Home Pertahanan dan Keselamatan Modern field medical technology thrusts Malaysia forward

Modern field medical technology thrusts Malaysia forward

by Air Times Correspondent

KUALA LUMPUR, 4 OKT –  The use of the latest field medical technology not only exemplified Malaysia’s commitment to modern medical practices but positioned it as a leader in military medical innovation.

Deputy Army chief Lieutenant-General Datuk Tengku Muhammad Fauzi Tengku Ibrahim said it also opened avenues for technological collaborations.

“The adaptability of the Malaysian Armed Forces’ (MAF) Forward Anaesthesia and Surgical Trauma (FAST) team, capable of operating in diverse environments, feature Malaysia’s multifaceted diplomatic tools from maritime diplomacy aboard ships to aerial outreach within large aircrafts,” he said after witnessing the hand-over of ‘Light Surgical Mobile Concept Assets’ at the closing of ‘Exercise Starlight 2023’, held on Sept 23-28 at the Tuanku Mizan Armed Forces Hospital in Wangsa Maju.

The United States embassy chargé d’affaires Manu Bhalla handed over the intensive care unit (ICU) equipment to Malaysian Armed Forces Health Services Division director-general Lieutenant-General Datuk (Dr) Zulkeffeli Mat Jusoh.

Present were exercise director Brigadier-General Datuk (Dr) Amran Amir Hamzah and its exercise controller Brigadier-General (Dr) Mohd Arshil Moideen.

On the exercise, Fauzi said it provided a unique opportunity for participating nations to improve interoperability and effectively execute missions together, including humanitarian assistance and disaster response.

He added that the United States Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM) and the Malaysian Armed Forces Health Services had been working together since December 2021 for the very agenda.

“Since then, many achievements have been made. “Today, we once again witnessed another great success from this partnership.

“The introduction of the MAF FAST team symbolizes Malaysia’s dedication to fostering international partnerships and enhancing its global humanitarian footprint.

“MAF FAST’s rapid deployment capability serves as a tangible demonstration of Malaysia’s readiness to swiftly respond to international crises, reinforcing our position as a reliable global partner,” said Fauzi.

He added that the team’s readiness was designed to function autonomously for up to 72 hours, showcasing Malaysia’s resilience and self-reliance, sending a strong political message of the nation’s ability to stand firm in challenging situations.

He lauded Zulkeffeli and his team for their readiness and professionalism, and thanked the military personnel involved in planning and participating in the exercise.

“This is to acknowledge the exercises themselves as an outstanding model of an ongoing international cooperation.

“These regional and interagency partnerships reflect our enduring promises to one another for a cooperative, prosperous, and secure hemisphere,” said Fauzi.

Meanwhile, Bhalla said that the mobile ICU capability strengthened their civilian-to-military relationship and provided opportunities for them to work together to address humanitarian crisis in Malaysia and around the world.

“The US greatly values our strong relationship with Malaysia’s National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA) and MAF Health Services, that has only further strengthened since the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.

“We are extremely proud to have assisted Malaysia’s response by donating Covid-19 aid, 1 million Pfizer vaccines, personal protective equipment and rapid test kits in 2021,” said Bhalla.

He recalled how the mobile ICU capability helped Malaysia’s disaster response effort to Turkey last year.

“It is a fantastic example of how our partnership benefitted vulnerable populations afflicted by a crisis.

“I wish to convey our thanks to NADMA, MAF Health Services and the Health Ministry for their courage and expertise in assisting Turkey after the earthquake,” Bhalla said.

He added that even before that time, the US and Malaysia have had a long history of collaboration on public health issues, including identifying emerging infectious diseases and threats through their work in Sabah.

Furthermore, under USAID’s global PREDICT programme, the U.S. government provided US$200 million for research in Borneo for more than a decade to detect and better understand emerging infectious diseases of zoonotic origin.

Currently, the National Institute of Health funded the ‘Emerging Infectious Diseases – Southeast Asia Research Collaboration Hub’ that worked to be an early warning system for outbreaks.

“Regional health collaboration is why most of you are here this week and I want to say congratulations on a successful Indo-Pacific Military Health Exchange (IPMHE).

“It is inspiring to see this multilateral effort strengthen our regional partnerships and enhance our collective capabilities to provide disaster relief and humanitarian, medical assistance,” said Bhalla.

He touched on exercises like the Pacific Partnership that was completed earlier in September in Kuantan, as  a good example of multilateral collaboration on a range of topics such as advanced life support, bio-medical engagement, and disaster flood response.

He said the Pacific Partnership had been a long-standing event in Malaysia since 2016 and had fostered cooperation between regional partners, as well as enabled medical support for remote areas of Malaysia.

“Through these bilateral and multilateral military exercises and exchanges, we ensure cooperation and resilience amongst regional partners and allies.

“Together, we will build the collective capacity of the region to meet the challenges of the present and prepare for the adversities of the future,” Bhalla said.

The Defence Ministry said that ‘Exercise Starlight’ aimed to measure the level of alertness, planning and implementation of the hospital at ‘Level 3’ operations.

“The exercise incorporated the concept of Field Training Exercise (FTX), Field Health Service Assistance and Field Hospital operations in conventional warfare, natural disasters and CBRNE (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and high explosive) environments,” a statement said.

It added that the FAST assets had in fact been provided by the United States Indo-Pacific Command Headquarters (USINDOPACOM) to NADMA for Malaysia’s field hospital operations during the humanitarian aid mission in Turkey during their earthquake earlier this year.

“These 52 FAST asset items are medical equipment used to perform surgery on patients who require full and partial anesthesia,” it said.

Before the hand-over of the equipment, a demonstration was held to showcase the handling of a Forward Surgical Team (FST) casualty flown to the hospital by the 2nd Medical Battalion via a EC725 helicopter from the Royal Malaysia Air Force’s 10th Squadron.

“This exercise showcased the capabilities of a ‘Level 3’ field hospital and test the skills and abilities of officers and personnel in planning, analysing and implementing such an operation.

“The demonstration also showed participants the field hospital’s facilities like simulation equipment to train medical personnel to act quickly and accurately in providing emergency treatment to patients during a disaster, involving a large number of casualties,” it said.

Among the other facilities were the casualty evacuation unit, guard station, operations room and avenues for outpatient, triage, resuscitation, radiology, laboratory, surgical room, central sterilisation and supplies department, dental, medical store, mortuary, dining hall, kitchen, accommodation, laundry. oxygen generator, military transport and power-supply generator. – airtimes.my

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