3 villages in Bau, Lundu and Sebuyau selected for mobile app-facilitated early mouth cancer detection pilot project

Dr Noormi (third left) and Sarawak Health director Dr Veronica Lugah (third right) activating a gimmick to mark the end of Mouth Cancer Awareness Month while others look on.

KUCHING, Feb 25: Three villages in Bau, Lundu and Sebuyau have been part of the Mobile Mouth Screening Anywhere (MeMoSA) app pilot project since December 2023 after they were selected by Ministry of Health (MOH).

Implemented by Cancer Research Malaysia (CRMy) in conjunction with Mouth Cancer Awareness Month (MCAM), the project was conducted in Kampung Peros in Bau, Kampung Pasir Hulu in Lundu, and Kampung Entangor in Sebuyau.

The project aims to gauge the acceptability and feasibility of using digital health in addition to understanding and dealing with obstacles during the implementation of the project so that it can be expanded on a larger scale.

According to information on the MeMoSA website, MeMoSA is a mobile phone app that provides a solution to enable early detection of mouth cancer through connecting health-care professionals, aimed to improve patient management.

Speaking during the MCAM closing ceremony held at Summer Mall in Kota Samaharan today, MOH senior director (Dental Health) Dr Noormi Othman said MCAM is held every year to improve awareness within local communities about oral cancer by encouraging self-care and empowerment to prevent mouth cancer.

“This is because there are still a few people in our society who believe that cancer is a disease that cannot be cured or treated and will definitely cause death.

“Oral cancer is one of the cancers that can be diagnosed at an early stage through an oral examination,” she said.

Meanwhile, Dr Noormi said, in line with one of the priority areas under the National Dental Health Policy, which is Digital Transformation and Innovation, MOH welcomes the collaboration with Cancer Research Malaysia funded by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) in this MeMoSA Pilot Project initiative.

She also said that according to data from the National Cancer Registry, as many as 63 per cent of oral cancer cases are detected at a late stage.

“With the development of the MeMoSA app, MOH expects to increase early detection of oral cancer in Stage 1 by 30 per cent in line with the aim of National Dental Health Strategic Plan 2022–2030,” she added. — DayakDaily