Consumers Association of Penang

Giving voice to the little people...since 1970

Depression: World’s leading disability

Highest loss of productivity from mental health disorders.

A recent report  released by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on ‘Depression and Other Common Mental Disorders estimates that in 2015 there were over 1.1 million cases of depressive disorders in Malaysia[1].  The report further states that depression is a major contributor to suicide deaths accounting for 800,000 or 1.5% of all deaths globally.  If we extrapolate this estimate locally, in 2015 out of the over 155,000 deaths recorded in Malaysia[2]  about 2300 could have been due to suicide. Unfortunately there are no published statistics on suicides in Malaysia.

Depression is ranked by WHO as the single largest contributor to disability. Globally the total number of people with depression was estimated at 322 million in 2015, equivalent to 4.4% of the global population.  The total estimated number of people living with depression increased by 18.4% between 2005 and 2015.

Act now to protect the health of our school kids

The Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) is simply perturbed to read the report that the "Guidelines on Management of School Canteens" (Panduan Pengurusan Kantin Sekolah) is being violated and that unhealthy food such as sweets, pickled food (jeruk), snacks containing artificial flavouring and artificial colouring are still being sold inspite of it clearly being not permitted.

The problem of unhealthy food being sold in school canteens is not new. For some years now this problem has been brought to the attention of the relevant authorities, but CAP's efforts in calling for a healthier young generation has fallen on deaf ears. The Guidelines states that food containing excess sugar, salt and fats, instant noodles, ice confectionaries, artificially-coloured drinks, flavoured drinks, tea and coffee, and fizzy drinks are not encouraged.
 

Some self-help tips to fight depression

If you suffer from long-term or severe depression, with constant thoughts of death or dying, including ideas about suicide, seek professional help immediately. For occasional sadness and depression, here are some ways to lift the fog:

Illegal sale of oral contraceptives and the health problems caused by their misuse

altA survey conducted by Consumers Association of Penang on oral contraceptive pills showed that they were easily and freely available at pharmacies. These drugs are controlled by the Poisons Act 1952, which requires the seller to record their sales in a register called Poisons Book kept by the pharmacy. The easy availability of these drugs over the counter without the registration of the buyer's details makes a mockery of the Poisons Act. The law is openly flouted by pharmacies in Penang and a grocery shop in Kulim, Kedah. An earlier survey also found such pills being sold in the Chow Kit area in KL and in grocery shops in other rural areas.

Diabetes Epidemic: Nip it in the Bud

 

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CAP calls on the relevant authorities to take immediate steps to control the growing number of obese children in the country to control the diabetes epidemic that Malaysia is facing.

Studies have showed that childhood obesity levels in Malaysia are among the highest in Asian countries. Data from various research groups have indicated that as many as 15% of toddlers and preschool children in the country could be overweight and obese. Among primary school children, 30% of them could be overweight and obese. These statistics are not surprising as overweight children and youngsters are a common sight at public places.