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[back] World Parkinson's Day: Spreading Healthy Messages Anthony Thanasayan - 16 April 2008

World Parkinson's Day: Spreading Healthy Messages

It's very encouraging that local radio stations are showing concern and responsibility by airing programmes related to health issues. Programmes on health and disability dominated the airwaves on at least two radio stations last week.

World Parkinson's Day (WPD) on April 11 was a major highlight on the Bernama News Agency's radio station, Radio24. The round-the-clock broadcaster from Kuala Lumpur featured a live interview with neurologist Dr Norlinah Mohamed Ibrahim last Wednesday.

Aired for two hours from 8pm, the doctor spoke at length about the medical aspects of the disease. Parkinson's disease (PD), incidentally, is a progressive and degenerative condition of the nervous system. Her talk was conducted in Bahasa Malaysia.

Whilst the programme did its part to raise some public awareness about PD, I thought that there was too much focus on the disease and its negative effects. My concern was that some of the cold medical facts that were disclosed on the show might have unwittingly frightened away some listeners.

But Radio24 had more up its sleeve. Things were much better the next day, when the station conducted another live interview with a PD patient and caregiver. The speakers were from the top brass of the Malaysian Parkinson Disease Association in Kuala Lumpur (MPDA).

Sivaraman Kannan (MPDA;s Vice-President and Sara Lew (MPDA's President) during a live interview on Radio 24.

The studio guests spoke candidly about their real life experiences. Their ultimate message: There is life after Parkinson's!

Earlier in the morning for WPD, Radio24's correspondent Tan Su Lin presented an excellent and timely pre-recorded report on PD and what it was all about. The brief segment lasted about five minutes. It featured audio clips from the same guest neurologist and Sara Lew, president of the 14-year old MPDA.

From L R: Radio 24's correspondent Tan Su Lin, Sara Lew. and Radio 24's Executive Editor, Mohamad Letfee Ahmad.

From L R: Sivaraman Kannan, Tan Su Lin and Sara Lew.

From L R. Mohamad Letfee Ahmad, Sivaraman Kannan, Sara Lew and, Radio 24's radio interviewer,Syed Munawar