Hospital Fatimah’s Nicotine-Free Campaign in Schools

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Dr Chan Chee Hoe“You will never have to quit if you have never started”, said Dr Chan Chee Hoe,  Chairman of  Hospital Fatimah’s Clients’ Support and Counselling Centre (CSCC), in his recent talk at Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR), Perak Campus.

The CSCC has held a few Nicotine-Free campaigns this year to reduce the use of nicotine, especially among school-going students in view of the alarming increase in smoking-related diseases (for example, heart disease, cancers and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) lately. Statistics show 23 per cent of Malaysians smoke, with the highest rates among men (1 in 2 males smoke), teens (new smokers) and women (highest rate of increase).

Members of the CSCC, comprising nurses of the Hospital and Dr Chan Chee Hoe, Consultant Physician, have held this campaign at SMJK Ave Maria Convent, St Michael’s Institution, UTAR Kampar and in Hospital Fatimah itself.

The objectives of this campaign are to develop a persuasive argument against smoking, examine the effects of smoking and impart information on the health effects of smoking to school-going students.

Nicotine-free campaign

This 1½-hour programme comprises various interactive activities for the students such as a debate, a straw game, a role-play by the nurses of the CSCC on the effects of smoking followed by an extensive presentation on ‘How to Quit Smoking’ by Dr Chan.

The responses from participants of these campaigns have been so encouraging that the school teachers have requested for repeated programmes in their respective schools. Schools or any organisations dealing with adolescents that are interested in organising this programme may contact the Hospital at 05 5455 777 Ext. 276.

The CSCC in Hospital Fatimah provides personalized clinical counselling services to patients starting from the ward and extending to outpatients for their follow-up care. The CSCC aspires to educate patients on their illnesses and to answer any doubts or problems pertaining to their illnesses and to provide physical and psychological support to patients during the process of rehabilitation, reference material/pamphlets, and preventive and aftercare services to meet our community needs.

Some of the services provided at CSCC are counselling for people with Diabetes Mellitus, Stroke, AIDS/HIV, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and those who want to quit smoking; coordination of palliative care, cardiac rehabilitation and weight management. All counsellors at CSCC are trained in conducting counselling services and they are available to counsel in the language that patients prefer.