Malaysia Signs Global Declaration On Parkinson's Disease
KUALA LUMPUR, April 11 (Bernama) -- Malaysia became a signatory of the Global Declaration on Parkinson's disease today, reaffirming the government's commitment towards the sufferers.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said the government was fully aware of the sufferings of the Parkinson's community.
"Awareness programmes which highlight the plight of Parkinson's disease patients is an important first step towards improving care and support for them.
"I hope the signing of the Global Declaration on Parkinson's disease today and celebration of World Parkinson's Day 2010 will signify the beginning of a better tomorrow for the Malaysian Parkinson's community," he said after signing the declaration, here, Sunday night.
Also present were the CEO of Yayasan Budi Penyayang Datuk Lela Mohd Ali, expert on Parkinson's brain surgery and consultant neurosurgeon Prof Tipu Aziz and Negeri Sembilan Parkinson's Society president Gharizah Hashim.
Liow said, with the signing of the declaration, Malaysia had now joined 14 other countries such as Australia, India, Canada, Switzerland and the United States which had signed the declaration.
The declaration calls on global leaders and healthcare providers to take strong and decisive action in implementing effective management of strategies to enable patients to live a better life.
Liow in his speech said patients in the country had access to appropriate care and treatment at both government and private hospitals.
"Parkinson's disease is a brain disorder that mainly affects elderly people. It leads to slowness of movement, uncontrollable trembling of the hands and body stiffness.
"There is presently no treatment that can either cure or slow down the progression of Parkinson's disease and patients have to endure physical and mental disabilities for their entire live," he said.
At a press conference later, Liow said it was estimated that 15,000 to 20,000 Malaysians suffered from Parkinson's disease.
He said the figure was expected to rise to 25,000 to 30,000 by 2020 and at least 1,500 new cases occurred each year.
"In terms of specialist manpower, the currently proposed norm for Malaysia is one neurologist for every 250,000 people.
"With an estimated population of 28 million in 2009, we need 112 neurologists. But presently we have only 52 in the country," he said.