Conference explores the issues of healthy organs for healthy ageing.
ABOUT 300 delegates from the healthcare sector are set to attend the 7th Malaysian Conference on Healthy Ageing to discuss the various challenges of healthy ageing.
To be held from April 3-5 at the Berjaya Times Square, Kuala Lumpur, the event is organised by the Malaysian Healthy Ageing Society (MHAS) in collaboration with Perdana University.
Held biennially, the conference this year, themed Healthy Organs for Healthy Ageing, will feature renowned international and local speakers, workshops, forums and symposiums discussing current challenges of healthy ageing of the human organs.
“We need to realise that every organ is important for healthy living” emphasises MHAS president Dr Lim Poh Hin.
“As with previous conferences organised by the Malaysian Healthy Ageing Society, our goal is to educate professionals and the lay public on advances in medical knowledge in order to foster healthy ageing among all Malaysians.
“We seek to emphasise the holistic approach to healthy ageing, touching on physical, emotional and spiritual aspects, both as an individual and as a society during the conference,” he said.
According to the National Statistics Department Population Projections 2010-2040 document, the population aged 65 and over is projected to increase more than three-fold from the current figures.
“As Malaysians age, many of us will be badly affected by diseases which ravage our organs,” says Dr Lim. “With the affluent, modern lifestyle that we enjoy, diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and heart disease will take their toll on us individually, and on our society as a whole.”
The society also emphasises early intervention in managing health. “The saying, ‘Prevention is better than cure’ holds true,” he says.
The conference speakers include both local and international experts who will share their expertise in their various fields. These include clinical and health specialists, medical practitioners, speech therapists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, nurses, gerontologists, medical social workers, dieticians, pharmacists and healthcare policymakers.
One of the topics that will be given special emphasis at the conference is cancer. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) fact sheet on cancer, cancers are among the leading causes of death worldwide, accounting for 8.2 million deaths in 2012.
“Lung, liver, stomach, colorectal and breast cancers cause the most cancer deaths each year. More than 60% of the world’s total new annual cases occur in Africa, Asia, and Central and South America. These regions account for 70% of the world’s cancer deaths. It is expected that annual cancer cases will rise from 14 million in 2012 to 22 million within the next two decades,” the fact sheet stated.
“These figures are alarming,” says Dr Lim. “Asia is one of the regions with the highest new annual cases, and we need to look at prevention.”
The conference will include a plenary lecture titled “The Emperor of All Maladies (Cancer): Can we truly prevent it?” by Singapore General Hospital consultant medical oncologist Dr Ravindran Kanesvaran.
A workshop on “Evidence-Based Nutrition for Cancer” will also be held by Dr Ravindran and University Malaya Medical Centre dietician Tah Pei Chien, discussing dietary approaches for cancer prevention, treatment and complications.
Other highlights include a workshop on sexual health and ageing by Prof Hilde de Vocht from the Research Centre for Health, Social Work and Technology, Saxion University, the Netherlands, a workshop on the “ABCs for Continence” by consultant urologist Dr Warren Loh, and a workshop on cognitive assessments by Singaporean consultant geriatrician Dr Anupama Roychowdhury and Hong Kong Polytechnic University Department of Rehabilitation Sciences associate professor Dr Kenneth Fong.
For more information and to register for the conference, visit the MHAS website at www.healthyageing.org or call 03-20705600 / 012-3646109.