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  1. Omar A, Yusoff MF, Hiong TG, Aris T, Morton J, Pujari S
    Int J Public Health Res, 2013;3(2):297-305.
    PMID: 26451348 MyJurnal
    INTRODUCTION: Malaysia participated in the second phase of the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) in 2011. GATS, a new component of the Global Tobacco Surveillance System, is a nationally representative household survey of adults 15 years old or above. The objectives of GATS Malaysia were to (i) systematically monitor tobacco use among adults and track key indicators of tobacco control and (ii) track the implementation of some of the Framework Convention of Tobacco Control (FCTC)-recommended demand related policies.

    METHODS: GATS Malaysia 2011 was a nationwide cross-sectional survey using multistage stratified sampling to select 5112 nationally representative households. One individual aged 15 years or older was randomly chosen from each selected household and interviewed using handheld device. GATS Core Questionnaire with optional questions was pre-tested and uploaded into handheld devices after repeated quality control processes. Data collectors were trained through a centralized training. Manuals and picture book were prepared to aid in the training of data collectors and during data collection. Field-level data were aggregated on a daily basis and analysed twice a week. Quality controls were instituted to ensure collection of high quality data. Sample weighting and analysis were conducted with the assistance of researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, USA.

    RESULTS: GATS Malaysia received a total response rate of 85.3% from 5112 adults surveyed. Majority of the respondents were 25-44 years old and Malays.

    CONCLUSIONS: The robust methodology used in the GATS Malaysia provides national estimates for tobacco used classified by socio-demographic characteristics and reliable data on various dimensions of tobacco control.
  2. Haslina Hassan, Rosnah Sutan, Nursazila Asikin Mohd Azmi, Shuhaila Ahmad, Rohana Jaafar
    Int J Public Health Res, 2013;3(1):241-248.
    MyJurnal
    The aim of the Fourth Millennium Developmental Goal is to reduce mortality among children less than 5 years by two thirds between 1990 and 2015. Efforts are more focus on improving children's health. The aim of this study was to describe the trend of stillbirth and neonatal deaths in University Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre from 2004 to 2010. A retrospective cross-sectional study was conducted using hospital data on perinatal mortality and monthly census delivery statistics. There were 45,277 deliveries with 526 stillbirths and neonatal deaths. More than half of the stillborn cases were classified as normally formed macerated stillbirth and prematurity was common in neonatal deaths. The trend of SB and NND was found fluctuating in this study. However, by using proportionate test comparing rate, there was a transient significant decline of stillbirth but not neonatal deaths rates between 2004 and 2006. On the other hand, the neonatal deaths rate showed significant increment from 2006 to 2008. When both mortality rates were compared using proportionate test, from the start of the study, year 2004 with end of the study, year 2010, there was no significant decline noted. Trends of stillbirth and neonatal death rates in University Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre within 7 years study period did not show the expected outcome as in Millennium Developmental Goal of two thirds reduction.
  3. Ummi Nadiah Yusoff, Diana Mahat, Azahadi Omar, Teh, Chien Huey, Norzawati Yoep, Riyanti Saari
    Int J Public Health Res, 2013;3(1):249-258.
    MyJurnal
    Mortality estimates are important parameters for health monitoring and are routinely used as evidence for health policy and planning. This study aimed to estimate the mortality component of Burden of Disease in Malaysia in 2008. The 2008 mortality data from the Statistics Department were used to estimate cause-specific mortality (by age and sex) in Malaysia. Data were coded using the ICD10 (International Classification of Disease) coding. Calculation of mortality component of Burden of Disease (ie: Years of Life Lost (YLL) was done using the standard Global Burden of Disease Methodology. The total estimated deaths in Malaysia in 2008 were 124,857, of which 72,202 (57.8%) were males. The total years of life lost (YLL) for the Malaysian population in 2008 was 1.51 million in which 0.92 million (60.7%) was among males. Almost three quarter (68%) of the burden of premature deaths resulted from non-communicable diseases, followed by communicable diseases (20%) and injury (12%). Among the top three leading causes of YLL were ischaemic heart disease (17.1%), stroke (9.6%) and road traffic injuries (8.3%). In Malaysia, premature mortality mainly contributed by non-communicable diseases followed by communicable diseases and injury. A multi-agency collaboration is needed to prevent premature death and to improve quality of life.
  4. Rohayu Sarani, Hizal Hanis Hashim, Wan Fairos Wan Yaakob, Norlen Mohamed, Radin Umar Radin Sohadi
    Int J Public Health Res, 2013;3(1):267-275.
    MyJurnal
    The increase in car usage due to economic prosperity has led to increase in occupant injuries. One way to reduce the injuries encountered by road accident victims is by implementing the rear seatbelt (RSB) law. Rear seatbelt wearing has been proven to save lives. In Malaysia, the implementation of the restraint system for front occupant has started in the 70's. However, the rear seatbelt enforcement law only came in 2009, after six months of an advocacy program. Prior to the introduction of the rear seatbelt law, rear seatbelt wearing rate was rather low, started to increase gradually during the advocacy period and jumped to the highest level after two month of the enforcement. This paper attempts to assess the effectiveness of the rear seatbelt intervention in reducing injuries among passenger car occupants in Malaysia using the generalized linear model (GLM). In GLM procedure, the dependent variable is the number of people from passenger vehicles that sustained severe and slight injuries, for the study period. The study period selected covers six months before implementation, six months during advocacy program, and six months after the law is implemented. The independent variables considered are enforcement and balik kampung activities (both are dummy variables) and time effect. Our results suggest that RSB intervention (p-value= 0.0001) had significantly reduced the number of people sustained serious and slight injuries by about 20%. The implementation of change in the RSB law has benefited not only in reducing the number of injuries but also result to great impact to the health outcomes.
  5. Suraya Hani Mohd Sinon, Nur Syazwani Che Husin, NurulJannah Yusof
    Int J Public Health Res, 2013;3(2):325-333.
    MyJurnal
    The aim of this study was to determine the profile of patients referred to a specialist oral medicine and oral pathology unit in Kuala Lumpur by reviewing clinical dental records received in Oral Pathology Diagnostic Service (OPDS) in Faculty of Dentistry, UKM from 2001 until 2010. A total of 547 archival biopsy clinical dental records were reviewed and analysed using SPSS version 17.0. Oral and maxillofacial diseases were frequently seen in female (1.3:1), young adults (30.0%) of Malay ethnicity (64.6%). Most of the acquired specimens were from dental specialists (n=451, 84.8%), particularly from oral and maxillofacial surgeons (OMFS) (n=349, 63.8%) compared to general dental practitioners (GDPs) (n=81, 14.8%). Almost all of the biopsy specimens were of soft tissue origin (n=462, 84.4%), derived from lining mucosa (n=197, 36.0%) and were biopsied excisionally (n=325, 59.4%) more often than by incisional biopsy (n=207, 37.8%). A large proportion of the oral and maxillofacial diseases were of reactive (n=188, 34.4%) and inflammatory (n=121, 22.1%) cause. Tumours are mainly benign (n=69, 12.6%) with only small cases are malignant (n=34, 6.2%). The most common histological diagnoses were accounted by mucocele (n=56, 10.2%), pyogenic granuloma (n=47, 8.6%), fibroepithelial polyp (n=38, 6.9%), radicular cyst (n=33, 6.0%) and periapical granuloma (n=29, 5.3%). This study characterizes the clinical profile of patients seen in our oral medicine and oral pathology unit. Present findings can be used as a reference to the clinicians and pathologists in effective patient management and organization in the future.
  6. Rohaya Mohd-Nor, Rose Nanju@Manju, Samuel Lihan, Sidiah John Siop, Rekaya Vincent Balang, Constance Rinen Justin Wah, et al.
    Int J Public Health Res, 2013;3(2):334-346.
    MyJurnal
    To date, there has been no systematic research that investigates the rural community awareness and attitudes towards pandemic influenza H1N1 and its prevention measures in the context of Sarawak. There is also no systematic study about whether the initiatives to educate the public undertaken by the government and other agencies have empowered the rural communities to practice an effective self-care within the context of community, that assist to curb the potential spread of this disease. Our research aims to address these limitations. In this paper, we report a survey finding about the awareness and attitudes of the Serian community with regard to this area of research interest. We also investigate the relevant sources of information that the community relies on in understanding about the influenza and how it can spread. Overall, the outcomes of the survey reveal that a majority of our respondents has a relatively low level of knowledge and awareness particularly about the characteristics of the illness and how H1N1 virus can transmit. With regard to prevention measures, a majority of them reported good understanding and awareness about the effective self-care practices that can help to curb the potential spread of the influenza. The top five sources to obtain information about the influenza were: information from family, relatives, friends or neighbours; radio; TV; newspapers; and government health talk seminar or campaigns. The research outcomes can offer pragmatic contributions that can benefit the health campaigners and policy makers.
  7. Akoi, Cliffton, Md. Mizanur Rahman, Mohd Syafiq Abdullah
    Int J Public Health Res, 2013;3(1):236-240.
    MyJurnal
    Medication adherence is very important for the effective treatment or control of various health problems, including chronic disease like diabetes mellitus (DM). However, medication non-adherence among diabetic patients on follow-up treatment is still a global health problem. This study aimed to identify factors associated with medication adherence and to determine methods on how it could be improved. A cross-sectional study was conducted on medication adherence among Malays, Iban and Melanau ethnic groups in Kota Samarahan and Sarikei, Sarawak using the Health Belief Model framework. Interviews with questionnaires, which were tested for its validity and reliability using the Cronbach’s Alpha, were conducted to collect data on the respondent’s socio-demographic and economic characteristics, and health beliefs of 442 respondents. Data was analyzed using SPSS version 17.0 for frequency distribution, measures of central tendencies, significance testing and logistic regression. The medication adherence rates were low in terms of all the treatment indicators such as amount of medication (31.7%), frequency (38.9%), duration (26%), and follow-up treatment (24.2%). The respondent’s socio-economic and economic characteristics have statistically significant association with medication adherence. The respondents adhered towards medication because they believed in its benefits. They also took their medication because they believed in the severity of DM and their susceptibility to its serious complications. The cues to action (medication taking) such as worrying about their socio-economic well-being, effectiveness of medication, and health campaign on diabetic control have influenced medication adherence. However, forgetfulness, distance of clinic, and costs of transport have caused medication non-adherence. The respondent's health beliefs in the benefits of taking medication, perceived severity and susceptibility to DM and its serious complications have contributed towards medication adherence. Their concerns about the socio-economic well-being, effectiveness of medication, and health campaign on diabetic control were positive cues to medication taking behavior. Therefore, modifying the respondent's related health beliefs and reinforcing the positive cues to actions are the relevant intervention strategies that could be used in improving medication adherence among diabetic patients.
  8. Fatimah Sham, Emad Shdaifat, Norhaini Majid, Fatin Khairudin, Nadzirah Zainol, Syafiqah Majid
    Int J Public Health Res, 2013;3(2):370-375.
    MyJurnal
    Osteoporosis-related fractures have been recognized as a major health problem, particularly in the elderly with a high morbidity and mortality rate. The aims of the study were to identify knowledge and perception toward calcium intake among students at UiTM and to explore the differences between genders in dietary calcium intake. A cross sectional study was conducted through 336 students aged 18 to 34 years old. The participants were randomly chosen from the student’s enrolment list. A modified questionnaire was used to obtain the knowledge and perception of the participants. More than half of the participants have low knowledge regarding dietary calcium intake (58.6%), positive view towards the benefits of calcium intake and low perception towards the barrier of calcium intake. Chi square analysis showed a significant difference between male and female for knowledge (p=0.034) and barrier (p=0.002) for calcium intake. Intervention programs should be adopted to increase the knowledge among young adults to improve their health and prevent risk factors. So, health education specifically on calcium intake will be very useful to improve the knowledge and behavior of students.
  9. Rozita Hod, Hidayatulfathi Othman, Nurul Azimah Jemain, Mazrura Sahani, Kamarulismail Udin, Zainudin Mohd Ali, et al.
    Int J Public Health Res, 2013;3(2):347-352.
    MyJurnal
    Dengue is a disease propagated by vectors namely Aedes spp. mosquitoes. One of the effective approaches to control dengue is through integrated vector management and intervention programs. COMBI or Communication for Behavioral Impact is a strategic approach to control the Aedes population as well as dengue cases. This study was conducted at Taman Desa Kolej, Nilai, Negeri Sembilan, an suburban residential area to determine the effectiveness of COMBI, by using questionnaire and entomological survey as well as implementation of an intervention program. We carried out activities such as the establishment of COMBI promoter team, clean up events, talk shows with the residential community and distributed pamphlets containing information about dengue. Results indicated significant difference (p
  10. Lai BF, Safii R, Nyulang L, Dunggau C, Riffin MA, Khu FM, et al.
    Int J Public Health Res, 2011;1(2):237-241.
    MyJurnal
    Introduction The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the effectiveness of using TelePrimary Care (TPC) to monitor immunization programmed in a clinic. Japanese Encephalitis (JE) vaccination was selected as an example because its coverage has not been satisfactory when compared to that of other vaccinations, which generally exceed 90%.
    Methods Data for all children who were eligible for JE vaccination (age range from 9 months to 30 months) who attended Sarikei Health Clinic between 1 January 2007 till 31 June 2008, was extracted from the TPC database and analyzed for completeness and timeliness of JE vaccination.
    Results The analysis showed that although 1,243 children were eligible to receive their first dose of J vaccine at 9 months of age, only 560 (45%) received it. 15 (3%) received on time, and 545 (97%) received it late (age range from 10 months to 20 months). Out of the 560 who were scheduled to receive their second dose of JE vaccine four weeks after the first, 382 (88%) received it on time, and 55 (12%) received it late. Only 78 (18%) out of 429 children aged between 18 months to 24 months received their booster dose; 52 (67%) received it on time and 26 (33%) received it late.TPC not only enables health staff to monitor immunization coverage and timeliness accurately, but it also helps them to identify defaulters quickly so that these children can be traced and immunized. Doing these tasks manually is time-consuming and tedious, leading to delays in tracing defaulters.
    Conclusions TPC provides an effective system for staff to easily access real time child health data to monitor and audit their immunization programme and take remedial action where necessary.
  11. Anuar Ithnin, Kong, Dinnee, Venkataraman, Saraswathy
    Int J Public Health Res, 2012;2(2):137-143.
    MyJurnal
    Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a hand disorder which indicates the presence of symptoms such as pain, numbness, and muscle weakness among the patient. CTS is an occupational related disorder which can occur in any profession. However, it can be prevented and managed. The aims of the research were to determine the prevalence of acquiring CTS among nurses who worked in the wards and occupational risk factors involving the upper limbs during nursing tasks performance. The specific aims were to determine the relationship between the prevalence of acquiring CTS and individual factors (age, gender, race, educational level, duration of work and medical history), relationship between the prevalence of acquiring CTS and occupational risk factors in nursing tasks. Nurses profession was chosen as they are performing multitask involving upper limbs especially the wrist joints. Boston Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Questionnaire (BCTQ) was used to determine the level of severity in CTS. Occupational risk factors were assessed by using the Rapid Upper Limb Assessment (RULA). This research was a cross sectional mode which was carried out at a government university medical centre from November through December 2010. Eighty nurses were involved in the research. The respondents were required to fill in the socio-demographic information sheet. Those having CTS were required to fill in the BCTQ. Assessments were performed by observing of the job activity through RULA. The results showed that the prevalence for nurses acquiring CTS is 7.5%. The RULA assessment also indicated that the risk factor was in the highest level with a score of 7. No relationship was shown between the prevalence of CTS and race, gender, educational level and medical history. Significant relationship was indicated by the prevalence of CTS and occupational risk factors. In conclusion, a significant prevalence of CTS related to age of more than 30 years old, Malay races compared to Indian, working experience of more than 10 years and respondents with right hand dominant. Occupational risk factors also indicated among the active nurses. Therefore, it is important for us to modify the work environment, work flow, work methodology and ergonomic factors in order to prevent the nurses from acquiring CTS. Furthermore, education about the condition of CTS should be implemented and reinforced especially among the higher risk nurses.
  12. Aniza Ismail, Saperi Sulung, Syed Mohamed AlJunid, Nor Hamdan Mohd Yahaya, Husyairi Harunarashid, Oteh Maskon, et al.
    Int J Public Health Res, 2012;2(2):153-160.
    MyJurnal
    Clinical pathways have been implemented in many healthcare systems with mix results in improving the quality of care and controlling the cost. CP is a methodology used for mutual decision making and organization of care for a well-defined group of patients within a well-defined period. In developing the CPs for a medical centre, several meetings had been carried out involving expert teams which consist of physicians, nurses, pharmacists and physiotherapists. The steps used to develop the pathway were divided into 5 phases. Phase 1: the introduction and team development, Phase II: determining the cases and information gathering, Phase III: establishing the draft of CP, Phase IV: is implementing and monitoring the effectiveness of CP while Phase V: evaluating, improving and redesigning of the CP. Four CPs had been developed: Total Knee Replacement (TKR), ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction (AMI), Chronic Obstructive Airways Diseases (COAD) and elective Lower Segment Caesarean Section (LSCS). The implementation of these CPs had supported the evidence-based medicine, improved the multidisciplinary communication, teamwork and care planning. However, the rotation of posts had resulted in lack of document ownership, lack of direction and guidance from senior clinical staff, and problem of providing CPs prior to admission. The development and implementation of CPs in the medical centre improved the intra and inter departmental communication, improved patient outcomes, promote patient safety and increased patient satisfaction. However, accountability and understanding of the CPs must be given more attention.

    Study site: Pusat Perubatan Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (PPUKM)
  13. Al-Kubaisy, Waqar A., Niazi, Amjad D.
    Int J Public Health Res, 2011;1(2):72-78.
    MyJurnal
    Introduction Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) recently was identified as a major cause of post transfusion hepatitis world wide. To evaluate the role of blood transfusion on the prevalence of HCV infection, by testing antibody and RNA as well as the genotypes of HCV .Also to detect if Blood transfusion acts as unconfounding risk factor for HCV infection.
    Methods Sera from 3491 pregnant women were investigated for the presence of HCV antibodies (anti-HCV) by using third generation enzyme immunoassay (EIA-3) as screening test, followed by immunoblot assay (Lia Tek-III). In addition 94 sera of studied women were subjected to molecular analysis (at laboratories of Sorin BioMedica - Italy) for the detection of viral RNA and genotypes of HCV. Using RT-PCR & DNA Enzyme immunoassay (DEIA) method.
    Results Our study revealed, that seroprevalence rate of HCV specific Ab & RNA were significantly higher (16.32 %, 80% respectively) among women with a history of blood transfusion, compared to those (2.53%, 56.5%) with no such history P=0.0001, P=0.01. And there is a significant direct linear correlation between number of blood transfused and the seropositive rate of anti-HCV (r=0.7, p=0.046). Based on multivariate analysis, interestingly, this study confirmed that, blood transfusion significantly acting as unconfounding risk factor for acquiring HCV infection (Adjusted OR=1.938,95% C.I=1.646-2.28). And the risk of exposure is increases with increased number of blood transfused. Although, we found no significant association between, HCV genotypic distribution and history of blood transfusion. However, high proportion of women with a history of blood transfusion were harboring HCV genotype -4 or 1b, 50%,40%, resepctively.
    Conclusions Our study shows, evidence that, blood transfusion acts as unconfounding risk factor for acquiring and in a mode of transmission of HCV infection. Therefore strict screening of blood donor for HCV-Abs and / or RNA is highly recommended.
  14. Abai G, Henry J, Lian CB, Wee ASF, Bili H, Ratu I
    Int J Public Health Res, 2011;1(2):92-99.
    MyJurnal
    Introduction Neonatal jaundice occurs in about 60% of newborns. If not managed properly, it can progress to severe neonatal jaundice (SNNJ) leading to death or permanent disability. The incidence of SNNJ in Kuching District increased from 119.3 per 100,000 live births in 2005 to 123.3 per 100,000 live births in 2008, which was above the Standard National QAP Indicator of 100 per 10,000 live births. SNNJ can be prevented by early detection and proper management of neonatal jaundice. The objective is to increase the knowledge and practise of early detection of neonatal jaundice by nurses in Kuching District. Methods This was an interventional study covering a period of six months. The sample comprised 113 nurses of all categories working in urban and rural maternal and child health clinics in Kuching District. Tools used in the study were self-administered questionnaires in English and Bahasa Malaysia. The preintervention survey started in July 2009 while the post-intervention survey was done in January 2010. The interventions were done through Continuing Nursing Education sessions and included new nursing formats and new reporting procedures. New vehicles were also provided for home nursing. Data was collected and analyzed using MS Excel program. Results The pre-intervention survey on nurses showed that only 56.6% were able to identify the risk of factors causing jaundice; 94.6% able to define jaundice; 41.5% able to detect jaundice while 70.8% knew sign of Kernicterus. In term of recommended post natal nursing schedule only 40.7% able to practice the schedule while only 69.0% able to give advice on management of jaundice. Post intervention; 63.2% of nurses were able to identify the risk factors causing jaundice; 97.2% able to define jaundice while 97.2% were able to detect jaundice and 88.6% know sign of Kernicterus. On recommended post natal nursing schedule, 49.9 % practice the recommended schedule while 92.0% were able to give advice to mother on management of jaundice. The incident of jaundice of Severe Neonatal Jaundice dropped to 78 per 100,000 live births in 2010.
    Conclusions The study shows that the interventions taken helped to improve the knowledge and practice of recommended measures to detect neonatal jaundice early. Stronger emphasis must be placed on using the new reporting procedures and new nursing sheets. Continuous monitoring through regular nursing audits by clinic supervisors is also essential to reduce the incidence of SNNJ. Provision of vehicles for all busy maternal and child health clinics for home nursing care is highly recommended.
  15. Chua, Philip Yi Shean, Lee, Sue Laine, Tow, Zhen Jiang, Mantok, Richmund, Muhamad Khairul Hawari Muhamad Nor, Dorairaja, Lavena, et al.
    Int J Public Health Res, 2013;3(1):223-231.
    MyJurnal
    Rapid Rural Appraisal (RRA) is a systematic, semi-structured activity carried out in the field by a multidisciplinary team that is designed to obtain new information and hypotheses about rural life. This article reports the results of an RRA conducted in Kampung Paris 1 (KGP1), Kinabatangan, Sabah under the Annual Health Promotion Program of the School of Medicine, Universiti Malaysia Sabah. A systematic random sampling was used to recruit the villagers and data was obtained through compilation of pre-existing data, field observation, structured interviews with key informants and villagers. Cardiorespiratory diseases were prevalent in KGP1. Common water sources such as rain water collected in dug wells in KGP1 were unhygienic. Dangerous toxic fumes were produced by the burning of municipal wastes nearby village houses. The villagers of KGP1 were exposed to various farm animals, which may harbor zoonoses. Health care services are limited in KGP1. Villagers who were not poor (>RM897) represented 48% of the population, followed by the poor (RM503-897), 20% and the hardcore poor (1.00 person per bedroom. Poor water hygiene, polluted air from open burning, exposure to farm animals, poverty, poor education, overcrowding and inadequate health care services were among the few possible factors affecting the health of villagers in KGP1. Formal rigorous research should be conducted in the future to facilitate specific health interventions in areas of need such as KGP1.
  16. Fadil Lokman ML
    Int J Public Health Res, 2013;3(1):232-235.
    MyJurnal
    It all started with a SSM research. SSM, which is an abbreviation for ‘Special Study Module’ is a unique module in the curriculum of the Medical Faculty National University of Malaysia (UKM), where each students were required to do a medical research in the field that we have interest in. Being interested in the field of public health, 3 of my friends and I did a research on the prevalence of tuberculosis in Cheras using the graphic informational system (GIS) to map each case of tuberculosis on the map of Kuala Lumpur. Our supervisor was Associate Professor Dr Shamsul Azhar, who is himself an expert on the field of GIS study and has been doing his PhD research using the same system in Niigata University, Japan for almost 4 years. During one of our SSM meetings, he mentions that the post-graduate students in UKM has done several visits to Niigata University and brought up the idea that maybe the undergraduate students like us could do the same. (Copied from article).
  17. Syaqirah Akmal, Nizam Baharom
    Int J Public Health Res, 2012;2(2):184-191.
    MyJurnal
    In the cold winter month of January 2012, two post graduate students from the Department of Community Health, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), went on a two weeks field attachment with the Division of International Health (Public Health), Niigata University Graduate School of Medical & Dental Sciences (NU). This report is an account of our first hand learning experience about the public health system and culture in Niigata, Japan. Famously known as the 'Snow Country', Niigata prefecture is approximately 350 kilometers north of Tokyo, in the middle of the west coast of Honshu island, facing the Sea of Japan. It borders on the east with Fukushima prefecture, which was badly affected by the great tsunami disaster in March 2011. Niigata has a population of two and a half million, of which 21.3% is above the age of 65. Niigata University is located in Niigata City, the capital of Niigata prefecture. This attachment was under the UKM-Global Student Mobility Programme (Outbound) and it was taken as an opportunity to improve the memorandum of understanding between UKM and NU. The objectives were to gain knowledge and experience in various public health issues in a developed nation like Japan. Specifically, we were interested to learn about the local public health programmes, the influenza surveillance system, public health programmes for the elderly population, the Geographical Information System (GIS) and the Japanese culture in general. (Copied from article).
  18. Lim, Kuang Kuay, Chan, Ying Ying, Ahmad Ali Zainuddin, Teh, Chien Huey, Rusidah Selamat, Kee, Chee Cheong, et al.
    Int J Public Health Res, 2013;3(1):198-203.
    MyJurnal
    Iodine deficiency is still prevalent worldwide and it is the main cause of goiter, thyroid dysfunction and mental retardation. The aim of the study was to determine the iodine status and goiter prevalence among the school children in Terengganu. The representative sample consists of 1163 primary school children aged 8-10 years old randomly selected from urban and rural schools in Terengganu using stratified systematic random sampling technique. Urinary iodine levels in spot urine were determined by in house modified micro-method while goiter assessment was carried out by palpation of thyroid gland. The status of iodine deficiency was determined by the median urinary iodine concentrations (UIC) and total goiter prevalence (TGP) in accordance with the WHO criteria. The result showed the median [inter-quartile range (IQR)] urinary iodine concentrations was 78.7µg/L (50.1µg/L -120.0µg/L) indicating the iodine intake was slightly lower than recommended range of 100 µg/L. The rural school children had a significantly lower Iodine levels (median UIC=72.4µg/L, IQR=46.7µg/L -113.0µg/L) than the urban school children (median UIC=87.7µg/L, IQR=54.5 µg/L - 127.5µg/L). The total goiter prevalence (TGP) was 5.7%. The prevalence of goiter was significantly higher in rural (TGP=6.9%) compared to urban areas (TGP=3.6%). The study revealed that school children in Terengganu showed mild iodine deficiency and the condition is more pronounced in children from rural areas. The findings emphasize the importance of intervention implementation, universal salt iodization to ensure sufficient intake of iodine among the Terengganu school children.
  19. Ling, Sui Hui, Chua, Soh Yian, Habsah Razak, Muhamad Rais Abdullah, Wong, See Chang, Toh, Teck Hock
    Int J Public Health Res, 2011;1(2):146-151.
    MyJurnal
    Introduction Children with cerebral palsy (CP) are often prescribed Rehabilitation and Seating Systems (RSS) to assist in daily activities, posture improvement and prevention of muscular-skeletal complications. In Sarawak, a special project to produce RSS was started under a partnership of a Japanese physiotherapist, health department and the community using local material.Aim To document the RSS project and to determine usefulness and costaffordability of these systems for cerebral palsy children and their families.
    Methods The details of RSS manufactured were retrieved from the clinic notes and secretary file. Parents of children who received the seating systems between July 2004 and September 2008 were invited to complete a 5-point Global Parental Perception Questionnaire (GPPQ) between December 2008 and January 2009.
    Results 277 RSS were manufactured between July 2004 and February 2011 (which included modified wheel chair, wooden chair, corner chair, buggy chair and standing frame), and used by children all over Sarawak. Parents of 73 children who used the seating systems completed the 5-points GPPQ. Ten families required full sponsorship. Children spent more time sitting up and brought outdoor more often after the systems became available. Majority of parents reported positive experience in their children with sitting ability, smiles, interaction with people, learning skills and easiness of doing physiotherapy. No change was noted with passing of motion drooling / oral secretion. Most parents agreed that the cost was affordable and worth paying.
    Conclusions A community based initiative to manufacture RSS by using locally available material and skill, at affordable price for the parents was feasible and useful for the family/children with CP.
  20. Ling, W.W., Ling, L.P., Chin, Z.H., Wong, I.T., Wong, A.Y., Nasef, A., et al.
    Int J Public Health Res, 2011;1(2):152-162.
    MyJurnal
    Intake and Output (I/O) records in hospitals were often found to be incomplete and illegible. The form used to record I/O is not user-friendly - i.e., they feature miniscule boxes, 'total' lines that do not correspond with shift changes and lack of instructions. Complaints often received from Specialists & Doctors regarding calculation errors or no totalling of I/O. Moreover, Nursing Sisters objective rounds often saw incompleteness of I/O chart. This study aims to identify the types of mistakes in recording the existing I/O chart. The second aim is to find out whether shift totalling of I/O chart helps in reducing mistakes. We try to determine whether the identified mistakes were repeated in the new I/O Chart. This study was conducted from October till December 2010 in 9 selected wards in Sibu Hospital. Data collection was divided into 3 phases. A pre-implementation audit using a checklist was carried out. The compliance rate of completeness of documentation of I/O Chart was 63%. A one month trial of new I/O chart was being done in the selected 9 wards. Post implementation audit showed a significant improvement of compliance rate (88%). Feedback from health care workers (N=110) showed that, 89% of doctors (n=17) and 60% of nurses (n=93) in the sample prefer to use the new format as more practical and relevant to the changing shift of nurses and doctors' ward round. It is suggested to implement the new format to increase compliance rate of documentation of I/O charting. Briefing should be given to nurses periodically and the new format should be introduced to nursing students in nursing colleges.
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