The National Heart Association of Malaysia (NHAM) has partnered with AstraZeneca Malaysia to launch ‘Spotlight on Heart Failure’, a public educational website aimed at increasing awareness of heart failure among Malaysians, especially among patients and high-risk groups. The website is designed with the needs of at-risk and diagnosed patients in mind, offering easy-to-understand information about the condition, and useful tools to help them manage their condition better. Some of the tools include a Symptoms Recognition Quiz, Symptoms Checker, and the Risk Checker, which are available in downloadable PDFs that the patients can bring to their ensuing medical appointments.
NHAM is a national association with the mission to promote quality cardiovascular care through education and research, and to influence health care policies. It has contributed to teaching and training in cardiology and was also responsible for stimulating research in the area. It has organized several teaching seminars in echocardiography, coronary angioplasty, heart failure, cardiac pacing and electrophysiology.
According to one NHAM’s 2019 report, heart failure accounts for about MYR 785 million (USD 190.3 million) in economic costs for Malaysia, including direct costs at MYR 48.7 million (USD 11.81 million) and indirect costs at MYR 740 million (USD 179.39 million). Heart failure patients in the country also commonly live with other health conditions, such as hypertension (71%), diabetes (59%), ischemic heart diseases (55%), and chronic kidney disease (30%), which can contribute to poorer outcomes.
According to AstraZeneca Malaysia’s Country President, Dr Sanjeev Panchal, the global health care company is committed to enhancing patient education and shaping health policies on disease awareness by engaging with the government, medical associations and health care practitioners on patient-centric initiatives to improve outcomes for society. Its partnership with NHAM on the educational website will meaningfully support the efforts to elevate heart failure as a priority, enhance prevention and improve patient management.
(Sources: CodeBlue; Spotlight on Heart Failure; National Heart Association of Malaysia)