PERSOALAN BERKENAAN UBAT?
Talian bebas tol:
1800 – 88 – 6722
Pusat Panggilan Farmasi Kebangsaan (NPCC)
Waktu operasi: 8 pagi – 5 petang
(Isnin – Jumaat, kecuali Cuti Umum)
The advancement of technology, particularly in the fields of communication and information delivery, is indeed of great benefit to consumers. With the advent of new media platforms such as social media and instant messaging applications on smartphones, the situation is getting better. Information is easily accessible and can be shared with others. Using this technology, information on a variety of topics, including health and medical issues, can be disseminated globally.
The consequence of the dissemination of false information
However, unscrupulous parties may exploit this rapid dissemination of information in order to precipitate unfavorable outcomes. Some individuals, for example, disseminate inaccurate information about medications. As a result of the spread of this erroneous information, a few people have been misled, which has altered how they take their medications. Among the frequently propagated myths is the idea that medications for chronic diseases can cause renal damage. This misleading information makes chronic patients anxious about continuing treatment.
In addition, the impact of the dissemination of false information worsens when associated with a pandemic. The World Health Organization (WHO) uses the term "infodemic" to refer to the situation that arises when a disease outbreak is accompanied by a flood of false information that is extensively distributed through a variety of channels and methods. The WHO emphasizes the importance of successfully controlling and addressing the infodemic, as its spread will likely have the same repercussions as the real pandemic. For instance, false information regarding COVID-19 infection, treatment, and prevention measures has led to public confusion and outrage. In fact, inaccurate information about COVID-19 vaccines has led some individuals to refuse these immunisations.
Sources of reliable information about medicines
The increasing number of fake news' negative impacts on health indicate that people should be more wary when receiving information about medicines. It is recommended that the public seek health information from credible sources so that the information obtained is of higher quality and more reliable. Health professionals who treat patients themselves, such as physicians and pharmacists, are the best sources of health and medicinal information.
In addition, the Ministry of Health Malaysia (MOH) receives and responds to inquiries from the public regarding medicines through the National Pharmacy Call Centre (NPCC). The public can submit questions to the on-duty officers via the toll-free number, 1-800-88-6722. NPCC operates from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Monday through Friday (except on federal holidays).
Websites and agency portals administered by the MOH also provide the public with accurate and useful information. The Know Your Medicine website, the Info Sihat website, and the MyHealth portal are just a few of the websites and portals that can be accessed. Furthermore, the public can now access health and medication information through social media. For instance, the MOH regularly posts varied information about medications for public reference on the Duta Kenali Ubat Anda Facebook page, Kenali Ubat Anda Instagram and TikTok profiles, as well as the Pharmaceutical Services Programme Youtube account. Information is available in a number of forms, including articles, infographics, posters, and videos.
Moreover, information about medicines is communicated through interview segments on various radio and television stations. Current health issues and medications will be discussed with invited health professionals. During each of these talk sessions, the public will be given insightful advice and recommendations.
Advice for the public
Spreading disinformation is an irresponsible act. Some individuals intentionally spread false information in order to create confusion within the community. Therefore, members of the public who receive questionable information from uncredentialed sources should always verify the information and seek clarification from the relevant parties. Avoid sharing this information with others until its factual accuracy has been verified.
Also, the public is encouraged to utilize the Sebenarnya.my portal, governed by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), in order to verify the authenticity of the received false information. Additionally, SKMM encourages the public to report any false information through the "Salur kepada Kami" section of the portal. The fraudulent information will then be submitted to the respective ministries and agencies for verification.
The general public may also file a complaint with SKMM if they are aware of anyone disseminating false information on social media. Complaints can be submitted via the complaint portal, telephone, text, or email. More information on the complaint procedure can be found on the SKMM's official website.
Technology that allows knowledge to be disseminated rapidly and broadly should be used properly. The public plays a role in preventing the propagation of fake news across the community.