Unimas to study sleep breathing disorders


KOTA SAMARAHAN: A sleep laboratory will be set up at Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) to study sleep breathing disorders.

It follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding today between Unimas and Philips (M) Sdn. Bhd to address the Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) disease.

The university’s Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences will be the first in Malaysia to have a level one sleep laboratory with a hotel concept.

“The level one sleep laboratory will serve as a platform for the diagnosis of sleep breathing disorders for the local community; research of sleep breathing disorders for Unimas academicians and postgraduate candidates; and education on sleep breathing disorders for Unimas students and the healthcare industry,” said Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Dr Kamaruddin Kana.

The opening of the lab heralds the launch of an academic-industry laboratory, a venue for clinical practice, learning and research that benefits academics, industry participants and students alike.

At the MoU signing, Unimas was represented by Dr Kamaruddin while Philips was represented by Country Sales Leader Joshua Chan.

The signing ceremony was witnessed by the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences Professor Dr Asri Said and Business Manager, Sleep and Respiratory Care of Philips (Mal) Sdn Bhd. Eddie Wong.

According to Dr Kamaruddin  to date, with Philips’ assistance, they have carried out 18 level 1 sleep studies for the local communities as part of their research programme, and in 17 of them, they have effectively identified sleep-breathing abnormalities.

The collaboration between Unimas and Philips also enabled them to offer free sleep screening to 78 public who recently attended the Jelajah Aspirasi Keluarga Malaysia programme held at Dataran Perayaan, Petra Jaya.

“Of 45 participants with moderate to high risk of OSA, 5 were referred to other hospitals under the Ministry of Higher Education whereas the remaining 40 will have their sleep study done in Unimas soon,” he explained.

Meanwhile Joshua said this is a significant milestone for Philips because it is the first time they have worked with an educational institution in East Malaysia.

“To make the collaboration more meaningful, our collaboration with UNIMAS has successfully established the very first hotel concept or luxurious level one sleep laboratory in the country.

“This laboratory will accelerate the diagnosis and treatment of OSA, one of the most prevalent non-communicable diseases in modern days,” he added.

OSA is the most common sleep breathing disorder. In Malaysia, 10.2 million or 77.2% of adults aged 30 – 69 were reported to have OSA with 4.5 million or 33.8% of these OSA, being at least moderate severity that required treatment.

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