to be regarded as a priority area of research in this country.
This review explores the digestibility of lactose by Malaysians, and the value of milk and other milk-derived products as sources of appropriate nutrition for Malaysians. Increased calcium intake through consumption of milk is an effective mechanism for increasing calcium uptake from the diet and thereby minimising the risk of development of osteoporosis in later life. Detailed information about rates of lactose intolerance, and adaptation to dietary lactose and its consequences for Malaysians, will help in the formulation of dietary advice, and improve commerial food manufaturing practice and Government policy
directed to the minimization of rates of osteoporosis, which presents a substantial morbidity risk to elderly female Asians in particular.
Nurse education is undergoing a process of transition. Nurses worldwide are working towards
achievement of higher levels of education and training through an improved education system. Current trends and innovations in nursing education are emerging to prepare more nurses and to deliver education to students across geographical boundaries while taking into
consideration their work and family responsibilities. The current trends and innovations in nursing education range from full time face-to-face interactions to distance education programmes. Teaching approaches such as blended learning, online or e-Learning have provided nurses with an avenue for continuing education for development and progression in their career pathways. Every nurse aspires to reach her highest potential. While the current trends and innovations in nursing education provides the flexibility for nurses to continue learning and upgrade their professional qualifications, there are issues to be considered in catering to the needs of the bottom billion nurses. An exploration of related issues will include views from different perspectives, such as that of the institution/provider, instructor/facilitator and student/learner involved in the development and implementation of the related education programmes.
It is estimated that more than 1.1 billion adults and 115 million children worldwide are overweight. In Malaysia, the second and third National Health and Morbidity Surveys in 1996 and 2006 respectively reported a three-fold increase in obesity prevalence among adults, surging from 4.4% to 14% over the 10-year period. Evidence of rising childhood obesity has also emerged. The aim of this article is to gather evidence from food availability data for an insight into population shifts in dietary patterns that may help explain the rising obesity in this country. The nutrition transition was delineated in conjunction with the epidemiologic transition in order to explain the convergence of dietary practices, and the high prevalence of obesity and diet-related non-communicable diseases worldwide. The Food Balance Sheets for Malaysia from 1967 to 2007 were used to provide estimates and trends for the availability of foods and calories. Evidence is generated that indicate at least two major upward shifts in the dietary patterns in Malaysia in the past 4 decades.
These shifts have led to the rising availability of calories from animal products, and from sugar and sweeteners. These major dietary shifts, together with increased sedentariness, constitute core public health challenges faced in addressing the country’s obesity and noncommunicable diseases (NCD) conundrum.
Background: Many proteins released by cells to the blood and other fluids are glycoproteins. One set of glycoproteins carry the ABO blood group determinants and glycoproteins have been shown to be vital in determining the structure and organization of plasma membranes. There is evidence suggesting their important role in cell-to-cell contact, adhesion, hormone interaction and vital transformation. Differences in proteins and glycoproteins in the different human blood groups may influence the invasion process of Plasmodium falciparum. The objectives of the study were to determine whether there are any changes in proteins and glycoproteins of red blood cells upon infection by P. falciparum and whether these protein and glycoprotein changes differ in the various ABO blood groups.
Methods: A Malaysian strain of P. falciparum was cultured in vitro in red blood cells from A, B, O and AB blood groups. Protein and glycoprotein profiles of uninfected and P. falciparum- infected red blood cells from the different human ABO blood groups were analyzed by SDS-PAGE. For protein bands, the gels were stained with Coomassie blue while glycoproteins were visualized following staining of gels using GelCode ® Glycoprotein Staining Kit.
Results: Cell membranes of P. falciparum infected erythrocytes from different ABO blood groups have different glycoprotein profiles compared to uninfected cells. All the infected samples showed a prominent protein band of molecular weight 99 kDa which was not present in any of the uninfected samples while a 48 kDa band was seen in four out of the seven infected samples. The erythrocyte cell membranes of A and AB blood groups showed different glycoprotein profiles upon infection with P. falciparum when compared to those from blood groups B and O.
Conclusion: The two glycoproteins of molecular weights 99 kDa and 48 kDa should be further studied to determine their roles in the pathogenesis of malaria and as potential targets for drug and vaccine development.
The aim of the study was to assess the prevalence of Sarcocystis infection in wild and peri-urban rodents in some states in Peninsular Malaysia. The thigh muscle from these rodents were formalin preserved, sectioned and stained with hematoxylin and eosin and examined under light microscopy. Of the 146 muscle tissue examined only 73 were positive for Sarcocystis infection.
Morphological identification showed the presence of some new morphological types to be present. Different species of Sarcocystis were seen in the sections but more extensive studies are needed to identify them to species level.
Melanosis coli denotes brownish discoloration of the colonic mucosa found on endoscopy
or histopathologic examination. The condition has no specific symptom on its own. It is a fairly frequent incidental finding of colonic biopsies and resection specimens. The pigmentation is caused by apoptotic cells which are ingested by macrophages and subsequently transported into the lamina propria, where lysosomes use them to produce lipofuscin pigment, not melanin as the name suggests. Melanosis coli develops in over 70% of persons who use anthraquinone laxatives (eg cascara sagrada, aloe, senna, rhubarb, and frangula), often within 4 months of use. Long-term use is generally believed to be necessary to cause melanosis coli.The condition is widely regarded as benign and reversible, and disappearance of the pigment generally occurs within a year of stopping laxatives. Although
often due to prolonged use of anthraquinone, melanosis can probably result from other factors or exposure to other laxatives. It has been reported as a consequence of longstanding inflammatory bowel disease. Some investigators suggested that increase in apoptosis of
colonic mucosa by anthraquinone laxatives increased the risk of colonic cancer. Recent data, including those from large-scale retrospective, prospective and experimental studies, did not show any increased cancer risk.
The relationship between anatomy and surgery has been historic and epic, spanning many centuries, complementing each other in medical education and being independent as well as interdependent in many ways. However, curricular changes that have happened globally in recent years with the introduction of several contemporary styles of medical teaching have subtly downplayed the importance of anatomy in medicine, allowing young doctors with poor knowledge of anatomy to become surgeons. With a whimsical introduction that metaphorically hints at the strained relationship that exists between anatomy and surgery, the article attempts to explore the ‘anatomy’ of anatomy itself, examining its origins in recorded ancient history, evolution along the centuries in tandem with surgery and its current status in medical education.
The discovery of antibiotics had been one of the most significant events in the history of medicine. Antibiotics had saved countless number of lives and had contributed significantly to the health of mankind.The emergence of resistance is however a major threat to the continued usefulness of antibiotics. There are now strains of bacteria which are resistant to virtually all available antibiotics and these strains are increasingly being encountered in clinical practice. The development of new agents had not kept pace with resistance and it is unlikely that there will be major breakthroughs in the near future. The world needs to conserve and prolong the useful lives of the existing agents. This can only be achieved through good antibiotic stewardship programmes. As antibiotic resistance is a global threat all major stakeholders have to work together to meet this challenge.
Chinese medicine is one of the most famous traditional medicines in the world with a glorious and long written history of at least 2000 years. Recently, acupuncture and the use of other herbal medicine are being gradually accepted globally. In 2011,the International Medical University (IMU) started the Chinese Medicine programme which is the first of its kind in a western medicine university in Malaysia.The author introduced the background of Chinese medicine and the curriculum of the Chinese Medicine programme established in IMU, analyzed the situation regarding the quality of lectures given by internal and
external lecturers in this programme and also discussed on ways to integrate western and traditional medicine in IMU or in Malaysia. The launching of Chinese medicine in IMU is a great step in the development of IMU and also an important step in the development of medical education in Malaysia or even in South-east Asia.
This paper traces the evolution of PBL in the International Medical University over a period
of twenty years; since its inception in 1992 till 2012. It is a record of the reasons for the evolution, the people involved and the strategies adopted. The PBL in IMU has metamorphosed over the years from a paper-based complete case history into its present form of staggered release of information, paper-based or otherwise (videos, web-based, newspaper cuttings, debates). Strategies to improve student and facilitator buy-in, strengthening of facilitator training, adoption of PBL templates, innovations to improve student participation are discussed.
Background: The World Health Organization recommends the practice of exclusive breastfeeding of infants for the first 6 months after birth. The objective of present study was to estimate the prevalence and the factors influencing exclusive breastfeeding. The perceptions of mothers about breastfeeding in an urban slum area of Western India were also enquired.
Methods: This cross sectional study was conducted over six months amongst 200 mothers of children in the age group of 6 – 12 months attending the growth and development clinic in one of the urban health centres. Data was collected using a pre-tested, structured questionnaire on breastfeeding practices. Factors related to exclusive breastfeeding were analysed using bivariate and multivariate analysis.
Results: Prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding reported by the participants was 61.5%. Having a male child, maternal age < 30 years, level of education of mother parity, receiving infant feeding advice, initiation of breastfeeding within one hour of birth and administration of colostrum to the baby were associated with exclusive breastfeeding (p
Background: Circumcision though not mentioned in the Quran is believed to be a compulsory practice among the Muslims. In Malaysia, although there are several methods of circumcision available and traditional circumcision is still popular.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey was carried out in a small fishing village of Kedah to study the methods of circumcision available to the villagers. This was followed with an in-depth interview conducted with ‘Tok Mudim’, a practitioner of traditional method of circumcision.
Results: Forty three of the eligible 71 subjects participated in the study giving the response rate as 60.5%. The most common age for circumcision was 9 years old. Despite private clinics being the most common place of circumcisions, there was an increasing number of boys going to the ‘Tok Mudim’ for circumcision. A Mass Circumcision Ceremony is traditionally practiced. The ‘Tok Mudim’ described the procedure in detail and was of the opinion that the reason traditional method is still popular was because of the fear of injections and impotency among the parents. Most common complication faced by the ‘Tok Mudim’ was bleeding and infection.
Discussion and Conclusion: Till the community shifts entirely to using modern medicine, there is a need to integrate traditional practitioners into the system. Training the ‘Tok Mudim’ to use modern instruments and aseptic techniques should be considered.
Objective: To evaluate the factors that contributes to the decision for termination of pregnancy in prenatally diagnosed fetal anomaly cases.
Methods: A retrospective analysis of all cases of prenatally diagnosed fetal anomaly who delivered between 1 January 2007 and 30 June 2009 in two tertiary hospitals in Malaysia.
Results: A total of seventy-two (72) prenatally diagnosed pregnancies with fetal anomalies were identified. Mean maternal age was 29.8 ± 5.5 years and mean parity 1.47 ± 1.8. 70.8% of patients were ethnic Malay, 15.3% Chinese and 12.5% ethnic Indian. 22 (30.6%) fetuses were lethally abnormal. The overall pregnancy termination rate was 29.2%. 50% of pregnancies with lethally abnormal fetuses were terminated compared to 20% of pregnancies with non-lethal abnormality (p
Background: Problem based learning (PBL) is a student-centered curriculum delivery tool believed to promote active student participation. Though the PBL is student-centered, the facilitator plays an important role in maintaining the integrity of this system by providing balance in group interaction and discussion of learning issues. In International Medical University (IMU) one of the strategies to ensure the quality of the facilitators was the pre and post PBL meetings. This study aimed to gauge its usefulness in ensuring the quality of PBL facilitation.
Method: The questionnaire to study the perceptions of PBL facilitators on the pre and post PBL meetings included close ended questions on pre and post PBL meeting’s attendance and their scored opinion in improving PBL facilitation skills, open ended questions inviting suggestions to improve these meetings and PBL facilitation in IMU as a whole and self-evaluation as an effective PBL facilitator using a six point Likert scale to a list of statements.
Results: 84.2% of facilitators agreed the meetings were beneficial. Self-evaluation of their facilitator effectiveness showed on average ratings of seven out of ten indicating strong confidence in facilitating skills. Suggestions ensuring facilitator quality included content expert briefing in pre PBL meetings and student appraisals of facilitators given weightage in staff appraisal.
Conclusion: Pre and post PBL meetings enhanced facilitator comfort with the triggers, adding to their confidence and provided a venue to obtain feedback on the triggers.
The importance of incorporating medical (or health) informatics into the education of medical students and medical practitioners is being increasingly recognised. The advances in information and communication technology and the pervasion of the Internet into everyday life have important implications for healthcare services and medical education. Students and practitioners should learn to utilise biomedical information for problem solving and decision making based on evidence. The extensive introduction of electronic health information systems into hospitals and clinics and at the enterprise level in Malaysia and elsewhere is driving a demand for health professionals who have at least basic skills in and appreciation of the use of these technologies. The essential clinical informatics skills have been identified and should be incorporated into the undergraduate medical curriculum. It is recommended that these be introduced in stages and integrated into existing programmes rather than taught as a separate module. At the same time, medical schools should support the integration of e-learning in the educational process in view of the numerous potential benefits.