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).
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.
Pregnancy and childbirth are generally regarded as a turning point for women even though it is not an illness. This is because the physiological and psychosocial adaptation can bring about stress and anxiety. Ontologically a pregnant woman is not merely an object that can be classified as a
primigravida or according to her obstetric condition. The contention is that she is also a daughter, a working woman, and a wife with her past, present and future. All these determine who she is and influence how she thinks, acts, feels and behaves during childbirth (Polt, 1999). This journal is about Heideggerian hermeneutic study: Malaysian Chinese women’s expectations and lived experiences of childbirth.
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.
Primary health care is an approach to health and a spectrum of services beyond the traditional health care system while primary care is just one element within PHC that focuses on health care services. The present status of PHC in Malaysia and the strides it has made in uplifting the health status of the nation is described. The challenges that the Malaysia health system are facing have necessitated a review of the structure of the whole health system and reforms in PHC will ensue in due course. The concept of 1Care, the proposed re-structuring of the health system, is discussed with emphasis on the reform in the PHC delivery system. The reforms are aimed at addressing three main concerns on seamless integration of care especially for the management of chronic diseases, ensuring universal coverage and responsiveness of the health system in the face of increasing client expectations and patient safety. The opportunity for macro reform to improve the health of Malaysians by developing a sustainable and high performing health care system is being seized by the Ministry of Health in 1Care. The micro reforms are discussed as regards to increasing access to services, development of primary health care teams to deliver comprehensive PHC, the application of ICT, the renewed emphasis on health promotion & prevention activities and a renewed focus on community empowerment and participation. Support in terms of human resource, governance & funding models, capacity building in monitoring & evaluation as well as change management to affect the reforms are identified. The paper concludes with lessons learnt from other countries and the importance of systemic reform for a well functioning health delivery system.
Developmental disabilities in young children are common, and the prevalence is estimated as high as 0.1-1.75% in the children population for each disabilities. With increasing awareness and health expectation, more children with Developmental disabilities are presenting to health care professionals, and at earlier age. Literatures also suggested the importance of early intervention programme in determining the outcome of this group of children. Therefore, it is vital for health professionals who have direct contact with young children are competent in detecting children with possible Developmental disabilities, and have the basic knowledge about some of the common disorders in order to discuss the issues with the parents. It is also important to work with the various resources available in the local community, such as non-governmental organisations for children with special needs, schools offering special education programmes and inclusive classes, and the allied health who provide cares to this group of young children and their family. A lot of information are also available online, and may be offered to help parents gaining more understanding regarding these Developmental disabilities.
Introduction More school children were referred for learning difficutly (LD), especially after the introduction of LINUS sccreening programme by Ministry of Education Malaysia.
Aims To study the clinical diagnosis and non-verbal ability of primary-one school children with LD after paediatric assessment, as well as associated behavioural issues and socio-economincal background.
Methods Assessment findings by Paediatricians and Naglieri Non-Verbal Ability Test®(NNAT®) results of all primary-one school children referred in year 2010 with LD were studied retrospectively.
Results Ninety-three children were included (62.4% male), and 72.0% of them failed the LINUS screening programme. The commonest diagnoses were Borderline Intellectual Disability (ID, 37.6%) and Mild ID (19.4%). Other diagnoses included Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD, 11.8%), Specific Learning Disability (SLD, 10.8%), Autistic Spectrum Disorder (n = 5) and Severe Language Disorder (n = 3). Mean NNAT scores were 84.6 ± 11.8 (n = 85), of which 9.4% children scored less than 70 (
A prospective study done In al Zaafaranya General Hospital in Baghdad/Iraq In the period between April 2003 and February 2007. Ninety two patients admitted to the surgical wards diagnosed as Intestinal obstruction. The aim is to find out the possible common conditions resulting in causing this common surgical emergency. Also to compare the provisional clinical diagnosis about ischemic obstruction and the definitive post operative diagnosis. To encourage post graduate students to use their clinical abilities with the few laboratory and radiological facilities available needed to decide about the management of those patients.
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.
Introduction Elderly are often associated with multiple social and health problems. Family members are important in helping them doing their daily activities. For elderly diabetics, family support has a role in diabetes management and glucose control. The aim of this study is to explore the perceptions of elderly diabetics regarding the role of family support on their glucose control.
Methods This qualitative technique was a part of the study on glucose control and its associated factors among elderly diabetics. It was conducted from February until May 2009 in Kulim. Ten respondents were purposively sampled based on their glucose control. HbA1c 6.5% or less was considered as good glucose control. In depth interview, using semi-structured interview guide was used in this study. The conversation had been taped, transcribed to verbatim and analyzed manually using thematic analysis.
Results All ten respondents perceived that family support did not play a role on their glucose control. They believed that self-awareness and self-determination were important to control the glucose level. Those with good glucose control practiced healthy diet, and not affected by food prepared by their family members compared to those with poor glucose control. However, both groups claimed that, they did not receive much advice from their family members and no special food was prepared for them. Conclusions Elderly diabetics should be motivated on self-determination and focusing on good glucose control. Health education should be given to patients and their family members to increase their diabetes knowledge especially on useful advice and proper food preparation. It could motivate the elderly diabetics to control their glucose level.
Accepted 10 August 2011.
Introduction Cervical cancer (CC) is the second most prevalent female cancer in Malaysia. Almost 70% of its’ causal factors are attributable to oncogenic human papillomavirus (HPV) types 16, 18 and other risk factors. HPV genotypes distributions are also noted to differ by geographical area.
Methods This was cross sectional study conducted in 2007, to determine the influencing factors of HPV positivity and prevalence of HPV infections among patients with cervical cancer in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre (UKMMC). Patients’ paraffin-embedded cervical tissues kept in the Pathology Department from 1999 to 2007 were randomly selected. A total of 81 medical records with complete information were chosen as samples and patients were contacted for consent. Tissue samples were further derived for PCR DNA for HPV genotyping. Analyses included descriptive statistics; bivariate χ2 test and correlation were used to determine relationship between factors and HPV positivity. Significance level of less than 0.05 was taken as statistically significant.
Results Mean age of cancer diagnosis was at 52 ± 12.2 years. Women of Chinese ethnicity was the highest ethnicity to be HPV positive at 65.4% and squamous cell carcinoma was more commonly found (59.3%) compared with other types of cancers. The prevalence of HPV positivity was 92.6% with type 16 being the most common (74.1%), followed by type 33 (30.9%) and 18 (22.2%). Multiple HPV infections were a common finding at 54.3%. Factors thought to influence positivity i.e. age of intercourse, number of sexual partners, number of parity, smoking status of patients and their partners, oral contraceptive usage, presence of chronic illnesses and cancer stage were not significantly associated with HPV positivity. Increased CC severity level was not associated with increased number of HPV infections (Pearson correlation 0.58; p =0.607).
Conclusions High HPV positivity at 92.6% was found among ICC patients. Factors thought to influence HPV positivity were not significant. The top three HPV genotypes were type 16 followed by type 33 and 18. However, local women HPV serotypes findings need to be replicated in a larger population sample.
Belaga District, in the heart of Borneo, is probably the most remote district in Sarawak. Although Belaga town is now accessible by land (50% are timber camp unsealed road) from Bintulu, the journey takes 5 hours and transport cost is high. Accessibility to Belaga by river is also subject to weather conditions and the town often gets cut off during the dry season and also during the wet season. All these pose immense challenges to the delivery of health care services to the people of Belaga and greatly reduce their accessibility to even basic health services. Access to specialist services is even more challenging as it is only available in Sibu and Bintulu; and visiting clinics in Belaga are infrequent due to the shortage of specialists and difficult transport. (Copied from article).
Background Despite country’s tobacco control law, cigarette smoking by the young people and the magnitude of nicotine dependence among the school personnel is alarming.
Objective To determine the prevalence of smoking and to examine the determinants of smoking behaviour among the secondary school teachers in Bangladesh.
Methods A two-stage cluster sampling was used with a selection of schools on Probability Proportional to Enrolment (PPE) size followed by stratified random sampling of government and private schools and then all the teachers present on the day of the survey were selected for the study. The 66-item questionnaire included smoking behaviour, knowledge, attitude, second-hand smoking, tobacco free school policy, cessation, media advertisement and curriculum related topics. Seven additional questions were included to assess the socio-demographic characteristics of the teachers. Data analysis was performed using SPSS 17 software. A total of 60 schools were selected with school response rate of 98.3%. An anonymous self-administered questionnaire was filled in by all teachers present at the day of the survey. The sample consisted of 559 teachers with response rate of 99.5%.
Results The prevalence of smoking was 17% (95% CI: 14%, 20.4). About half of the teachers (48.4%) smoke daily followed by 25.3% smoke 1-2 days in last 30 days. The mean duration smoking of was 13.7(95% CI: 11.6, 15.9) years. Logistic regression analysis revealed that male teachers smoke 37.46(95% CI: 5.078, 276.432) times higher than their female counterparts. The graduate teachers were 2.179(95% 1.209, 3.926) times more likely to be smoke than master’s degree holder teachers. Smoking by friends appeared to be the strongest predictor for teachers smoking behaviour (OR 4.789, 95% CI: 1.757, 13.050). However, no statistically significant association was found between type of school, second-hand smoking and curriculum related factors and smoking behaviour of the teachers (p>0.05).
Conclusions Prevalence of smoking among the teachers is high in Bangladesh. Effective smoking prevention program should take into account within the dominant of socio-environmental influence to reduce smoking behaviour. The school curriculum items had less impact in preventing smoking behaviour.
Accepted 8 February 2012.
Introduction Social norms, though an important contributing factor of adolescent smoking in developed countries, has not been extensively studied in Malaysia. The objective of this study was to determine the association between certain perceived norms regarding smoking with smoking status among Malaysian secondary school students in Kota Tinggi, Johor.
Methods Data were collected from 2311 respondents consisting of 1379 male and 923 female secondary school students in Kota Tinggi district via a self administered questionnaire. Five perceived norms regarding smoking were assessed, namely: perceived peer smoking prevalence, perceived parental reaction towards adolescent smoking, perceived public perception of adolescent smoking, ever noticed peers smoking inside and outside school and perceived enforcement of anti-smoking policy in school and their association with smoking status. Multiple logistic regressions controlling for gender, peer smoking and family smoking was performed.
Results Of the five perceived norms, four were associated with smoking status, (perceived peer smoking prevalence (p
In July 2010 Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) and Niigata University (NU) signed a memorandum of agreement to continue collaboration in joint planning and implementation of education, research and practice services in the field of medicine.This collaboration is also a good opportunity for Doctor of Public Health (DRPH) postgraduate candidates to gain experience on the practice of public health in handling public health issues, planning the healthcare facilities, delivering a quality public health services, enforcing public health policies/regulations and finally learn about the health systems in general at other countries especially from developed country like Japan. Experiencing Health Care and Culture in Niigata, Japan.
Accepted 1 March 2012.
Introduction Medical ethics is a system of moral principles that apply values and judgments to the practice of medicine. As a scholarly discipline, medical ethics encompasses its practical application in clinical settings as well as work on its history, philosophy, theology, and sociology. The medical profession has long subscribed to a body of ethical statements developed primarily for the benefit of the patient. A physician must recognize responsibility to patients first and foremost, as well as to society, to other health professionals, and to self. This paper presents some information regarding medical ethics, including the values and principles of ethical conduct. Later the requirements of consent form is presented to guide the researchers before conducting a study.
OBJECTIVE. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a one of the major cause of death and disability worldwide. This study aimed to compare the quality of life (QOL), Activity of Daily Living (ADL), Pulmonary Function Test (PFT) and general health symptoms pre and after hospital-based respiratory physiotherapy program among COPD patients. METHODS. Pre and post intervention study was conducted between January and July 2010. A total of 54 subjects aged between 30 to 40 years old were recruited for this study using universal sampling method from Alzawia Teaching Hospital, Libya. Data collected were socio-demographic data, QOL (before and after the intervention) using the Short Form-36 (SF-36) questionnaire, ADL using the Barthel Index and the General Health Symptoms.
RESULTS.. The mean SF-36 score for QOL is 30.13 (SD = 8.06) and 63.46 (SD = 13.53) before and after the physiotherapy respectively (with the p <0.0001). Patients’ Activity of Daily Living mean scores are 70.18, (SD = 16.50) and mean = 88.89 (SD = 13.28) before and after program (p< 0.0001). The general medical condition mean score after respiratory physiotherapy is 3.72 as compared to 4.96 before the respiratory physiotherapy (p< 0.0001). Pulmonary Function Test shows improvement in actual/predicted FEV1 ratio in all 54 cases with mean improvement from 55.85 before to 81.67 after the pulmonary physiotherapy (with the p <0.0001).
CONCLUSION. Hospital based respiratory physiotherapy program had significantly improved QOL, pulmonary function and activities of daily living among the subjects.
Accepted 13 January 2012.
Introduction The purpose of this study is to explore the reasons of Shisha smoking among teenagers in Ipoh, Perak.
Methods Data was collected using in-depth face to face interview. Purposive convenient sampling was used to select volunteer respondents from one of the Shisha restaurant located at Ipoh. The interviews were conducted for 15-20 minutes, recorded using video tape. The data obtained was transcribed and coded for the purpose of thematic analysis.
Results All respondents were influenced by peers in their first attempt in Shisha smoking. Other reasons attracting them to continue smoking Shisha include appealing smell and the flavoured taste of Shisha, easy to access, perceived that Shisha was not addictive and its’ cheaper price. In terms of perception on health risk, all respondents believed that Shisha was less harmful compared to cigarette smoking.
Conclusions More educational programme, health talk about risk of Shisha should be developed and conducted to rectify the misconception about health risk of Shisha smoking. The target population should be focus on male teenagers who smoke Shisha in order to control the widespread Shisha smoking in Malaysia.
Accepted 07 August 2011.
Introduction Chronic kidney disease (CKD) has emerged as a major medical illness that drew the attention of the community. This research focused on the prevalence of five contributing factors to the progression of CKD, namely blood pressure control, glycaemic control, lipid control, smoking and alcohol intake, and explored significant association between these variables. This was a crosssectional study that examined the progression of CKD based on the worsening of CKD stages.
Methods This study was conducted among CKD patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus who attended Nephorology Clinic, UKMMC from April to May 2011. The progression of CKD was observed for 3 consecutive visits with 3 months intervals between the visits. Information regarding demographic data and social history were obtained through face-to-face interview, followed by case note review of the blood results. Data collected was analysed using SPSS version 19.0.
Results A total of 201 respondents were investigated, which included 39.3% (n=79) female and 60.7% (n=122) male. The mean age for the respondents was 66.9 years old (±SD 9.00). Among the respondents, 71.5% had poor glycaemic control; 59.7% had poor blood pressure control; 65.2% had poor lipid control; 19.9% smoked and 3.5% consumed alcohol. There was poor correlation, there were statistically significant association between systolic blood pressure control with the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) (p=0.001; r=-0.229). From this research, high systolic blood pressure was associated with low GFR, which indicated poor kidney function and resulted in progression of CKD.
Conclusions This study has clearly demonstrated that the control of blood pressure was essential in delaying the progression of CKD.
Accepted 11 August 2011.
Introduction Despite of its importance for preventing fatal and severe injuries in an event of a crash, limited studies were conducted to find out the status of seatbelt use among rear passengers in Malaysia. This study was conducted to the determine seatbelt use among rear passengers in Malaysia in conjunction with the introduction of the rear seatbelt law that took effect on 1st January 2009.
Methods Two methods were used; the roadside observations and surveys. A total of 4180 rear passengers were observed during the road side observation and 793 rear passengers were interviewed in the survey.
Results About 41.8 % (95 % CI: 38.3, 45.4) of rear passengers interviewed reported that they “Always/Often’ wore safety belts, while roadside observation recorded slightly lower rate (36.2 % [95 % CI: 34.8, 37.7]). Based on the roadside observation method, male rear passengers were more likely to use rear seatbelts as compared to female rear passengers (with Odd Ratio: 1.17 (95 % CI: 1.03, 1.33)). Both methods consistently reported that rear passengers of Multipurpose Vehicle (MPV)/Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) (survey method “always wear”: 39.3 %, Odd Ratio: 2.02 [95 % CI: 1.13, 3.61], roadside observation method: 51.9 %, Odd Ratio: 2.23 [95 % CI: 1.89, 2.62]) were two times more likely to wear seatbelts as compared to rear passengers of a car.
Conclusions The two research methods indicate rear passengers in Malaysia were consistently having low seatbelt usage rate. As the rear seatbelt advocacy and enforcement programme are new in Malaysia, efforts to advocate rear seatbelt use should be strengthened. The changes in rear seatbelt usage rate need to be tracked regularly and as an alternative to roadside observation method, interview survey method could be used to measure the seatbelt usage rate and to identify the reason for not using safety belt among rear passengers.