Royal call to put Brunei on map on medical excellence
By Hamidah Ismail

His Royal Highness Prince 'Abdul 'Azim yesterday expressed his hope that the first-ever International Neurological Scientific Meeting at the Chancellor Hall of Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) would put the Sultanate on the map on medical excellence in the region.

In a Sabda, HRH noted that in order to achieve the objectives of providing all in need with the best possible medical care, "we have to ensure that our medical institutions are recognised and on par with the best international counterparts".

"We should not be apprehensive in learning from and collaborating with other institution of excellence in order to achieve our objectives," HRH said, referring to the recent opening of the Neuroscience, Stroke and Rehabilitation Centre that HRH officiated a few months ago.

"I am delighted that since then, within a very short period of time, this new centre of neurological excellence has made exciting progress. This meeting today is one of the products of that swift step forward."

HRH stressed that teamwork and close relationship among health professionals - medical doctors, nurses, therapist and radiographers - are crucial in reducing the morbidity associated with stroke.

Dr Anita Binurul Zahrina Abdul Aziz, UBD's Dean of Institute of Health Science, meanwhile, highlighted that yesterday's conference not only served as a platform for sharing experiences, knowledge, skills and improving educational and research collaboration, but also emphasised the strong ties between Brunei Darussalam and Germany's prestigious Krankenhaus Nordwest Hospital, one of the leading neurological centres in Europe equipped with the latest technology and staffed by the best-trained, most experienced in treating neurological diseases in the world.

In July 2010, in line with His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam's far-reaching vision, the first Neuroscience Stroke and Rehabilitation Centre (NSRC) was established at the Jerudong Park Medical Centre as a result of the cooperation between the Department of Neurology, Neuroradiology of Krankenhaus Nordwest and Jerudong Park Medical Centre (JPMC).

A close cooperation with UBD was also established, which yielded publications and ongoing clinical studies. Apart from its dedication towards patients suffering from neurological diseases, NSRC also aimed to transfer valuable knowledge and expertise regarding the disease to all health professionals in the region.

Professor Werner Hacke, the Chairman of the Department of Neurology, University of Heidelberg in Germany and the Vice President of the World Federation Neurology, highlighted in his keynote lecture yesterday that stroke is the number two killer worldwide and stroke patients should be treated in a stroke unit, like the NSCR in Brunei.

Stroke should be treated as an emergency, he stressed, adding that although men are found to suffer from stroke at an earlier age than women, the disease has shown a balanced ratio of male and female patients.

Other invited speakers who shared their expertise yesterday included Professor Dr Uta Meyding-Lamade, the Head of NSRC at JPMC, Dr Haroon Pillay, the Head of Neurosurgery Department at RIPAS Hospital, and Professor Dr Bodo Kress, the Consultant Neuroradiologist at JPMC.

Also attending the conference were the Minister of Education, Minister of Health, Minister of Energy, Deputy Minister of Education, Ambassador of Germany, Permanent Secretary of Education (Higher Education), Permanent Secretary of Health, Deputy Permanent Secretary of Health (Professional and Technical) as well as medical doctors, nurses, lectures and students from the Institute of Health Science, UBD. - Borneo Bulletin (13th November 2010)