JOM MAMA Project Phase 3 Launch
Recently in Seremban on 4 April 2015, we launched Phase 3 of the JOM MAMA project, which is a collaborative effort between Ministry of Health (MOH), Novo Nordisk Pharma (M) Sdn Bhd, University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa), University of Southampton (UK) and Steno Diabetes Center (Denmark) through Public-Private Partnership. This project focuses on interventions to prevent obesity and diabetes transmission across generations. It is an innovative client-centred approach whereby newly weds (and those who are yet to be pregnant) will be given guidance on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle, which will in turn further strengthen maternal and child healthcare in a more holistic manner and help in reducing the burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
Through an MOU signed with MOH in May 2013, the first phase of the project was initiated in Seremban with interviews involving young couples and community and religious leaders. Results from the study’s 1st phase have shown that the level of understanding on health among the younger generation is still low and young couples prioritise economic issues above practicing healthy lifestyle & healthy eating. This unfortunately continues on till they are pregnant and have children. However it is encouraging to note that these young couples are willing to join programmes that will be able to ensure the well-being of their unborn child. Based on these findings and the wishes of young couples, our next step is to deliver an intervention combining home visits by nurses giving health-related guidance and the use of mobile e-health applications.