University of Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) has planned to set up a much-needed Child Development Centre (CDC) within the Maternal and Child Health Complex. The announcement was made by UMMC’s Head of Paediatrics, Associate Professor Dr Muhammad Yazid Jalaludin, who received a RM20,000 cheque donation for the CDC, presented by Chris Hamann, President and CEO of Merck Malaysia.

According to Prof Yazid, the CDC reflects UMMC’s need to evolve its clinical services to meet the growing needs of paediatric patients more effectively. In the first six months of 2018 alone, it saw 158 cases of autism – 36 of which were newly diagnosed and the rest being follow-ups.  The developmental paediatrics team has also been handling more children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, learning disorders, developmental delay and cerebral palsy.

Prof Yazid stressed that it is important for children with developmental issues to be assessed and diagnosed for early intervention. Having the CDC will enable them to train fellows in developmental paediatrics, thereby building their capacity to meet the increased patient load and cut waiting time.

UMMC celebrates its 50th Golden Jubilee this year, while Merck celebrates its 350th Anniversary, marking significant milestones for both organisations.