The National Cancer Society of Malaysia Sarawak Branch
The National Cancer Society of Malaysia Sarawak Branch (NCSMSB) is a non-profit, non-government organization established and registered with the Registrar of Society (ROS) Sarawak in 1986. All its activities are subject to the NCSM Constitution.
NCSMSB has been a member of the Malaysian Hospice Council, the umbrella body of hospice and palliative care organizations in Malaysia, since 1996.
The mission of NCSMSB is “To ensure that no Malaysian fears cancer by creating an understanding of cancer that leads to prevention and early detection, and by providing the best possible care and support for those affected by cancer”.
Guided by this mission, the activities of the NCSMSB are centered on four areas, namely Palliative Home Care, Loan of Medical Equipment, Public Education/Awareness, and Training.
As NCSMSB does not charge for its services, it depends on public as well as corporate donations, and government grants to fund its activities.
History of The National Cancer Society of Malaysia
The National Cancer Society of Malaysia (Persatuan Kanser Kebangsaan Malaysia), (NCSM), is the first not-for-profit cancer organisation in Malaysia that provides education, care, and support services for people affected by cancer and the general public.
Established in 1966, it is a tax-exempt charity body registered under the laws of the Malaysian Societies Act and Registrar of Societies Malaysia. The Society was founded by the late Dato’ Dr S.K. Dharmalingam, Malaysia’s first oncologist, and was launched by then Prime Minister of Malaysia, the late YAB Tun Abdul Razak. NCSM is now under the distinguished patronage of His Royal Highness Sultan Paduka Seri Sultan Perak Darul Ridzuan, Sultan Nazrin Muizzudin Shah.
The head office is in Kuala Lumpur. There are five other branches nationwide in Melaka, Negeri Sembilan, Penang, Perak and Sarawak.
Source: The National Cancer Society of Malaysia
Formation of Sarawak Branches
Formation of The National Cancer Society of Malaysia Sarawak Branch
Formation of Miri District Branch
Formation of Sibu District Branch
Formation of The National Cancer Society of Malaysia Sarawak Branch (NCSMSB)
Hospice at Home Program started with the employment of a full time Nurse Coordinator, assisted by lay volunteers.
Hospice at Home Program was changed to Expanded Hospice at Home Care Program and officially launched by The Honourable Deputy Chief Minister of Sarawak, Datuk Amar Dr George Chan Hong Nam on 4th April 1998.
Dr Tiong Tung Hui, NCSMSB member and volunteer doctor, was awarded the Diploma in Palliative Medicine by the University of Wales College of Medicine.
Quit Smoking Campaign initiated
First Scientific Seminar on Cancer and Palliative Care
Jasmine House was officially opened by The Honourable Minister of Welfare, Women and Family Development, Datuk Hajah Fatimah Abdullah on 16th January 2012. This was a joint project with Kuching Palliative Association to provide accommodation for needy cancer patients and their carers, who came from other parts of Sarawak, to Sarawak General Hospital in Kuching, for treatment as outpatients. This project ended in July 2018, because Sarawak General Hospital was able to provide sufficient accommodation for the patients and their carers.
Formation of Palliative Home Care Team led by Dr Tiong Tung Hui and assisted by two full-time nurses.
Appointed to organise the 14th Malaysian Hospice Council Congress (MHCC2020) to be held in Kuching in July 2020. Unfortunately, the Congress had to be postponed due to the Covid-19 Pandemic.
The Palliative Home Care Team was expanded to five nurses to meet the increasing needs of the community. Three of the nurses participated in the ECHO training program Foundation Course in Palliative Nursing (FCPN) conducted by Pallium India and coordinated by the Malaysian Hospice Council.
Palliative Home Care
Many terminally ill cancer patients on palliative care wish to spend the last days of their lives with their families at home, but families are often ill-equipped to provide the level of care required. Realising this need, NCSMSB has been providing palliative home care services for cancer patients since its inception, initially with the help of volunteers, and now with trained and qualified staff.
The Palliative Home Care Team is guided by our Executive Committee member, Dr Tiong Tung Hui, who is trained in palliative medicine.
The Palliative Home Care Team works very closely with Two Tree Lodge Hospice Kuching and Kuching Life Care, to provide more comprehensive palliative care services, with good logistic support.
NCSMSB is only able to accept referrals if the patient lives within a 20km radius from the office. As people move away from the city, we expect a greater demand for our services from the outlying areas. The service radius may be extended if more resources are made available in the future.
Due to the increasing number of cases and with limited resources, priority for home care is given to those at the end stage of their illness, to provide medical support to the patients and support for their families.
Our home care palliative service is provided free of charge.Patient Referral
The number of home care cases referred to our team has increased significantly between 2017 to 2021 (Figure 1), and the upward trend is continuing. The majority of these cases were direct referrals from Sarawak General Hospital Kuching. Patients with colon, lung, liver and breast cancer made up more than half of the cases referred.
Loan of Medical Equipment
As many patients on palliative care also require various equipment to make them more comfortable, NCSMSB loans out medical devices such as hospital beds, ripple mattresses, commode chairs, wheel chairs, oxygen concentrators etc to our patients. These equipment are either bought by the Society through small grants by the Ministry of Health, or are donated by the patients’ family and the general public.
Between 2017 - 2021, 333 patients borrowed 531 pieces of equipment from NCSMSB (Figure 2 and Figure 3)
The loan of these medical equipment to patients and the general public is free of charge.Contact Us
NCSMSB conducts education and awareness programmes on various aspects of cancer. Scientific seminars for doctors and allied health professionals are held at least once a year. Participants are awarded certificates upon full attendance at these seminars to qualify them for their Continuous Professional Development Points ( CPD Points ) to renew their professional registration.
Public Talks and Forums are also organized regularly. These are mainly targeted at the general public. Cancer survivors and families of cancer patients are strongly encouraged to attend. Topics range from the clinical aspects of cancer to more general issues such as diet, exercise, pain management, as well as other issues faced by patients, their carers etc. Information sharing is very much encouraged to further knowledge and understanding of the disease. NCSMSB always tries to select issues that would interest the above audience and to source for speakers that are experts in these fields.
However, NCSMSB had to stop its education and awareness programmes ever since the Covid-19 pandemic. A WhatsApp group chat has been set up to share information and updates on cancer. A Facebook group under the National Cancer Society Sarawak Branch has also been set up to inform the general public of cancer updates and programmes.
Participants at the scientific seminars are charged a nominal fee to cover the cost of organizing these seminars, but the other programmes such as public forums and talks are free of charge.Events
In the absence of proper palliative academic courses in local and national nursing schools, and the emergence of palliative care as a sub-speciality in recent years, NCSMSB has taken the initiative to train its staff and volunteers in palliative care through workshops and seminars.
Our nurses attend weekly group discussions on palliative care and patient case studies conducted by Dr Winnie Ling, an oncologist with Two Three Lodge Kuching, and Madam Helena Kearsley, a retired UK-trained Palliative Care Nurse Consultant.
They also attend regular discussions with doctors from the Palliative Care Ward, Sarawak General Hospital, on how to best manage their palliative care patients.
University of Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) has selected NCSMSB to be one of their chosen NGOs for their final year nursing students’ attachment. This is to allow these students to gain more insight into hospice care before their graduation. This programme had to be stopped temporarily in 2020 due to the Covid-19 situation in the State.
Noor Afyza Abdullah @ Ann Noel
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE (2022 – 2024)
|Dr Lam Chin Chyou
|Dato Wee Hong Seng
|Chairman Home Care Programme & Training
|Dr Tiong Tung Hui
|Tan Lay Hua
|Dr Tiong Tung Hui
Arrick Lee Tee Liang
Law Chiew Yen
Lee Ing Ing
Noor Afyza Abdullah @ Ann Noel
Ai Lin Tay
Winnie Wong Yiik Ching