Malaysia currently stands at a critical juncture, dealing with the threat of its population bearing the double burden of nutrition – a simultaneous occurrence of stunting and obesity. Despite the many efforts through various nutrition action plans implemented throughout the years, previously set nutrition goals remain unachieved. Undernutrition persists among selected groups across Malaysia, which is accompanied by a rising incidence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) alongside their risk factors. In fact, the findings from national health reports, like the NHMS 2019, have cited that these levels have reached alarming levels.
With less than two years remaining before the National Plan of Action for Nutrition Malaysia III (NPANM III) is terminated, several challenges must be addressed in order to implement the measures outlined in the action plan. The presence of critical hurdles, such as a lack of inter-sectorial and multi-stakeholder coordination, financial constraints, and a lack of human resource capacity, demand immediate attention. The nation is at a turning point in the fight against malnutrition and its cascading health effects, and the moment to act is now.
To effectively overcome these hurdles, it is imperative to take a holistic and collaborative strategy, in a rallied effort to combat nutrition-related disorders in Malaysia. The solution lies in adopting a whole-of-government approach, wherein different government ministries and agencies work closely together to address the multifaceted challenges posed by these disorders. It is important to recognise that different sectors share the responsibilities of implementing the necessary strategies and to foster collaboration, not only within the government ministries, but also with private sectors, academic institutions, professional bodies, and non-governmental organisations. Implementing these identified strategies by forming strategic alliances, pooling together resources, and ensuring a unified effort, becomes the key to forging a path towards promoting nutrition and achieving a lasting and meaningful impact on public health.
In light of this issue, the 39th NSM Scientific Conference has aptly chosen the theme, “Strategic Alliance to Combat Malnutrition: Whole of Government, Whole of Society Approach”. This year’s theme not only recognises the urgency of the matter but also emphasises the crucial need for collaboration among all stakeholders to work cohesively and strategically. The focus is on each entity playing a vital role and collectively rallying their efforts to combat malnutrition. Serving as a pivotal platform for collaboration, the conference facilitates the exchange of knowledge and experience, providing a space for in-depth discussion on prevailing nutrition-related issues in Malaysia. With nutritionists at the forefront, the conference aims to share emerging findings, data, and insights derived from recent nutritional programmes and research. This valuable information can empower key stakeholders to implement successful preventive nutrition initiatives, programmes, and policies, ultimately fostering better nutrition and health outcomes for the Malaysian population. The conference strives to bring together key stakeholders, creating a synergy that is crucial for devising comprehensive strategies to address and overcome the challenges of malnutrition in Malaysia.REGISTER FOR CONFERENCE