More private medical and pharmaceutical companies must step forward to do more to help rural folks in provision of basic healthcare services.
This is because rural healthcare especially in Sarawak and Sabah is still lacking by vast margins compared to urban centres, said Works Minister Baru Bian.
Bian, who is state assemblyman for Bakelalan, was in Miri to meet Pfizer Malaysia volunteers who went for a five-day healthcare mission to several villages in the Bakelalan highlands in northern Sarawak. Bian praised Pfizer for sending their staff to do medical checks for the rural folks.
“I am from Long Semadoh village in the Bakelalan highlands. I grew up seeing the hardships our people have to endure. Just to go the town to see a dentist or doctor costs a lot in terms of transportation.
“The long journey on the timber roads are tough and we faced weather hazards. That is why rural healthcare is still so lacking. I am grateful to Pfizer Malaysia for sending their staff and volunteer doctors, nurses and dentists to carry out checks in the Bakelalan villages.
“We in the Government need all the help we can get from private health and medical companies to reach out to the very remote folks and help them to be more healthy. “I hope more private companies will come forward and carry out such vital volunteerism community projects,” he said.
Pfizer Malaysia director Azwar Kamaruddin said this project in Bakelalan was the 12th health mission over the past 12 years in rural Sarawak and rural Sabah.
She said every year her company deploy staff for such volunteer works.
“Health tests on blood sugar, weight, dental health, plus health education talks were carried out. About 600 children and adults were screened. We also taught them hygiene and personal care,” she said.
Azwar said Pfizer Malaysia wants to help the rural communities to improve their health so that the rural population can be more healthy.