USM creates history by producing specialists in transfusion medicine

Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) created history in the field of medicine when, for the very first time at the Asian level, it succeeded in producing three graduates specializing in the field of blood transfusion (Blood Bank).

The nation will benefit greatly in the field of medical transfusion with the availability of this expertise. The safety of patients who receive and donate blood will be assured as there are specialists who are responsible for this particular branch of medicine.

The three specialists pursued Master’s Degrees in Transfusion Medicine for four years at the Advanced Medical and Dental Institute (AMDI), USM with the collaboration of the Ministry of Health, Malaysia.

The Director of AMDI, Prof. Dr. Ramli Saad said that the three, Nor Nazahah Mahmud, Mohammed Abdu Ali Morish and Kam Wooi Seong will receive their scrolls at the First Session of the 42nd USM Convocation, next Wednesday.

He added that this success is a very significant change towards the need for experts trained specifically in the area of transfusion medicine.

“Previously, if a patient was in need of blood, the patient was monitored and supervised by the doctor in charge who was probably a surgeon, a gynaecologist or some other specialist.

“Now however, matters related to blood and blood products will be handled fully by these experts who have been specially trained in every aspect, including determining the blood contents, patient safety and others,” he explained.

He added that there is confidence that this latest success will be followed by other countries and USM so far has received numerous applications from both local and international students interested in taking the course.

“USM is very proud of this achievement and hopes that the country will be the driving force in the field of transfusion medicine.

“So far, our three graduates are the only ones in Asia with expertise in the field of transfusion medicine and globally, there are still very few specialists in this field,” he explained.

He said this at a press conference in USM today. Also present were USM Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Tan Sri Dato’ Dzulkifli Abdul Razak; Consultant to the National Blood Centre and Coordinator of the Master’s Programme at the Ministry of Health, Dato’ Dr. Yasmin Ayob; and Coordinator of the Master’s Programme at USM, Assoc. Prof. Narazah Mohd. Yusoff.

Meanwhile, Dr. Yasmin, one of the pioneers of the programme said that the initiative to offer such a programme first began in the year 2000 with the collaboration of several parties including the Ministry of Health, Public Services Department (JPA) and the Ministry of Higher Education.

“Initially we encountered various obstacles in making this programme a reality but with the commitment and perseverance of all those involved, we succeeded in producing specialists in the field of transfusion medicine, and we believe this will benefit the field of medicine, both locally and globally.

She added that that this expertise is only available in countries such as India, but the programme is not as unique as that offered in USM which is based on its focus and importance in the world of medicine today.

“We have the potential to be the drivers in this field of transfusion medicine as the programme covers critical aspects including the interests of patients requiring treatment and blood transfusions, she said.

She added that the specialists in transfusion medicine have received intensive training covering all aspects of transfusion medicine, including extraction of blood components, blood safety, immunohaematology, stem cell therapy, clinical transfer and others.

Published: 04 Aug 2010

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Universiti Sains Malaysia 11800 Minden Penang

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