KUALA LUMPUR - The Health Ministry is all set to meet the needs of MH370 passengers and crew in the event the plane is found.
Deputy Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya said that since there was a glimmer of hope that the passengers could be alive, the ministry would provide the needed psychological and medical support.
"We will be on standby," he told reporters after the opening of the 12th International Congress on Obesity 2014 on behalf of minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam yesterday.
Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said that all major hospitals would be ready to assist the passengers and crew.
After Saturday's announcement by Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak that the aircraft transponder had been deliberately shut off, it left open the possibility of hijack although the Prime Minister did not want to confirm it, and raised hope that the passengers and crew might still be alive.
In his speech read out by Dr Hilmi, Dr Subramaniam said that one major challenge of obesity that the country faced was the identification of a common regional response.
"This is due to the complexities of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and NCD factors, which cut across borders as well as the capacity of each country to respond to the NCD epidemic," he said.
However, one common ground which has been explored in the World Health Organisation Western Pacific Region was the issue of marketing foods and non-alcoholic beverages to children, he said.
As marketing goes beyond national borders, a multi-national response is needed, he added.
He said that within the ASEAN community of 10 member states, it had formed a task force to mount a coordinated regional response to the NCD epidemic.
At the opening ceremony, One Goal was launched where footballers would be mobilised to introduce good nutrition to children.
Over 1,000 of the world's leading researchers and medical experts on obesity and related diseases gathered for the four-day congress to discuss a wide range of topics, such as dietary concerns, surgical interventions and findings from genetic research.