The importance of Health and Nutrition is a prevalent topic in our day and age. With this, the Swiss-Malaysian Business Association (SMBA) decided to organise an interesting and fun event about Health and Nutrition.
It was a late Tuesday evening and attendees from various organisations came together at the Roche office in The Pinnacle, Sunway to participate in this event. As they arrived, attendees were ushered into a cosy looking pantry where they enjoyed some snacks and hot drinks as introductions were exchanged.
Attendees were then ushered into a small boardroom, where Mr. Mathis Heuss, the Finance Director of Roche Malaysia kindly welcomed them and promptly introduced the first speaker for the day, Dr. Dalilah Kamaruddin of the National Cancer Society Malaysia (NCSM), a registered charity body established in 1966. Besides being the Head of the Cancer and Health Screening Centre, Dr Dalilah is also a compassionate woman who strives to create awareness on the risk of cancer. Dr. Dalilah began her presentation by introducing the range of services offered by NCSM which includes a resource and wellness centre, a cancer health and screening clinic, a nuclear medicine centre, a cancer treatment centre, and a children’s home of hope.
Dr. Dalilah then asked all the attendees to stand up as she addressed questions to the floor on their level of awareness in cancer, or if anyone had a family history of cancer. She instructed the attendees to sit only if they answered ‘yes’ to her questions. It was an eye-opening outcome as at the end, everyone was led to a seated position. Dr. Dalilah proved her point on the increasing number of cancer patients. She asserted that “1 in 4 Malaysians have risk of developing cancer, and every 12 minutes a person is diagnosed with cancer in Peninsula Malaysia”.
Next, Dr. Dalilah proceeded further into her presentation by providing facts and figures on the prevalence of cancer, stating that women are at higher risk of developing the disease. “Ignorance is bliss” she said bluntly, emphasising on the Malaysian mentality that cancer is a taboo and many people assume that they won’t have cancer, particularly if they are men. Dr. Dalilah posed an important question during her presentation: “What does cancer mean to you?” she asked. Comments such as death and reality were made, and Dr. Dalilah answered succinctly: “Cancer is like fire, once it starts it’s hard to stop”. Realisation was displayed in nods of agreement from the attendees.
The risks of developing cancer were then covered and Dr. Dalilah strongly stated that everyone should know their own bodies well. She related a story of a mother finding a lump on her 8-year old daughter, which turned out to be cancer of the uterus. Dr. Dalilah stressed on the importance of early detection as it will guarantee an 85% cure.
To conclude, Dr. Dalilah ended her presentation with types of breast screening methods. She invited SMBA’s own Andre Keller to be a model as she guided him on the methods of manually feeling for lumps or changes in breasts.
Mr. Mathis thanked Dr. Dalilah and promptly invited forward the second speaker, Mr. Kenny Goh, Medical Manager of Roche Malaysia.
Kenny began his session by explaining what makes Roche distinctive. “Roche is the leader in pharma and diagnostic,” he explained, while showing a chronological history of cancer treatments from years 1850, where the only option was surgery, followed by radiation in 1900, chemotherapy in 1950, and finally, targeted therapy introduced by Roche in 1997. Kenny explained that targeted therapy does not harm normal cells as it only targets specific molecules in tumour cells.
Next, Kenny talked about Roche’s biggest drug for breast cancer called ‘Herceptin’. “Patients remain 8 years disease free with Herceptin” he explained. In 2018, Roche will introduce the first cancer immunotherapy, a new revolutionary treatment that targets T-cells.
Kenny ended his talk by sharing Roche’s next CSR activity, Roche Children’s Walk 2016 which will be held on the 16th of June 2016 and where all proceeds will go to the children of Malawi and to the Sarawak’s Children’s Cancer Society.
The final speaker for the day was Mr. Xavier Payrard, Country Business Manager for Nestlè Infant Nutrition. Xavier first showed the attendees a short movie on the beginnings of Nestlè, to celebrate its 150 years of innovation. “Nestlè has its own halal centre worldwide and produces over 500 halal products” shared Xavier.
Established in 1912 in Malaysia, Nestlè has come a long way in its mission to nurture healthier generations. Xavier went on to explain the research that is being conducted at Nestlè’s Research Centre (NRC) to develop solutions for consumers. NRC focuses on five research programs which include food safety, healthy kids, healthy ageing, growth and development and prevention of childhood obesity. “We are looking at certain types of protein that can prevent obesity and also benefit different ages” said Xavier.
Xavier continued to share some information on Nestlè’s Healthy Kids Programme, a programme that started in August 2010 with a primary focus on creating awareness of good nutrition in curriculum. This programme is a collaboration with governments and nutrition societies, and has a global reach with involvement from more than 80 countries.
Nestlè aims to provide superior products with appropriate nutrition catering to consumer needs. Xavier explained the different ranges of Nestlè products such as the Adult nutrition range for surgery, renal patients and blood sugar management for diabetics. There is also a specialised paediatric range. Xavier shared that tests are being done to create appropriate nutritional products that don’t compromise on safety, quality and taste. Xavier rounded up his talk by discussing Milo’s evolution and improvement with its added minerals and vitamins. He also brought to light the efforts that are being carried out in schools to increase awareness on being physically active.
Mathis then concluded the round of talks by presenting Swiss knives as tokens of appreciation to Dr. Dalilah and Kenny Goh, and a Royal Selangor piece of merchandise to Xavier Payrard.
The attendees were then ushered to the back of the boardroom for light refreshments including beer, wine, and a variety of finger food.