Research into equine therapy

Prof Aini (second from left) and Dr Zabidi (second from right) exchange documents after the signing ceremony.

Prof Aini (second from left) and Dr Zabidi (second from right) exchange documents after the signing ceremony.

UNIVERSITI Putra Malaysia (UPM) and Perdana University signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate and enhance research in equine therapy.

“We have a School of Occupational Therapy where horses are used as a form of rehabilitation treatment for people who have suffered strokes, have cerebral palsy or who are autistic.

“It has been proven that during the rehabilitation process, when a patient is placed on a horse, the movement of the horse speeds up the patient’s recovery.

“This is new in Malaysia and we feel this will be a good chance for UPM and Perdana to work together and carry out research on it as there isn’t much data on this,” said Perdana University vice-chancellor Prof Dr Zabidi Azhar Mohd Hussin.

Dr Zabidi said the co-branding with UPM will not only provide breakthroughs in research but also benefit the community at large.

He said the universities expect to start working together on this by January 2019.

UPM vice-chancellor Prof Datin Paduka Dr Aini Ideris said the horses at the university’s large Equestrian Unit are mainly used for sports and training.

She said UPM students can be attached to Perdana University’s hospital and vice versa, once UPM’s hospital is up and running.

Dr Zabidi explained that Perdana University has two medical faculties.

The Perdana University Graduate School of Medicine (PUGSOM) is the first medical school in Malaysia to offer the four-year graduate entry medicine programme for those aspiring to be doctors.

It prepares students to sit for the United States Medical Licensing Examination.

The other option is the Perdana University and Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (PU-RCSI) School of Medicine. This provides education and training so that graduates meet the future healthcare needs of Malaysia.

PU-RCSI provides the only Irish medical programme that may be completed entirely within Malaysia.

“It’s students from the PU-RCSI who will mostly be involved with UPM through our MoU, and vice versa.

“Recently, the Irish government has made it possible for students who finish the five-year medical degree programme to work in Ireland and Europe,” he said

Dr Zabidi said he would bring the fact that the two universities are working closely under the MoU to the attention of the Irish government. Prof Aini said the MoU is a long term and significant collaboration which will help UPM to further progress.