On 20 November, the 27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27), that took place in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt concluded with a historic decision to establish and operationalise a loss and damage fund, particularly for developing countries that are most vulnerable to the climate crisis. We asked experts to highlight some of the big wins and losses at COP 27, as well as what they signify for Malaysia and the rest of the world.
A study carried out by a group of researchers at Universiti Malaya, microbubble aeration has shown to have profound positive effects on the growth of biofloc cultures and farmed shrimp. Biofloc Technology is the new “blue revolution” in aquaculture for sustainable aquaculture by using minimum resources like feed, water and land.
The World Health Organization (WHO) celebrates World Mental Health Day annually with a global campaign on the 10th of October. Each year, the gist of the message is clear: we need to raise awareness about mental health, and mobilise efforts to support people living with mental health difficulties. This is absolutely necessary as awareness is required to encourage help-seeking behaviours and consequently, increasing the likelihood of people to reach out for mental health services.
September is World Alzheimer's Month, an international campaign to raise dementia awareness and challenge stigma. Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia among older adults. According to the World Health Organization, Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia ranked as the seventh leading cause of death globally in 2020. Currently, Alzheimer's Disease Foundation Malaysia estimated there are about 50,000 people in Malaysia with this disease.
The Eco-Heart Index, as one would imagine, uses the shape of the heart to indicate the quality of the water, in which each shape indicates a different situation for that particular river. A full-plotted heart shape shows that the water is clean whereas broken-hearted shapes such as ‘thin heart’, ‘rabbit ear’, ‘finger’ and ‘diamond’ show the different degrees of water pollution - more 'broken hearts' indicate that these sites are developed and populated by humans.
Inhaled or aerosol vaccine delivery which mimics the natural route of COVID-19 infection, has attracted significant attention for the management of the disease and several clinical trials have been registered. The advent of inhalation as a potential route for vaccination of COVID-19 has a number of plusses compared to conventional administration. Nonetheless, several challenges need to be addressed.
In recent days and weeks there have been statements made about moving from a Covid-19 pandemic state to an endemic phase by the end of October 2021. The argument for this is higher adult vaccination rates that will be achieved nationwide by that time period. So we need to ask this question: Is Malaysia ready to move to an endemic phase by the end of October 2021?
The COVID-19 pandemic is a testament to how important a good healthcare system can lead to a speedy recovery towards the wellbeing of the nation. Undoubtedly, this pandemic has various facets when it comes to impact. Nevertheless, it is significant for us to venture into the realm of the virus and epidemiological measures in curbing the spread of the disease.
We must not be complacent about the threat of the 5th Wave in Malaysia, especially due to the Delta variant. Our pandemic is barely under any control despite 4 weeks of a lockdown. We need to support each other and see the nation through these next few difficult months.
Recently, Malaysia has been recording an increased number of COVID-19 cases categorised by either the Variant of Concern (VOC) or Variant of Interest (VOI). VOCs or VOIs are mutant forms of the COVID virus (SARS-CoV-2), which are more virulent and infectious than its predecessor Wuhan strain. Dr Liyana explains the difference between VOI and VOCs in Malaysia.