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Berita MPA Newsletter May 2016

19 May 2016

From the President 

Protecting Our Children

Hi friends

The challenges of 2016, has just begun and sustaining the optimum care for patients has become our priority during these difficult times.

Child Maltreatment

Child maltreatment and injuries continue to receive prominent media coverage. Child maltreatment violates the basic rights of children and adolescents which is enshrined in Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 

Article 19 of Convention on the Rights of the Child states:

States Parties shall take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s) or any other person who has the care of the child.

Children under 18 years old have the right to be protected from all types of violence. Child maltreatment is a huge problem. It is believed that for every 1 reported case of child maltreatment, there are another 10 cases which go unreported. This is the harsh reality.

Child maltreatment can manifest itself in various forms including physical/psychological aggression, sexual abuse and neglect. It is a heart-breaking fact that most such abuse takes place at homes, schools and legal child protection institutions. Children and adolescents are abused precisely in places that should offer them protection, affection, developmental stimulation, shelter and promotion for their rights.

The perpetrators are most often parents or adults within the household or those close to the child. One of the factors that make them highly vulnerable is their lack of autonomy due to their young age.

Child abuse inflicts long lasting negative impact in the victims including physical, psychological and developmental disruptions. 

The government needs to invest more to prevent child abuse which has a negative impact on a country’s economy.

A recent study commissioned by Unicef concluded that child maltreatment cost East Asia and the Pacific countries USD 209 billion annually. It took into account all forms of child maltreatment, including emotional, physical and sexual abuse, parental violence, and neglect. Countries surveyed included Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand too. We need cohesive collaboration to improve child protection systems and provide adequate infrastructure to prevent child abuse. Otherwise it is going to cost our country in the long run.

Child Protection Issues 

Malaysia has come a long way in terms of child protection since the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in 1995. However, there are many issues regarding child protection that the country needs to address.

Our country has adequate resources for child protection activities. However, collaboration between Ministry of Health and the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry is crucial.

Formulating preventive strategies of child maltreatment is less expensive than investing in treatment of child maltreatment. We need a multidisciplinary team including trained professionals such as paediatricians, child protectors and Non-Government Organisation (NGO) to work together with the best interest of the child in mind.

Paediatricians should educate parents on various forms of child abuse. There are parents who remain unaware that neglect is a form of child abuse.

Training on advocacy for child protection should be incorporated in undergraduate and postgraduate syllabi to ensure all paediatricians and healthcare providers are well equipped with procedural skills and legal matters.

It is our hope that by increasing public awareness and working closely with relevant authorities we will see the incidences of child maltreatment decrease in the near future.

A gentle reminder; the 38th MPA Congress in August 2016 in Melaka is just around the corner.

Hope to meet all of you there.

N.Thiyagar
President 2015-2017
thiyagarsp@yahoo.com

For other articles and announcements, please 
download the full Newsletter below...


  arrowBMPA 2-2016 MAY.pdf (English - pdf - 2394 Kb)   



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