Ministry of Health Malaysia's Mission to Stymie Studies
Malaysia's Ministry of Health has a vision and a mission. Their vision is to see "a nation working together for better health" and their mission? "..lead and work in partnership", "to ensure a high quality health system that is .. equitable, efficient, environmentally adaptable, innovative .. with emphasis on professionalism, caring and teamwork, respect for human dignity, community participation."
Why is it then that Ministry of Health Malaysia is holding back on damning statistics that are needed to support the commencement of a box jellyfish research project at Langkawi? Where's "working together", "equitable .. innovative .. professionalism .. caring" etc??
A Tripadvisor thread on the subject of jellyfish recently revealed that marine scientists in Malaysia are very keen to study box jellyfish in Langkawi which would of course reveal in itself something of the animals' numbers, seasons, toxicity etc thus creating valuable data to help manage the problem and protect lives.
As has been well documented in this blog but not elsewhere, around 200 people with Irukandji stings required treatment at the Langkawi Hospital in July/August 2010, who knows how many received a painful sting but chose not to go to hospital. When you are on vacation and every second in paradise is precious one must be in a hell of a lot of pain to want to go to the hospital.
One year ago the Ministry of Health Malaysia concealed the real reason for the death of Swede Karin Lofgren on Pantai Cenang Langkawi saying she drowned when clearly she was stung by a box jellyfish, and now they are concealing the truth again by refusing to allow scrutiny of the medical records of the 200+ sting victims. This data would help determine details of the jellyfish, species, patterns, habits, season, etc while also acting as irrefutible evidence in itself that something needs to be done and the best way to do it is by studying it.
The Ministry of Health Malaysia needs to have a check-up, clearly its eyesight is failing, its blood pressure high, its standards shoddy, its ethics dubious and its heart cold. If it really cares for Malaysians and the state of health in this country, it will support any attempt to shed light on Langkawi's box jellyfish problem because any results will ultimately benefit the health of the people. The health of the people!