2nd Women’s Health Summit: Women’s Health Is Nation’s HealthMenu
In conjunction with the Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Pink October, Pantai Hospital Kuala Lumpur (PHKL) successfully organised its Second Women’s Health Summit on Oct 14 with an overwhelming participation from more than 200 prominent women and men from diverse backgrounds.
Aimed at creating ‘Dialogue for Action’ and themed ‘Women’s Health is Nation’s Health’, this year’s summit was supported by the Ministry of Health as well as the Ministry of Women, Family & Community Development in addition to various industry bodies, civil society and other health proponents at Pullman Hotel Kuala Lumpur, Bangsar.
Some of the key session topics included ‘I am Not Alone’ – a session that discussed ways of coping with the fear of recurrence that cancer patients and their family members face and ways of looking good for post-cancer treatment through breast prostheses, grooming etc.; and ‘Moving Beyond Breast Cancer to Wellness’ – a discussion on rebuilding intimacy and reclaiming sexuality for cancer survivors to get back into their normal lives.
“The Women’s Health Summit is an exclusive platform for women to deliberate and dialogue on realising their health goals, meeting their professional and personal commitments with vigour, and achieving success in everything that they do as productive resources of the country. While the Government is committed to support the agenda of women’s health as well as their active representation on corporate boards, Malaysian women must do their part by taking their health seriously and recognising their potential to contribute to the well-being of their families as well as the nation”, asserted YBhg. Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, Principal Patron of National Cancer Society Malaysia (NCSM) in her keynote address.
The Second Women’s Health Summit, with special focus on Breast Cancer, saw participation from many credible practitioners, experts, thought leaders and prominent women, including YB. To’ Puan Dr. Safurah Binti Jaafar, Director of Family Health Development Division, Ministry of Health; YBhg. Dato’ Dr. Mohammed Azman bin Dato’ Aziz Mohammed, Deputy Chief Executive of Social Security Organisation; YBhg. Datuk Fadilah Baharin, Director General of Department of Standards Malaysia; Dr. Komathy Thiagarajan, Medical Officer, National Population & Family Development Board, Ministry of Women, Family & Community Development; Ms. Ranjit Kaur, Board Member of Reach to Recovery International & President of NCD Alliance Malaysia; Ms. Carol Yip, Founder & CEO of Abacus For Money; Ms. Salamiah Hassan, Malaysia’s well-known 80s Singer and breast cancer survivor amongst others.
“With over 3 million women battling breast cancer today, everywhere you turn to, there is a mother, a sister, or a friend who has been affected or diagnosed with breast cancer. According to a media report, the incidence of cancer in Malaysia has increased at a tremendous rate from 32,000 new cases in 2008 to 37,400 in 2012. The number is expected to rise to 56,932 by 2025 if there is no action taken. In my 20 years of practice and attending to hundreds of patients, I recognise that there continues to be poor awareness on the need for early detection as well as on the support system available for the patients”, highlighted Dr. Patricia Gomez, Organising Chairperson of Second Women’s Health Summit.
This year, the hospital donated RM40,0000 in total (with RM10,000 each) in the form of breast prostheses for post-mastectomy survivors to National Cancer Society of Malaysia (NCSM), Breast Cancer Welfare Association Malaysia (BCWA), Persatuan Kanser Network Selangor & Wilayah Persekutuan (KanWork), and NCD Alliance Malaysia. These non-governmental, non-profit organisations are active in combating breast cancer by providing emotional, practical and information support to those diagnosed with cancer, their families and friends through its cancer care programmes and services nationwide.
“In keeping with the National Health Agenda, PHKL continues to adopt ‘inclusive’ health strategies to support community health by way of institutionalised rural health outreach programmes, community medical check-ups, and fundraising events such as this Summit. Since its inception, under the auspices of Pantai Group’s ‘Wear it Pink’ Campaign, the Women’s Health Summit has been raising funds to support various health initiatives led by various credible foundations and institutions that are committed to improving the health and well-being of women”, shared En. Anwar Anis, CEO, Pantai Hospital Kuala Lumpur.
Up to date, PHKL has conducted numerous no-cost digital mammograms funded and supported by various parties to include the Ministry of Health, Women’s Ministry (LPPKN) and other NGOs for underprivileged women. Known and recognised as a community private healthcare provider, PHKL has been actively involved in educating women through Breast Cancer Guide Books, Health Camps, and Interactive Sessions Road Shows with our Consultant Breast Surgeons and Breast Care Centre Team.
“I strongly believe that it is extremely crucial for women to be well aware of their rights for basic healthcare. I am glad that the Summit is providing a unique platform to educate women and men on the kind of social and financial support that can be expected from the public and private hospitals, government body, insurance companies, health support groups, professional circles, financial institutions, etc., not only at the time of diagnosis but beyond that as well,” concluded Dr. Patricia Gomez.
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