Ministry of Health Malaysia Addresses ICOPH 2019

Ministry of Health Malaysia Addresses ICOPH 2019

Datuk Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah, Director-General, Ministry of Health Malaysia addressed the 5th International Conference on Public Health (ICOPH 2019) which attracted almost 250 participants from 35 countries, with the theme “Promoting Global Health Equity towards a Sustainable Future.” He spoke on the topic “Global Surgery for All – Leaving No One Behind.”

Director General stated that “In 2015, the Lancet Commission on Global Surgery produced the landmark report called Global Surgery 2030, describing the role of surgical and anaesthesia care in improving the health of individuals and the economic productivity of countries. Most of the world’s population does not have access to surgical care, and access is inequitably distributed. It is estimated 5 billion people lack access to safe, affordable surgical and anaesthesia care when needed, and 143 million additional surgical procedures are needed each year to save lives and prevent disability; particularly in low and middle income countries.”

He further elaborated that “A WHO study found that more than 90% of deaths from injuries occur in low-and middle-income countries but the poorest third of the world’s population receives only 3.5% of the surgical operations undertaken worldwide. Many hospitals in these countries do not have a reliable supply of clean water, oxygen, electricity and anaesthetics, making it extremely challenging to perform even the most basic surgical operations. We have also witnessed how affordability and acceptability of local community towards the care provision makes a big difference in the outcome of care, especially by bringing the care to them in their own community, no matter how remote it is.”

According to him, that has been proven to work. The amazing efforts done in the Malaysian Field Hospital in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh is an example of how providing universal access to safe, affordable surgical and anaesthesia care when needed for the world’s most vulnerable will save lives and prevent disability. Equity, Accessibility, Affordability, Quality of Care, Acceptability are all crucial parts of providing safe surgery, and it is only fair to say that there is no Universal Health Coverage without addressing Global Surgery and Safe Surgery.

Datuk Dr. Noor Hisham had a discussion with the conference organizing committee after his keynote speech and this was the 2nd time, he joined with the Public Health Conference organized by TIIKM in Malaysia.