Consumers Association of Penang

Giving voice to the little people...since 1970

Malaysians don't sleep enough and suffer health problems

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The Consumers Association of Penang calls on consumers to inculcate good sleeping habit as getting enough sleep is the key to good health.

According to a regional survey Malaysians get only 6.4 hours of sleep on average. This leads to a sleep gap of 1.6 hours short of the recommended 8 hours of sleep. Mobile devices and spending time online is one of the leading causes of this sleep deprivation.

CAP: Ban talcum powder and talc-based products

The Consumers Association of Penang calls on the Ministry of Health to ban talcum powder and talc based products.

Talc is similar to asbestos in composition, it’s found in baby powder, eye shadow, blush, and deodorant. Talc is linked to ovarian cancer and respiratory problems.

Even though talc is widely used in cosmetics around the world, the possibility of asbestos-free talc being carcinogenic has prompted the European Union to ban talc-based cosmetics altogether.

Accord pharmacists their rightful role to dispense medicines

The healthcare care industry is supported by an array of disciplines each with its own training curriculum, standards and job descriptions – be it nursing, physiotherapy, dietetics, pharmacy or medicine. Each discipline supports the other and it is the seamless integration of the various disciplines that leads to optimal health care support for consumers and patients.

However the universal norm that doctors diagnose and prescribe while pharmacists audit and dispense is amiss in Malaysia and the notion to accord pharmacists their rightful duty to dispense medicines has always been met by contentious objections from the doctors.  But what is most bizarre and beyond comprehension is the Ministry of Health’s stand on the issue in that they would not support dispensing separation. On what basis does the Ministry of Health deny a profession of its fundamental role?

Depression: World’s leading disability

Highest loss of productivity from mental health disorders.

A recent report  released by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on ‘Depression and Other Common Mental Disorders estimates that in 2015 there were over 1.1 million cases of depressive disorders in Malaysia[1].  The report further states that depression is a major contributor to suicide deaths accounting for 800,000 or 1.5% of all deaths globally.  If we extrapolate this estimate locally, in 2015 out of the over 155,000 deaths recorded in Malaysia[2]  about 2300 could have been due to suicide. Unfortunately there are no published statistics on suicides in Malaysia.

Depression is ranked by WHO as the single largest contributor to disability. Globally the total number of people with depression was estimated at 322 million in 2015, equivalent to 4.4% of the global population.  The total estimated number of people living with depression increased by 18.4% between 2005 and 2015.

Heavy school bags take toll on children’s backs

heavy-school-bagsThe Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) has been calling on the education authorities for some years now to address the problem of heavy school bags.

In this University Putra Malaysia study carried out by Tamrin SBM and his colleagues, it was found that as high as 58.3% of the schoolchildren studied reported having low back pain associated with carrying heavy school bags.