The King is proud with the tabling of the Control of Tobacco Products and Smoking Bill

The Bill seeks to ban the use, possession and sale of cigarettes and vape products to those born after 2007

by AUFA MARDHIAH / pic BERNAMA

YANG di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah urged Malaysian to support the study that the Health Ministry (MoH) will be carrying out on the Control of Tobacco Products and Smoking Bill 2022.

“Recently, I received a report from the prime minister regarding the Control of Tobacco Products and Smoking Bill that has been tabled to the Parliament which has already been decided to be studied in more depth. It is a noble effort to take care of and determine the health of the next generation to be more protected and more guaranteed for a better level of health.

“We need to emphasise and educate young people to have the best health, to apply good practices to ensure things that can affect health can be reduced and help the government to reduce the expenses in hospitals; which is the main aim and objective and I believe the minister has given serious consideration,” His Majesty said during the launching ceremony of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Complex today.

The Bill seeks to ban the use, possession and sale of cigarettes and vape products to those born after 2007.

After operating in different locations across Malaysia previously, NIH now gathers six institutes and two offices under one area in Setia Alam.

NIH was developed in line with the 7th Malaysia Plan (1996-2000) to improve the operation and preserve the function and role of MoH’s health research institutes.

Among the six institutes, the Institute of Medical Research (IMR), which was established in 1900, focuses on conducting research including biomedical fields such as infectious diseases, cancer, allergies and immunology.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, IMR researchers have successfully completed not only the reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction diagnostic test protocol, but also the MyR-Number System to generate the daily value of infectivity of the Covid-19 outbreak in real time.

On the other hand, the Institute of Health Management plays a role in strengthening MoH’s organisational structure. Overcrowding and underutilised public hospitals in Malaysia research from IHM has led to the “Hospital Cluster” initiative. To date, there have been 42 cluster hospitals across the country.

Meanwhile, the Institute for Health Systems Research (IHSR) focuses on researching the accessibility, quality and acceptability of health care services. Since 2002, IHSR has been designated as a collaboration centre for the World Health Organisation (WHO) for health systems research/health quality improvement.

Other than that, the Health Behaviour Research Institute came out with the “Behavioural Insights Unit” by using the behavioural change science approach to formulate effective policies for the wellbeing of the people in the future.

Moving forward, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar said NIH plans to improve research on precision medicine, vaccines, traditional and complementary medicine, birth cohorts and the National Quality Improvement Programme.

“NIH will also take advantage of the diversity of available data by developing an ecosystem for Health Big Data Analytics for research purposes through MoH’s digitalisation strategic plan 2021-2025. I also hope that NIH will become a health institute whose research is internationally recognized,” he said during the launch.

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