IMFed Malaysia was launched on March 26, 2012 as a collaboration between Malaysian Paediatric Association and Abbott Malaysia. The first 5 years (2012-2017) revolved around adapting, localising and rolling out a system to identify and manage feeding difficulties pioneered by child psychiatrist Dr Irene Chatoor and paediatric gastroenterologist Dr Benny Kerzner.
The next 5 years (2018-2023) sees the scope expanding to include screening and intervention for growth faltering related to feeding and nutrition issues. This is a timely development in light of data that has revealed an alarming prevalence of poor growth in Malaysia. The National Health & Morbidity Survey 2016: Maternal & Child Health recorded stunting among children below 5 years at 20.7% (an increase from 17.2% in 2006). This was coupled by underweight at 13.7% (12.9% in 2006). The problem was further underscored by UNICEF’s “Children Without’ 2018 study which found stunting at 22% among the urban poor – indicating a performance worse than Ghana despite our superior gross domestic product (GDP) achievements.
In seeking to help prevent poor growth, IMFeD Malaysia now focusses on enhancing the knowledge and skills of healthcare professionals (HCPs) in the related areas of:
- Measuring and assessing children’s growth status
- Identifying risk factors that may impede growth
- Managing & optimising children’s growth through appropriate feeding & nutritional interventions
From 2018 onwards, the programme will also mount annual growth promotion campaigns to bring parents and paediatricians together to help children grow better.
To date, the IMFeD Malaysia Expert Panel and Abbott have organised over 40 continuing professional development (CPD) training events that attracted over 2,800 attendees, comprising paediatricians and general practitioners. The programme has also produced and distributed a variety of supporting materials, including guides, toolkits and counselling aids for HCPs; posters and other display items for clinics; as well as educational leaflets, and booklets for parents.
For further information, please contact the IMFeD Malaysia programme secretariat at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone (+60 12) 284 1628.