UMBI and the Public Health Institute of Ministry of Health to study the burden of hepatitis in Malaysia

UMBI and the Public Health Institute (IKU), Ministry of Health Malaysia, have signed a memorandum of agreement (MoA) to study the seroprevalence of hepatitis B and C in Malaysia. After a year of discussions, a proposal for the study was submitted to the IKU for funding approval and in October 2018, we received news that the proposal was approved by the Ministry of Health with a grant value of RM195,000.

This project will capitalise on the Malaysian Cohort Biobank, where 1400 serum samples will be sampled randomly from the huge number of biospecimens taken from 130,000 individuals recruited from all over the country. The data generated will be useful to the Ministry of Health to measure the burden of exposure to hepatitis B and C in the general population. The ministry will use the data to plan for preventive measures as well as estimating the economic impact in terms of management of hepatitis and the complications including liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma.

This project is a big collaborative initiative between an academic research institution and a research institution under the Ministry of Health. We look forward to more such collaboration in the future.