This study was conducted to investigate the low prevalence of Dirofilaria immitis in dogs in Johor Bahru as reported by veterinary practitioners, using wet blood mount, Knott's Concentration Test and two heartworm antigen test kits (IDEXX Canine SNAP® 4Dx and RapiGEN®). This study also compared the two test kits used and determined the microfilaria species. Blood were collected from 100 owned dogs and 50 stray dogs in Johor Bahru via cephalic venipuncture. A thick blood smear was done and examined for samples that were positive for microfilaria species identification. The overall prevalence of D. immitis in dogs in Johor Bahru was 1.33% (2/150) and the microfilaria identified was D. immitis. The prevalence of heartworm in owned and stray dogs in this study was 1% and 2% respectively. With only one false negative result from RapiGEN® test kit, comparing the sensitivity between the two test kits could not be achieved. The low prevalence of D. immitis found in this study confirmed anecdotal evidence that prevalence of dirofilariasis is indeed low in Johor Bahru. Additionally, we speculate that dirofilariasis in dogs might be considered as an indicator of vector availability.
In Malaysia, the phase 3 registration for traditional medicines was implemented on 1 January 1992 under the Control of Drugs and Cosmetics Regulation 1984, emphasizing quality, efficacy and safety (including the detection of the presence of heavy metals) in all pharmaceutical dosage forms of traditional medicine preparations. Therefore, a total of 100 products in various pharmaceutical dosage forms of a herbal preparation, were analysed for lead content using atomic absorption spectrophotometer. Results showed that 8% (eight products) possessed 10.64-20.72 ppm of lead, and therefore, do not comply with the quality requirement for traditional medicines in Malaysia. One of these products, M-Tongkat Ali (exhibited 10.64 +/-0.37 ppm of lead), was in fact already registered with the DCA Malaysia. The rest, Sukarno Tongkat Ali, Eurycoma Madu, Super Pill Tongkat Ali, Force Pill Tongkat Ali, Tender Pill Tongkat Ali, Super Pill Tongkat Ali Plus and Great Pill Tongkat Ali Plus have not registered with the DCA Malaysia and exhibited 12.24-20.72 ppm of lead. Although this study showed that only 92% of the products complied with the quality requirement for traditional medicines in Malaysia, however, they cannot be assumed safe from lead contamination because of batch-to-batch inconsistency.
The DCA (Drug Control Authority), Malaysia, has implemented the phase 3 registration of traditional medicines on 1 January 1992, with special emphasis on the quality, efficacy, and safety (including the presence of heavy metals) in all pharmaceutical dosage forms of traditional medicine preparations. As such, a total of 100 products in various pharmaceutical dosage forms of a herbal preparation, containing Tongkat Ali, were analyzed for mercury content using cold vapor atomic absorption spectrophotometer. Results showed that 36% of the above products possessed 0.52 to 5.30 ppm of mercury and, therefore, do not comply with the quality requirement for traditional medicines in Malaysia. Out of these 36 products, 5 products that possessed 1.05 to 4.41 ppm of mercury were in fact have already registered with the DCA, Malaysia. However, the rest of the products that contain 0.52 to 5.30 ppm of mercury still have not registered with the DCA, Malaysia. Although this study showed that only 64% of the products complied with the quality requirement for traditional medicines in Malaysia pertaining to mercury, they cannot be assumed safe from mercury contamination because of batch-to-batch inconsistency.
Social norms have been shown to impact behaviors, but with mixed results. The theory of normative social behavior delineates factors that moderate the relationship between descriptive norms and behaviors, and it addresses the attributes of behaviors that make them susceptible to normative influence. This study tests whether group orientation moderates the impact of descriptive norms on water conservation attitudes and behavioral intentions. Findings indicate a consistent pattern of interactions for descriptive norms and group orientation on both attitudes and behavioral intent. Implications for normative theory and campaign design are addressed.
OBJECTIVES: This study explored the experiences and views of individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2D) on their diabetes self-management and potential roles for community pharmacists in diabetes self-management education and support (DSME/S) in Malaysia.
METHODS: A qualitative study, using semi-structured, face-to-face interviews, was conducted with patients with T2D attending a primary care health clinic in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed inductively.
KEY FINDINGS: Fourteen participants with T2D were interviewed. Data were coded into five main themes: experience and perception of diabetes self-management, constraints of the current healthcare system, perception of the community pharmacist and community pharmacies, perceived roles for community pharmacists in diabetes care, and challenges in utilising community pharmacies to provide DSME/S. There were misconceptions about diabetes management that may be attributed to a lack of knowledge. Although participants described potential roles for community pharmacists in education, medication review and continuity of care, these roles were mostly non-clinically oriented. Participants were not confident about community pharmacists making recommendations and changes to the prescribed treatment regimens. While participants recognised the advantages of convenience of a community pharmacy-based diabetes care service, they raised concerns over the retail nature and the community pharmacy environment for providing such services.
CONCLUSION: This study highlighted the need to improve the care provision for people with T2D. Participants with T2D identified potential, but limited roles for community pharmacists in diabetes care. Participants expressed concerns that need to be addressed if effective diabetes care is to be provided from community pharmacies in Malaysia.
Study site: primary care health clinic (klinik kesihatan), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia