The idea and objective to establish and form an association for the sterilization services was mooted by a few of the sterilization staff who had the opportunity to attend the World Sterilization Conference held in Singapore in 1990. However after the Amsterdam Sterilization Conference 1995, the idea was put in action as it became more obvious that the active interaction, sharing of knowledge and experiences by attending such conferences, would not only benefit individuals but the patients and the country in general. The few CSSD nurses from Hospital Kuala Lumpur, University Hospital and Hospital Sungai Buloh came together and formed the Malaysian Sterile Service Association. With the encouragement, support not only from other local nurses but those from the world body and others and including that of the Ministry of Health, the drive and the urgency to establish the Association for the Sterile Services became the outmost priority.
The Association was initially organized under protem committee and headed by Pn. Wan Muji Wan Ngah, Pn. HasnahJalil (retired), Pn. Yeoh Saw See, Pn. Noormah Hj. Hashim and Pn. Rohani Ahmad.
The drive to quicken the pace to establish the Association was also on account of the Ministry Of Health not sponsoring and organizing seminars and education programs for those candidates that were interested in the sterile services and also the continuing education of those in the central service. It simply meant that there was no formal training and thus the upgrading in the sterile service so as to contribute to the improving patient care. It became more and more obvious that an association must be formed as those in the sterile service could see not the immediate problem but also the trends and potential problems that were coming not just within the central service but also the industry. Establishing an association is the only way to further educate and update the latest development in the sterile service field.
The Malaysian Sterile Service Association held its first unofficial meeting (protem committee) on the 2nd September 1995 and officially registered and approved by the Registrar of Society on the 26th January 1996. Initially only 38 members were registered but to date the Association had 527 active members. 67 % those serving the government sector and 33 % from private hospitals.
The Association has also 29 members from Singapore and not forgetting the participation of those in the industry vendors or suppliers who became corporate members. Membership of the association is not only restricted to nursing staff serving the sterile service department but it includes the autoclave technician, operating nurse, infection control officers, microbiologist, engineers and doctors. Our membership is still growing.
Early development of MSSA
When MSSA was officially establish on 2nd September 1995, it only had 38 registered members. Initially, its pro-temp committee consisted of elected members who were serving in Kuala Lumpur Hospital and University Hospital.
In 1996 MSSA was officially registered as a registered society under the societies Act of Malaysia, and duly approved on 25th January 1996. By this time the number of its member has increased to 123 members. Accordingly, 85 per cent of its total members were government servant and the other 15 per cent were those serving in private hospital. MSSA was established due to an earnest awareness among practitioners of sterilisation in Malaysia, the importance of the process and procedures of sterilisation being practiced here to be competed to international procedures and standards.
Formation of Malaysian Sterile Service Association (MSSA)
Seeing the success of the international conference, with benefits and interactions at international levels, a group of Nurses from Kuala Lumpur Hospital, University Hospital and the National Leprosy Control Centre were motivated to form an association. They believed strongly that standards and procedures of sterilization are very important in the career of those personnel involved in sterilization services. It was with this belief that the urge to form MSSA come about and it was hoped that through MSSA a good standard of working procedure would be disseminated to all practitioners of sterilization. At this juncture Ms. Wan Muji binti Wan Ngah, who was then attached to Sterilization Unit of Kuala Lumpur Hospital, a hospital which act as a referral hospital in the country, thought of an idea to document a certain referral materials which would benefit present and future personnel involved in this sector. A referral document which would help them immensely in sustaining their profession. With her many years of experience in this profession, Ms. Wan Muji believed that a society such as MSSA would open up avenues and channels for its members to interact, communicate and share information and experiences with other members at both national and international level. Thus, it was with this belief and confidence that gave birth to MSSA.
In its early years, MSSA started with only 38 members in 1996. Later, in 1990, its members increased to 627 members i.e a 93.7 per cent rise in its membership. Presently, the latest number of registered members stands at 1,142 members. Majority of its members are practitioners of the profession in the country and also from international countries such as Singapore, Australia, United Kingdom, Thailand and Saudi Arabia. Besides that, other nurses, doctors, engineers, science experts, autoclave operators and corporate figures who are involved in sterilization service are also members of MSSA.
Administration of MSSA Activities
For the election of committee members, a proposal form is sent to active members once in every two years, usually 3 or 4 month prior to the date of the AGM. Each form sent is accompanied with a stamped reply envelope.
The central committee is responsible for the planning and implementation of all MSSA activities and to ensure that activities carried out are in compliance with the vision, mission and objectives of MSSA . In ensuring a smooth running of MSSA programmes and activities, the committee held between 6 to 8 meetings yearly.
MSSA garners its financial resources from ordinary membership fee, corporate membership fee, conference registration fee and etc. The amount collected is adequate to maintain and upkeep Rumah MAS, and may at times send representative to local and overseas meeting and to pay professional fees to speaker and expert who are invited to speak at conference and seminar organised by MSSA.
Annual Conference is a major activity of MSSA. The main focus of conferences held is usually topic or themes which adhere to MSSA’s objective and sterilization services and profession. Speakers and expert in related field from both inside and outside the country are often invited to give talk and to share their experiences.
State Level Seminars
In line with its objective to disseminate knowledge to sterilization professionals MSSA held sterilization services seminar. The main objective of this seminar was to give exposures to CSSU personals on sterilization standard and toward achieving ISO 9000 and to stress the importance of uniformity in the practise of wrapping and packaging.
For the purpose of gaining new knowledge in sterilization, sterilization practitioner can apply to attend International conference organized by WFHSS (World forum for hospital sterile supply)
Operator Sterilizer Course
The objective of this course is to upgrade sterilization practices in handling sterilizer in hospitals including packaging and sterilization process. Training are provided by qualified speaker expert in the field of sterilization. There are 3 courses yearly with theory and practical session .Participant are tested on their knowledge and a certificate will be given at the end of the course. A fee is charge for the 4 days course.
In line with its objective to disseminate knowledge, headed by MSSA committee we managed to compile and produce sterilization reference books for those interested and concerned in the field of sterilisation.