Improving Healthcare in Malaysia, One Circumcision at a Time
Religious and cultural traditions and practices are an integral part of every community in every country. In multicultural Malaysia, circumcision which is locally known as ‘bersunat’ or ‘berkhatan’ is one of the common surgical procedures performed on adolescence boys in the Malay Muslim community. In fact, communities routinely organise mass circumcision events for this purpose. However, circumcision is not only for Malay Muslim boys. Anybody can be circumsised.
“Besides its religious and cultural significance, circumcision can help to prevent 11 diseases later in life, including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), human papillomavirus (HPV), genital ulcer disease, and various other sexually transmitted diseases,” explained Dr. Mohamad Salleh Bin Abdul Aziz, who is a doctor and qualified general surgeon with over 20 years of experience.
Dr. Mohamad Salleh set up MyMedik Healthcare Sdn. Bhd. in 2014. His clinic specialises in circumcision for infants, toddlers, children, teenagers and adults.
Then, he started to develop a circumcision device called ‘solehring’. Traditionally, the patient has to return 1 week after the procedure to remove the clamp, but when solehring is used, it will drop by itself. Thus, the patient does not need to return to the clinic.
“It took some time to develop solehring, from the idea to the design, prototype and eventually the clinical trials involving 50 circumcisions. It was finally ready in 2016,” said Dr. Mohamad Salleh.
“I rented the space above my wife’s clinic in 2016 to offer circumcision services. Since then, solehring has won 11 awards from Korea, Canada, Japan and Malaysia,” he revealed.
In 2019, Dr. Mohamad Salleh expanded his business to build an online platform to sell medical equipment and products such as masks. His company’s products are also available in MymedikShop in online e-commerce platform Shopee.
In 2020, he set up MyMedik Academy for continuous medical education programmes. A platform to educate and disseminate knowledge on health, medicine and surgery, it provides training for medical practitioners such as doctors, medical assistants, nurses and medical students to expand their knowledge.
Helping the Underprivileged
“Healthcare should be easily accessible for all Malaysians, but sadly the reality is not so, particularly in the rural areas. I am inspired to help all communities, including the B40, orang asli and people with disabilities (OKU) by providing free circumcision services,” said Dr. Mohamad Salleh.
“My social enterprise model works on the basis that for every three paying customers at our circumcision clinic, 1 deserving person from the B40, orang asli or OKU communities will receive free circumcision. The three paying customers will help to fund the free procedure,” he explained.
According to Dr. Mohamad Salleh, eligible recipients of the free circumcision will need to show their identity card, income statement, OKU card or Bantuan Sara Hidup (BSH) form to verify their status. He further added that it was not easy to locate beneficiaries, especially among the orang asli. He works together with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and social community leaders to find more beneficiaries.
Organising a Conference
In September 2020, MyMedikal Healthcare Sdn. Bhd. organised the Malaysian International Circumcision Conference (MICC 2020). It was a physical conference where overseas participants could attend virtually. The physical conference was held at Palm Garden Hotel in Putrajaya.
A total of 70 participants attended from Malaysia, Indonesia, Turkey, Thailand, Egypt, Pakistan and the United Kingdom. Over two days, they shared and learnt about the latest guidelines and recent innovations in circumcision.
Looking for More Beneficiaries
Since 2014, Dr. Mohamad Salleh and his team have helped to circumcise more than 10,000 recipients at more than 50 sunathons, which are events organised by communities to circumcise adolescent boys at no cost to the recipients. He continues to strive to provide equal access to healthcare for all.
Besides that, they are a part of the Pemangkin Usahawan Sosial Hebat (PUSH) programme, and supported by the Economic Planning Unit (EPU), the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) and the Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (MaGIC). PUSH is a scale-up programme with an ambition to grow social enterprises and increase their social impact through a personalised capacity building and skills development training.
“MaGIC has helped us in building our company, such as creating a new platform for us to increase our networking. MaGIC also provided us with training and consultancy, especially mentoring and business coaching. This assisted us to continually monitor our business performance and growth,” said Dr.Mohamad Salleh, who is the managing director of MyMedikal Healthcare Sdn Bhd.
In 2021 and beyond, Dr. Mohamad Salleh hopes to collaborate with more organisations that can help him find more beneficiaries. NGOs and community groups are invited to get in touch with Dr. Mohamad Salleh and his team.
Eligible beneficiaries are also invited to apply for free circumcision.