Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The "Go Red" campaign

I read with interest the launch of the "GO-RED CAMPAIGN " by the wife of DPM yesterday. Many statistics were regugitated. It's accuracy is in great doubt. To the best of my knowledge, there was no community survey to gather data. It could be that they were basically admission data from the Ministry of Health hospitals, or from the Institute Jantung Negara.
If that be so, then the data will be very skewed and bias, reflecting those who had sought treatment. 45% of females above 50 yrs with heart disease would seemed to be very high.

I am not sure whether this data came from the CIA. In the NST article the following phrase is telling...

Yet, only two per cent of the United States National Institutes of Health budget is allocated to prevention.

It will be good to remember that last year, the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology, co-sponsored the American Go-Red campaign. Interesting, that we are following the Americans so well. We are surely good followers but without the facts and the infrastructure to see the campaign through.

Obviously, it is good to raise the level of awareness of heart disease. We are all for raising awareness, and that's why this blog exists. Scaring people is another thing altogether. I think it may not be a good long term strategy. The better way would have been to educate the public with well collected facts.

It is also interesting to note that the initiative for this campaign, a so called national campaign, was not publicised among GPs and cardiologist. My reading of the article did not pick up on the presence of either the President of the National Heart Foundation or the President of the National Heart Association of Malaysia (NHAM), although it appears the advisor of the campaign is a council member of the NHAM. Most notably absent was the Minister of Health and the DG of Health.

It would have made sense that for the campaign to reach down to the masses and doctors, getting the cardiologist involved. This would have seemed quite the natural approach. Is there some "kiasu" politics in this?

It is good to highlight the problem of heart disease among females, because females tend to have rather more severe disease when they present and are often missed and not given standard cardiac treatment at the opportune time. As I have posted earlier, I noted that females do live longer dispite their so called higher CVS disease incidence, and often present late, they still live longer.

Something is very amiss. I would like to wish IJN/DPM wife, a very successful "Go-Red Campaign", but I sincerely hope that they have female public and patient in mind, and not another private agenda. I also certainly hope that they are not made to be dupes by third parties.

Here's what really smells like yesterdays fish...

1) The author of the article in the NST is credited as follows

Rajen M. is a pharmacist with a doctorate in Holistic Medicine. He is a director of the Malaysian Herbal Corporation and a CEO of a group of companies in alternative healthcare.

He doesn't use the title "doctor" in the article by-line. There's certainly a Rajen M with a similiar profile here that's not so reluctant to use the term doctor.

2) A search on the go-red domain name owner (what a trail of bread crumbs) shows that the name is owned by someone with an email address in alterni.com. Alterni is the corner shop at the same row as New Paris SS 2. It also specialises in "holistic medicine"

3) What smells most like fish is that a visit to the site shows us ads for a product named "Pristin". If you use firefox like me then you will see what is known as a site icon. Notice how the icons for Pristin and Go-Red are identical.

4) A search into both go-red and pristin turns up that they both sit on the IP address This means an apparent campaign by a bunch of people with seeming bona fide motives turns out to be sponsored by a corporate effort and sits on their server.

5) The two websites referenced at the base of the article www.womenheartfoundation.org and
www.hearthealtywomen.org were not found. Maybe we typed them wrongly into our browser. Can anyone try and let us know?

To sum up: No doctors of note or big guns from the ministry, a domain name owned by a pseudo-medical alternative medicine site, a domain hosted by a fish oil vendor and the article written by Rajen M who also wrote "Your Health/Alternative Medicine: Heart disease stalking the women" in the NST. While the original is gone you can look for the google cache version.

Someone please join the dots and tell us what is going on.


dobbs said...

There is a Women's Heart Foundation http://www.womensheartfoundation.org/ so perhaps the url was mis-spelled.

view from the fareast said...
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huajern said...

Before NST, Rajen M was spouting his pseudo-science in the Star.