By Dhivyan Silvaraj   Recently on 18th May, 2018,  the Malaysian National Heart Institute or Institut Jantung Negara (IJN) Kuala Lumpur surpassed yet another milestone by being the first hospital in Asia to perform  a minimally invasive procedure used to treat peripheral artery disease.   Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a common circulatory problem in which narrowed arteries reduce blood flow to your limbs usually caused by plaque build-up (atherosclerosis). It narrows the arteries that lead to the head, organs and limbs, most commonly the legs, thus do not receive enough blood flow to keep up with the demand. PAD … Continued

The Official Media Launch of ‘Moodigo’

Pfizer Malaysia & Partners Launch Smart Mobile App for Mental Health & Mental Health Awareness Campaign   By Dhivyan Silvaraj   Pfizer Malaysia and partners recently launched an app ‘Moodigo’   – A new smartphone app that heralds an innovative way for Malaysians to monitor their mental health. The mobile app launch coincided with the unveiling of “#EVERYBODY IS AT RISK” – a 2018 Community Awareness Campaign on Mental Health led by Pfizer Malaysia, in collaboration with Malaysia Psychiatric Association (MPA) & Malaysian Mental Health Association (MMHA).   On 18th of April 2018, along with the Mental Health Awareness Campaign 2018, … Continued

Vishalatchi Arunagini

   This article was written by Amal Mohamud, a Canadian intern with Challenges Media.   Vishalatchi Arunagiri was working as a peer specialist leader at the Malaysian Mental Health Association when I  interviewed her.  She shared her life with  Schizophrenia which  is a brain disorder that affects the way a person behaves, thinks, and sees the world. Today at the age of 23, Vishalatchi is an honorary mental illness advocate.   At the age of 19 she suffered schizophrenia which  took her three years to come out of the closet and speak of her illness. Growing up Vishalatchi states “I … Continued

First Aid for Mental Health

          Everyone can help their loved ones if they notice they might have mental health issues with the Mental Health First Aid programme called  AEGE. This programme was headed by Betty Kitchner and Anthony Jorn. While this programme is not available in Malaysia yet, the Malaysian Mental Health Association (MMHA) runs a two day intensive course on understanding mental illness which provides knowledge to equip first aiders of mental health to carry out their roles. However, it is important to note that the first aid programme is not to help one diagnose or treat mental illness, rather it is … Continued


Mental Health Landscape In Malaysia, mental health issues are a rising problem. Ten years ago, ten percent of the population has mental illness. Today, that number has increased to thirty percent. However until now, there are not many personal stories about mental illness in mainstream media, hence mental issues are still relatively unknown despite its rising numbers. Additionally, mental health for children is rather neglected. Current statistics put the number of children with mental health issues at 12 percent with the actual number be much more than represented. Furthermore, the ratio of mental healthcare professionals to the population is very … Continued

Ignorance Is No Bliss For People with Parkinson’s disease

Being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease is no less being given the “death sentence” as patients of this incurable disease find themselves becoming “invisible” to the world. The society’s refusal to understand the anguish and frustrations of people with Parkinson’s disease makes matters worse. The lack of support and persistent ignorance has only gone to make Parkinson’s disease least understood and hardly talked about, unlike typical illnesses like heart disease, cancer, stroke and HIV/AIDS. “It is very sad to see that Parkinson’s community in Malaysia faces so much neglect. Because of this neglect and ignorance, of the estimated 15,000 Parkinson’s patients … Continued


MALAYSIA’S FIRST PATIENT SUPPORT GROUP FOR METASTATIC BREAST CANCER HELD ON 8TH FEBRUARY, 2018 AT MARMALADE CAFÉ, BANGSAR VILLAGE II   Pfizer Malaysia together with Breast Cancer Welfare Association (BCWA)  officially launched ‘Pink InspirerS’ – Malaysia’s first ever patient-led support group focusing on Metastatic Breast Cancer (mBC).  Founded by a group of volunteers comprising of mBC patients as well as breast cancer survivors, “Pink InspirerS’ sets out to empower all women living with mBC in Malaysia to live with dignity and take charge of their cancer journey.  An often forgotten group of women who live each day with a difficult … Continued

Mental Health: The Basics and How You Can Help

Mental Health: The Basics and How You Can Help By: Neesha Marie Lopez According to the National Morbidity Survey, three out of every ten people in Malaysia are grappling with mental illness today. Speaking at the media workshop on mental health, Dr Gayatri Gunasagaran, Country Medical Lead of Pfizer Malaysia observed that   many of these people refuse to acknowledge the fact that they have mental illness or need to seek treatment. She added that it is therefore important to to reduce the fear and stigma surrounding mental health issues. The media workshop on mental health  featured three speakers: Dr. Ng … Continued

What Is Schizophrenia?

What Is Schizophrenia?   Schizophrenia is a chronic brain disorder that affects about one percent of the population. When schizophrenia is active, symptoms can include delusions, hallucinations, trouble with thinking and concentration, and lack of motivation. However, when these symptoms are treated, most people with schizophrenia will greatly improve over time. While there is no cure for schizophrenia, research is leading to new, safer treatments. Experts also are unraveling the causes of the disease by studying genetics, conducting behavioral research, and by using advanced imaging to look at the brain’s structure and function. These approaches hold the promise of new, … Continued