AstraZeneca and local partners bring ‘Protect Your Heart Now’ campaign

The virtual campaign aims to control the rising cases of NCDs through public awareness and to drive the digitisation of healthcare


ASTRAZENECA (AZ) Malaysia has joined hands with DoctorOnCall, National Heart Institute (IJN) and Prudential Malaysia to bring its digital heart awareness campaign, “Protect Your Heart Now”.

This initiative is held in conjunction with World Heart Day on Sept 29 to control the rising cases of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in Malaysia through public awareness and to drive the digitisation of healthcare.

The event would be held on Sept 11 and 12, virtually, and participants can access information concerning heart health and how to mitigate risks before they lead to dire consequences.

AZ country president Dr Sanjeev Panchal (picture) said the firm remains committed towards playing a vital role in supporting Malaysia’s battle against NCDs by improving the country’s healthcare system apart from its medicine.

“In line with the Malaysian government’s call for innovation and the move towards digital healthcare, this collaboration illustrates our ongoing commitment to accentuate digitalisation in healthcare with the introduction of digitally-enabled patient pathways.

“We hope that this event will further accelerate the public’s use of innovative digital healthcare solutions, increase healthcare access and ultimately, improve health outcomes for themselves,” Dr Panchal added.

He also stressed that they need to raise awareness regarding this issue digitally so that more people would understand about health and the benefits of taking care of themselves.

“What we are adding in this specifically on heart health, which is causing the biggest problem, is people would be getting access to different types of healthcare tips and how to take care of the heart as well as how to take care of all of the activities, which are very important.”

Dr Panchal believes that by raising awareness through a microsite, it would help them to bring specific information which is needed especially for the heart and NCDs.

“Being specific of what is needed, because you need specific information, and that could be relayed and other digital channels,” he said.

Prudential Assurance Malaysia Bhd CEO Lim Eng Seong said it is an honour for IJN and AstraZeneca to be a part of this campaign.

“In Malaysia, heart disease has been identified as the No 1 cause of death of lifestyle and unhealthy food choices aggravated by the pandemic lockdown have increased the risk of more Malaysians developing NCDs at times like this, which is why I hope that this private partnership will help to reduce the increasing burden of NCDs on our national healthcare system,” he said.

Lim hopes that with Prudential’s collaboration in this initiative, they would be able to reach more Malaysians in helping them to access affordable healthcare.

“Initiatives such as this, to work with good partners like AZ, IJN, DoctorOnCall, allows us to bring the latest information, the latest knowledge to our policyholder to our cost customer in as many ways as possible, whether it’s face-toface event, whether is education, for instance, a virtual event like this, which is a very innovative way for us to go about it,” he added.

Meanwhile, IJN CEO Datuk Dr Aizai Azan Abdul Rahim said there are many screening programmes provided by both public and private hospitals.

“In general, I think everyone should have at least a complete medical dissemination once reaching the age of 40, or at least the minimum most of us will have, is a medical check-up before you start a new job, or when you buy an insurance policy,” he stressed.

It is also easier to treat a patient when they are in an early stage of the disease since many NCDs are asymptomatic.

DoctorOnCall CEO and co-founder Maran Virumandi suggested that with Malaysia being a multiracial nation, it is also important for the information to be in different languages.

“I think that it’s time for us to extend the information beyond just Bahasa Malaysia, perhaps to Mandarin, as well as Tamil and any other languages that are predominantly spoken or conversed,” he said.

This would allow the message to reach more people and they would also be able to relay the right information in terms of preventive health care.

In turn, this makes people participate in eating healthy, working on their fitness and taking care of their mental health.

The campaign is available through or from the Pulse Prudential mobile app.