MIC Youth has launched a nationwide, three-in-one campaign to encourage more Malaysians to become organ donors and to fight the dengue menace.
The campaign, which kicked off at SJK(T) Kajang recently was also aimed at educating people, particularly the young, on healthy eating habits and on the importance of hygiene.
The wing’s medical and national disaster bureau head Dr Kamaljeet Singh said the campaigns would be carried out in schools to encourage more students and parents to participate.
“We have identified a number of schools where we would organise these campaigns.
“We have started off in the central region and will move on to other areas,” he said at the launch of the nationwide campaign.
More than 100 students and their parents attended the launch.
Dr Kamaljeet Singh said there was a need to encourage Malaysians to become organ donors as the response thus far was poor.
As of Jan 31, only 245,164 people had pledged to donate their organs, representing 0.85% of the population.
This is despite the fact that there were 18,300 patients on the waiting list for organ transplant, mostly needing kidneys.
“We need to educate the people on this because there are many myths associated with it.
“We intend to cultivate the idea that an organ donor is no less a hero as there is no better gift than the gift of life,” he said.
Asked if any of those present at the launch had signed up as donors, Dr Kamaljeet Singh said the response was overwhelming.
“This makes us happy because people are beginning to see the plus points on organ donation and volunteering to become donors,” he said.
Dr Kamaljeet Singh added that there was a pressing need to educate the people on the dengue scourge with the number of cases being reported being at an all-time high.
“Dengue cases have increased by four folds to 18,000 so far this year against the same period last year. We need to take heed of this because 36 lives have been lost,” he said, adding that doctors from the Tuanku Ja’afar Hospital in Seremban were invited to speak in Tamil to allow the students to better understand the dengue menace.
The participants were also given booklets in Bahasa Malaysia and Tamil on ways to combat dengue.
He added that a team from the Health Ministry’s Food Safety and Quality Division also spoke on the importance of healthy eating habits.
“The participants were given the finer points on food preparation, food handling, the need to practise hygine at all times as well as the necessary diet to remain healthy,” he said, adding that a blood donation campaign was also held at the sidelines of the campaign in collaboration with the National Blood Bank.