NUMed to help tackle dementia in Malaysia
NEWCASTLE University Medicine Malaysia (NUMed) has helped secure funding for dementia research in Malaysia.
The funding was part of a wider grant application led by Newcastle University UK to establish a global healthcare unit to tackle dementia in Malaysia, Tanzania and India.
The UK government’s Department of Health awarded over RM10mil for the global project and NUMed will coordinate the research across Malaysia.
“We at NUMed believe in common goals to solve common problems, so leading research into dementia in Malaysia will allow us and our partners to help find answers to common disease processes that affect the Malaysian population,” said NUMed’s Dean of Research Dr Michaela Goodson.
NUMed was established with the aim of becoming the leading South-East Asian centre of academic medicine.
“Central to this role is giving back to the community and that is why we are trying to help improve the quality of life for people in Malaysia in the future,” continued Dr Goodson.
The funding is part of a UK government initiative to assist developing countries in the global endeavour for better health.
The UK’s National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) held an open research competition for institutions to apply for funding for projects to help promote global health.
The successfully funded project entitled “Dementia Prevention and Enhanced Care (DePEC)” was led in the UK by Prof Louise Robinson from the National Innovation Centre for Ageing, UK at Newcastle University.
It investigates current social, policy and service set ups for people with dementia in Malaysia, Tanzania and India.
The Malaysian research is led by NUMed’s Dr Goodson and brings together Prof Daniel Reidpath and Prof Pascale Allotey from Monash University Malaysia and Dr Tan Maw Pin from University of Malaya.
“We are delighted to have secured funding to help fight dementia in Malaysia,” said NUMed CEO and provost Prof Roger Barton.
“NUMed aims to support Malaysia’s aspiration to become a global healthcare player and this is a great example of us helping the nation achieve its goal.”
Prof Barton explained that age, obesity and diabetes are big risk factors and Malaysia’s ageing population will likely see an increase in dementia.
“It is important for us to understand it more and the issues that surround it,” concluded Prof Barton.
Recognised for its excellence in research, Newcastle University aims to be a global leader in ageing research and innovation and is already known for helping to raise the profile of ageing as one of the major issues facing communities worldwide.
In 2015, NUMed hosted a panel discussion conducted by Channel NewsAsia on the topic of “Caring for Ageing Asia” for its Perspectives series.
The event brought together experts from across fields including Newcastle’s Prof Robinson and the Malaysian Health Ministry’s deputy director-general Datuk Dr Jeyaindran Sinnadurai.
Prof Robinson is Newcastle University’s director of Institute for Ageing and professor of Primary Care and Ageing.
She said: “The Newcastle University team will bring together expertise in public health and primary care, with global epidemiological research, to create a NIHR Global Health Research Group on dementia prevention and enhanced care.”
As part of its Official Development Assistance, the UK government has pledged over £120mil (RM676mil) to help developing countries improve the health of their populations through research funding to tackle health, environmental, economic and social issues pertaining to those countries.
Projects are encouraged to be interdisciplinary with impact, addressing as many relevant contributing factors to a problem as possible.
Newcastle University and its Malaysian campus hope to achieve more of these prestigious awards in the next five years.
Newcastle University UK has established an international branch campus in Johor to provide its undergraduate degrees in Medicine (MBBS) and Biomedical Sciences (BSc).
Both programmes offer opportunities for periods of study in the UK.
A one-year Foundation Certificate in Biological and Biomedical Sciences is also available, the successful completion of which will lead to progression to the MBBS or BSc (Hons) Biomedical Sciences programme.
All programmes of study are equivalent to those of Newcastle’s UK-based provision, and lead to the award of the same degrees.
By choosing to study at NUMed Malaysia, students will obtain a reputable UK qualification, from an internationally recognised university, at a cost significantly lesser than that of studying in the UK.
■ For more information, look out for the advertisement in this StarSpecial.