PIP: Organizational and content features of various national family planning programs are reviewed. The Thai program is cited as an example of a family planning program organized on a massive unipurpose compaign basis. The Korean and Taiwan programs have utilized special field workers while upgrading the general health care network. 3 major problems with family planning programs are: 1) the lack of experience with such programs; 2) lack of commitment at the highest political levels; and 3) medical conservatism. Utilization of all available contraceptive methods instead of reliance on 1 method would improve most programs. Nursing and auxiliary personnel could be trained to take over the work of physicians in family planning programs. This is already being done with IUD insertion and pill prescription in several programs. The postpartum tubal ligation approach has proven effective and should be extended. There is a place in all national programs for both the private and the commercial sectors. Incentives for clinics, personnel, and acceptors might spread family planning more rapidly.
In the behavioural conceptual model of health education, behavioural pattern is placed first in the chain of events which can lead from health to disease. If such a model is acceptable, it implies that primary health education must be directed at those behavioural patterns that pre-dispose to diseases. There are obviously numerous behavioural patterns that one is familiar with which would pre-dispose to diseases. The paper discussed some of the more important examples to illustrate the role of behavioural patterns in the causation of disease and the consequential need for health education directed at such behavioural patterns. In relation to nutritional diseases, behavioural patterns in many areas of the developing world are a major contributory factor to the prevalence of protein calorie malnutrition. Such dietary restrictions may even cause the sick individual to be denied the very food he requires. Examples of behavioural patterns in relation to communicable and non-communicable diseases and to medical care were also discussed.
PIP: In 1976 the United Nations's Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific launched a comparative study on integrated family planning programs in a number of countries in the region. In November 1979 the study directors from the participating countries meet in Bangkok to discuss the current status of the studies in their countries. The Korean and Malaysian studies were completed, the Bangladesh study was in the data collecting phase, and the Pakistani research design phase was completed. The meeting participants focused their attention on the findings and policy implications of the 2 completed studies and also discussed a number of theorectical and methodological issues which grew out of their research experience. The Malaysian study indicated that group structure, financial resources, and the frequency and quality of worker-client contact were the most significant variables determining program effectiveness. In the Korean Study, leadership, financial resources, and the frequency and quality of contact between agencies were the key variables in determining program effectiveness. In the Malaysian study there was a positive correlation between maternal and child health service performance measures and family planning service performance measures. This finding supported the contention that these 2 types of service provision are not in conflict with each other but instead serve to reinforce each other. Policy implications of the Korean study were 1) family planning should be an integral part of all community activities; 2) family planning workers should be adequately supported by financial and supply allocations; and 3) adequate record keeping and information exchange procedures should be incorporated in the programs.
Republished in: Teng CL, Khoo EM, Ng CJ (editors). Family Medicine, Healthcare and Society: Essays by Dr M K Rajakumar, Second Edition. Kuala Lumpur: Academy of Family Physicians of Malaysia, 2019: 11-15
A joint pilot project between the Ministry of Health and the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Malaya, to test the value of village aides in extending the health care system into isolated Iban communities was started in May 1979 in the Entabai District of Sarawak. A group of 15 village aides consisting of 11 traditional Iban manangs (medicine-men) and 4 youths were trained to provide primary health care including simple curative care, preventive care and to assist in the detection of malaria. Evaluation carried out 2 years later showed the following. In respect of curative care, the village aides were each, on the average, treating 70.6 patients per month, the most common illness being headaches (30.4 percent), which together with abdominal pain, constipation, bodyaches, diarrhoea, vomiting, fever, worm infestations, cough and sore throat, accounted for 89 percent of all illnesses seen by them. Subsequent to the introduction of village aides in the project area, the number ofseriously ill patients requiring admission to the rest beds of the klinik desa dropped by 43.8 percent and the number of emergency referrals to the back-up divisional hospitals fell by 46.1 percent showing that patients were coming to the klinik desa for treatment at an earlier stage. The 11 traditional Iban manangs, who had received training had, on their own accord, drastically reduced the use of traditional Iban modes of therapy in preference for "modern" medicine. During the 24 months immediately after the introduction of village aides into Entabai, 9 gravity feed water supply systems together with the related "health package" advocating general cleanliness, the use of latrines andfences were effected, whereas only 6 such systems were installed in the previous 24 months, indicating that it is likely that the village aides were of some assistance in mobilizing the community is respect of these self-help efforts. During the same period, the majority of longhouses in the area successfully established a number of vegetable gardens growing foods for home consumption, and continue to vigorously advocate breast feeding of infants in opposition to bottle feeding. During the 23 months after village aides were introduced, a total of 1,093 blood films were collected by the 15 village aides, the average number of blood films per village aide being 3.2 blood slides per month. Village aides are socially accepted by the Iban community who utilize their curative skills when mild illnesses disturb them, but who proceed directly to the klinik desa when more serious illnesses such as fevers strike them. The project has established clear lines of communication between the health team and the community, and has stimulated the community to organize itself to achieve an increasingly high level of health through community participation and self reliance. Plans have been approved in principle to train a further 2000 village aides in primary health care for the state of Sarawak.
Matched MeSH terms: Primary Health Care/manpower; Primary Health Care/organization & administration*