METHOD: This 2016 study located every dental practice in Malaysia (private and public) and mapped these practices against population, using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) tools. Population clusters within 5, 10 and 20 km of a dental clinic were identified, and clinic-to-population ratios were ascertained. Population data were obtained from the Population and Housing Census of Malaysia 2010. Population relative wealth was obtained from the 2014 Report on Household Income and Basic Amenities Survey for Malaysia. The physical address for each dental practice in Malaysia was gathered from the Official Portal of Ministry of Health Malaysia. All data for analysis were extracted from the integrated database in Quantum GIS (QGIS) into Microsoft Excel.
RESULT: The population of Malaysia (24.9 million) was distributed across 127 districts, with 119 (94%) having at least one dental clinic. Sixty-four districts had fewer than 10 dental clinics, and 11.3% of Malaysians did not reside in the catchment of 20 km from any dental clinic. The total dental clinic-to-population ratio was 1:9,000: for public dental clinics it was 1:38,000 and for private clinics it was 1:13,000.
CONCLUSION: Dental services were distributed relative to high population density, were unevenly distributed across Malaysia and the majority of people with the highest inaccessibility to a dental service resided in Malaysian Borneo.
METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We completed an audit of 9550 medical records of women and their 9665 infants at nine hospitals; two in each of Indonesia, Malaysia and The Philippines, and three in Thailand between January-December 2005. We compared actual clinical practices with best practice recommendations selected from the Cochrane Library and the World Health Organization Reproductive Health Library. Evidence-based components of the active management of the third stage of labour and appropriately treating eclampsia with magnesium sulphate were universally practiced in all hospitals. Appropriate antibiotic prophylaxis for caesarean section, a beneficial form of care, was practiced in less than 5% of cases in most hospitals. Use of the unnecessary practices of enema in labour ranged from 1% to 61% and rates of episiotomy for vaginal birth ranged from 31% to 95%. Other appropriate practices were commonly performed to varying degrees between countries and also between hospitals within the same country.
CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Whilst some perinatal health care practices audited were consistent with best available evidence, several were not. We conclude that recording of clinical practices should be an essential step to improve quality of care. Based on these findings, the SEA-ORCHID project team has been developing and implementing interventions aimed at increasing compliance with evidence-based clinical practice recommendations to improve perinatal practice in South East Asia.