Cochrane and Malaysian Ministry of Health join together to provide full access to the Cochrane Library across the country

Cochrane CEO Mark Wilson and members of Cochrane Malaysia stand together for a photo

Cochrane is delighted to announce that the Cochrane Library is now freely available to health decision-makers across Malaysia.

Thanks to the successful partnership between Cochrane Malaysia, Wiley, and researchers from the National Institutes of Health within the Malaysian Ministry of Health, the world-renowned Cochrane Library launches across the country, making it possible for decision-makers to use evidence to improve health decisions and expand evidence-based treatment in the Malaysian national healthcare system.

Cochrane is a global independent network of health practitioners, researchers, patient advocates and others in 140 countries working together to produce credible and accessible health information in the form of Cochrane systematic reviews and other evidence-based content and resources. This health information is published on the Cochrane Library

Cochrane Malaysia was officially formed as a branch of the Australasian Cochrane Centre in September 2014. It is a network coordinated by RCSI & UCD Malaysia Campus and comprising four other institutions: Institute for Medical Research, Melaka-Manipal Medical College, University of Malaya and Universiti Sains Malaysia. Its work advocates for the evidence-informed health care across the country holding training events, mentoring authors, establishing close links with the Ministry of Health, and building up a network of individuals able to provide local support for the publication of Cochrane systematic reviews.

Professor Jacqueline Ho, Co-Director of Cochrane Malaysia at the RCSI & UCD Malaysia campus, said of this announcement: “We sincerely thank the Ministry of Health of Malaysia for providing national access to the Cochrane Library. National access to Cochrane Reviews has been the priority of Cochrane Malaysia since we started in 2014, and it is gratifying that it has finally happened. To progress as a Nation, Malaysia needs to have access to the best available research evidence in order to make the right healthcare policy and clinical practice decisions and to ensure that healthcare money is spent on treatments that are known to be beneficial. Access to the Cochrane Library is a big step in this direction.”

Director-General of Health in Malaysia, Tan Sri Datuk Seri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, said, “I am extremely happy that we are able to provide The Cochrane Library across the nation. As one of Cochrane Malaysia’s affiliate sites, MOH is extremely proud that we are progressing in providing the best research evidence for the best healthcare decision making. This provision comes at a very apt timing for use in our health care. I would like to congratulate NIH, Malaysia and all researchers for their dedication towards providing evidence from the Cochrane Library and continuous training for MOH, especially, and Malaysia generally.”

Professor Dr. Shaiful Bahari Ismail, Dean of the Medical School at Universiti Sains Malaysia, (USM), commented: “I strongly applaud a great move from our Ministry of Health to ensure free access to the Cochrane Library in Malaysia. USM has taken a leadership role in Cochrane Malaysia’s activities and systematic review process since 2004, with authorship of multiple reviews and organization of regular training courses. We are one of the official affiliates in Malaysia. In the early years, USM organized national meetings with all Malaysian medical schools to incorporate evidence-based medicine in the undergraduate medical curriculum. This was done in collaboration with the international SEA-ORCHID project. Among the pioneers that brought these important activities to USM include Prof. Hans Van Rostenberghe, Prof. Che Anuar Che Yaacob and Prof. Norhayati Mohd Nor. 

The move towards universal access to Cochrane will not only enhance in major ways our academic research but also will contribute to a more effective teaching and subsequently a better service to the patients. Community outreach programs will surely be facilitated too. I feel it is truly a great day for evidence-based medicine in Malaysia.”

Professor Dr. Moy Foong Ming, Coordinator of the University of Malaya site, reacted to this announcement: “As one of the members from the Cochrane Malaysia Coordinating Group, we are proud and grateful to note that the National Institutes of Health, Ministry of Health has successfully subscribed to the Cochrane National License. With this, all Malaysians and importantly for us, the University of Malaya’s students and staff get access to all full text under the Cochrane Library for free download. This will provide up to date evidence for clinical practice as well as research.”

Cochrane’s Chief Executive Officer, Mark Wilson, thanked the Malaysian Ministry of Health for arranging this agreement. He said: “I am delighted to hear this news – the exceptional efforts from the Cochrane Malaysia team mean that, now, everyone can access the high quality, trusted health information within the Cochrane Library from anywhere in the country. We are hopeful that Cochrane evidence will now inform more decisions made by policy makers, health practitioners, researchers and patients. Many of our Cochrane Malaysia researchers and clinicians are leaders in the field, and with the expertise they bring and new expanded access to the Cochrane Library, I know they will further our mission of delivering trusted evidence into health policy and clinical decision-making across Malaysia.”

Wednesday, October 28, 2020