KUALA LUMPUR: Research into the use of larva to treat diabetic wounds has saved more than 5,000 patients from limb amputations, said Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye (pic).
He said that 90% of the 6,000 patients who were treated with maggot debridement therapy were saved from having their limbs amputated.
"Groundbreaking research is important, as it could improve the well being and health of Malaysians," he said after launching the Institute for Medical Research (IMR) Open Day on Tuesday (Oct 9).
In May, IMR Entomology expert Dr Nazni Wasi Ahmad was awarded the Dr Lee Jong-Wook Memorial Prize for Public Health during the 71st World Health Assembly for his research into insects that led to the therapy.
Dr Lee also urged the public to support the Malaysian Stem Cell Registry, which is managed by the Allergy and Immunology Research Centre at IMR by being a donor.
Last month, it was reported that 18-year-old Muhammad Afif Zulfiqar had recovered fully from leukaemia after being treated with a blood stem cell transplant in 2013 from MSCR volunteer donors, he said.
The history of biomedical research in Malaysia started in 1900 with the setting up of the Pathology Institute by the British.
Then, scientific research was targeted at prevention and treatment of beri-beri and malaria.
The Pathology Institute is now known as the IMR.