• 1 Universiti Malaysia Sabah


Introduction: Global health awareness is sorely lacking in medical curricula and the general public, leading to increasing apathy and decreased levels of volunteerism. Much knowledge about pertinent global health issues is sequestered with academicians and researchers, with little public trickle down. The aim of the study was to increase awareness among Sabahan public about global health issues and promote discussion. Methods: A global health film club was established at community level and discussions about issues and potential individual action points was conducted. Films were screened every month in both UMS and Palliative Care Center Sabah. Global health issues ranging from First World manipulation of HIV/AIDS medication prices, deregulation of medical devices industries, heroin addiction, ADHD drug abuse, and stigma in psychiatry were covered. Public participants’ responses were collected qualitatively. Results: The films largely were well received by participants, with most participants prefer-ring the expose-type films over the more narrative approaches. Films spurred discussion about how foreign or global issues were related to local level, for example unscrupulous sale of medical devices in Malaysian populations and abuse of sleeping medications from local health providers. Also each film screening vastly increased participants’ awareness of pertinent issues, and spurred them to evangelise about said issues to others and take small actions. Conclusion: Global health is a somewhat neglected part of medical and community curricula. Lack of awareness about global health issues reduces the public’s capacity for collective action in exerting pressure on stakeholders, governments, and civil society in taking action. It is hoped such regular global health film screenings at local level brings literacy on urgent public health issues to the people for whom it matters most – the communities where ad-verse global health consequences eventually arise.