Initiative aims to flatten coronavirus curve

(From left) MSU endowment and communication senior vice-president Datuk Rosli Yusof, vice-chancellor Prof Puan Sri Dr Junainah Abd Hamid and its president Prof Tan Sri Dr Mohd Shukri Ab Yajid at the launch of PaCE.

Management and Science University (MSU) has come up with a range of efforts to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic with the objective of ensuring that response should not only be swift and decisive, but also united in purpose for a return to some form of normalcy.

Among the range of Covid-19 management efforts initiated at MSU is the Partnership for Covid Elimination or PaCE.

Spearheaded by MSU Foundation, the university and its medical centre (MSUMC), PaCE is a comprehensive initiative in support of flattening the Covid-19 curve.

A five-pillar programme comprising an awareness campaign, vaccination drive, sustainable development goals (SDGs), community engagement and multi-disciplinary research, PaCE plots a possible path to a better future for all.

A foremost component of PaCE is an initiative to raise the general understanding of Covid-19 and its management.

The focus is also on the importance of vaccination in reducing Covid-related deaths and disrupting the disease’s progression.

A series of knowledge-sharing sessions by public health experts on webinars and YouTube Live will run right up to December.

The line-up of speakers include Datuk Dr Rohaizat Yon, Datuk Dr Christopher Lee and Datuk Dr Khalid Ibrahim — all of whom have been directly involved since the breakout of the pandemic in Malaysia.

Intensive campaigns across the university, its colleges and MSUMC communities are aimed at increasing awareness at the national level.

A second pillar to PaCE involves the setting up of vaccination centres (PPV), by increasing the vaccination capacity at MSUMC and the university’s Chancellor Hall as government-appointed PPV to ProtectHealth, district health centres and the Higher Education Ministry.

Since March 17, MSUMC, being a private specialist hospital in Shah Alam, has vaccinated more than 30,000 people — including medical frontliners, senior citizens and the differently abled.

The introduction of PaCE supports Malaysia’s national immunisation programme and the participative roles of MSU and MSUMC in the Public-Private Partnership Covid-19 Industry Immunisation Programme (Pikas).

The role of higher education institution vaccination çentres has been facilitated by a collaboration between the Health Ministry and Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia.

Vaccination administration and capacity from a thousand a day to 4,500 are being expanded via drive-through kiosks and at-home vaccinations.

A third and equally important pillar is the corporate sponsors programme.

An undertaking demanding substantial resources, PaCE aims to raise support from all quarters — industry, the public, alumni, students and staff.

Echoing the objective of MSU Cares Fund that was launched at the start of the movement control order in May, MSU yet again has the B40 low-income group in mind.

Almost 400 alumni, students and staff volunteers have been gathered through MSU Cares to distribute contributions and goods to those economically impacted by the pandemic.

PaCE’s fourth pillar is to attain inclusive Good Health and Well-Being as well as Partnership for the Goal in delivering SDGs 3 and 17. This will see MSU Cares volunteer engagement of the most affected group among the nation’s displaced communities.

Given the university’s laudable reputation with regard to SDG projects such as the MSU Sg Damansara National River Trail Project, encouraging support is anticipated from industry as well as university partners.

Finally, the fifth pillar is the varsity’s research initiatives in response to the effects of Covid-19.

Corporate-sponsored funding for areas of research would include public health issues, socio-economy and utilisation of technology.

Multidisciplinary research on Covid-19 will be undertaken by researchers and students alike, with grants to be made available across MSU Centres of Excellence; among which are MyCell or MSU Clinical Centre of Excellence, MSUiCARE or MSU Centre of Excellence for Vision and Eyecare, and MyCAM or MSU Complemen-tary and Alternative Medicine. Underlying sponsorships of these research activities, extend beyond financial value and are wholesome efforts to contribute as a caring community.

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