Findings of a study of the impact of professional learning on Malaysian registered nurses are reported. The offshore delivery post-registration nursing degree programme is a formal aspect of professional learning, which enables Malaysian registered nurses to upgrade their hospital-based training or diploma of nursing qualification to a degree. Using a qualitative case study approach, data were collected from twelve programme graduates, through individual and focus group interviews. The programme promoted their personal professional growth and enhanced their professional development. It increased self-confidence, knowledge, self-fulfillment, critical thinking ability, interpersonal skills, interest in research and research utilisation, and life-long learning. There was evidence of career mobility and a raised awareness of their professional role and responsibility.
King Edward VII ("KE") had been synonymous with the medical school and its associated hall of residence at Sepoy Lines since the 1910s. After the school became the Medical Faculty, the illustrious name remained with the Hall, which was rebuilt in 1957. For almost 90 years, KE has kept alive the rich history and traditions of a bygone era that embodied the passion and pride of both Singapore and Malaysia. The heroism of some Keviians during the Second World War and other exploits have led to many legends of the Hall. In 1987, it moved to its present location at Kent Ridge, and opened its doors to students from all other faculties. We count many personalities among our alumni, including some of the most prominent physicians in our country. The exuberant hall life, cultural pursuits and achievements of the residents contribute to the strong spirit of endeavour. Keviians over the decades have lived, worked, played and served to uphold the motto that means so much to all of us: TO STRIVE, TO SEEK, TO SERVE.
Dinoprostone, is presently used in our standard protocol for cervical ripening and labour induction. In search for a cheaper alternative, misoprostol has been found to be a good substitute. In view of the potential saving it might offer, we set out to test its efficacy against the standard dinoprostone.
Forensically important entomological specimens recovered from 95 forensic cases of human cadavers from April 1993 to May 1996 in Malaysia were identified and analysed. The results indicated that 73.7% of these specimens were Chrysomya species, occurring either as single or mixed infestations. Of these, the most prominent species were Ch megacephala (F.) and Ch rufifacies (Macquart). Other fly maggots recovered included Sarcophaga spp., Lucilia spp. and Hermetia spp., mostly occurring together with other calliphorine flies. A member of Muscidae fly, Ophyra spp. was also recovered for the first time.
A total of 101 entomological specimens recovered from human cadavers were processed and studied. Analysis of the data indicated that about 95% of these specimens were maggots of flies. Maggots of the blowfly Chrysomya (Family: Calliphoridae) especially Ch. rufifacis and Ch. megacephala were predominantly found in 77 cases (76.2%) while larvae of several other flies of the genera Sarcophaga, Calliphora, Lucilia and hermetia were also recovered. It was notable that Musca domestica or other related flies were not found in all these specimens. The age of these larvae was useful in the determination of the minimum time lapsed after death. However, more biological studies on animal carcases should be conducted for more accurate determinations. Methods of collection, preservation and despatching of specimens were also discussed.
In a study with 113 Asian children in which phenobarbitone was used as the sole antiepileptic drug in 75 children, including Chinese, Malays, and Indians, the mean phenobarbitone dosage required to produce a plasma level of 15 micrograms/ml was 5.2 mg/kg/day. While the mean plasma level/dose ratio varied, the differences between the three ethnic groups were not statistically significant. Also of little difference were the ratios between the male and female groups. For those patients with poor seizure control, however, the mean plasma level/dose ratio was significantly lower than in those whose seizures were controlled. Using additional anticonvulsant drugs concurrently with phenobarbitone in 40 children raised the mean plasma level/dose ratios significantly in each ethnic group. Further, the greater age level in those given additional antiepileptic drugs might have contributed slightly to a higher mean plasma level/dose ratio.
Our continuing research on the Aglaia genus (family Meliaceace) has led us to this first study on the chemical constituents of Aglaia lanuginose (bark). The dichloromethane extract from the bark of Aglaia lanuginose showed cytotoxicity against HL-60 leukaemia cell line (45% inhibition) at 20 µg/ml and was prioritised for further investigation. Repeated chromatography of the dichloromethane extract yielded the known dammarane triterpenes which were identified as cabralealactone (1), methyl eichlerianate (2), cabraleone (3), ocotillone (4), eichleriatone (5), eichlerianic acid (6) and shoreic acid (7) together with the known sterols, sitosterol (9) and stigmasterol (10). Another isolated compound was the aromatic 4-hydroxycinnamyl-acetate (8), which has not been reported to be present in a plant from the Meliaceae family. The structures of all the compounds were elucidated on the basis of spectroscopic methods (IR, MS and NMR). Cytotoxicity testing of 1-10 showed activity only for mixtures of (3, 4), and (5, 6).
A cross-sectional survey of 568 married women aged 21-65 years in the Pasir Panjang Constituency was conducted to determine the prevalence of cervical cancer screening in the community and the factors affecting acceptance of this screening test. Results show that 309 (54.4%) of the respondents had ever had a Pap smear. The women who reported having had a smear were more likely to be below 45 years of age (prevalence ratio 1.47, 95% confidence interval 1.15 to 1.88), Chinese and of a higher socioeconomic status (1.68, 1.33 to 2.12). They were also more likely to have married at a later age (1.68, 1.21 to 2.31) than women who had not had a smear. Age and socioeconomic status remained independent predictors on multivariate analysis. The findings suggest that an important task of public health practitioners is to increase the uptake of screening among older and socially disadvantaged women who are known to be at the highest risk of cervical cancer. In addition, strategies to encourage younger women to continue regular attendance at screening clinics beyond their childbearing years will be important for the future.
The ability to identify the occurrence of different resistance genotypes in field populations of mosquito is considered important for the purpose of optimising chemical control operations. The recent development of rapid microassays of enzymes responsible for resistance has provided a means for rapidly assessing the genetic background of target mosquito populations. This concept is the topic of investigation in this study. Non-specific esterase activity, which is responsible for the resistance to organophosphates in Malaysian Culex quinquefasciatus Say adults, was determined in 3 field populations from Kuala Lumpur City using rapid enzyme assay. The optical density results were used to estimate the genotypic frequencies of the populations. Subsequently, time-dependent changes in the various frequencies were determined. Such techniques allowed rapid assessment of resistance genotypes for decision-making and its possible use in insect control merits further investigation.
Mosquitocidal strains of B. sphaericus serotype H-5a5b were shown for the first time to exhibit antagonistic activities against several human pathogens especially Salmonella. These strains of B. sphaericus also exhibited high larval toxicity against several mosquitoes.
A screening program searching for indigenous microbial control agents of mosquitos in Malaysia is initiated since 1987 and to date at least 20 isolates of mosquitocidal Bacillus thuringiensis serotypes have been obtained. Preliminary field evaluation of several isolates indicated that they are highly effective in the control of medically important mosquito species. For operational purposes, there is an urgent need to produce this agent utilizing cheap and locally available wastes through fermentation biotechnology. Fermentation studies in shake-flasks containing standard nutrient broth and soya bean waste, respectively, indicate that it takes about 37 hours for a Malaysian isolate of B. thuringiensis serotype H-14 to mature. In the grated coconut waste, fishmeal and rice bran, the bacteria took 28 hours, 26 hours and 126 hours respectively to mature. The endotoxin was harvested from the standard nutrient broth at 55 hours and at 50 hours from soybean, grated coconut waste and fishmeal. The endotoxin could only be harvested 150 hours after inoculation from rice bran medium. However, no bacterial growth was detected in palm oil effluent. In terms of endotoxin and biomass production, fishmeal appears to be a suitable medium. Variations in the pH of the fermenting media were also noted.
A nationwide screening program searching for microbial control agents of mosquitos was initiated in Malaysia in 1986. A total of 725 samples were collected and 2,394 bacterial colonies were isolated and screened for larvicidal activity. From such screening, 20 Bacillus thuringiensis, 6 B. sphaericus, 1 Clostridium bifermentans and 2 Pseudomonas pseudomallei larvicidal isolates were obtained. Of these, a new B. thuringiensis named as subspecies malaysianensis was found, while the C. bifermentans was also a new anaerobe individualized as serovar malaysia. It was concluded that this screening program was highly successful.
In Singapore, cancer incidence is documented separately for the different Chinese dialect groups, as a means of providing a possible insight into environmental or genetic factors which may be involved in the aetiological process. Thus, it would be useful to determine whether or not the Chinese population in Singapore still comprises distinct dialect groups. In view of this, an investigation into the dialect group of the parents of 792 hospital in-patients (cases and controls) was carried out. It was found that the vast majority of patients (94.2%), most of whom were born before 1940, had parents of the same dialect group. The percentages of within-dialect marriages were only slightly less for offspring born in Singapore or Malaysia as opposed to China, and decreases with time were small. Thus in 1985-87 Chinese cancer patients and controls in Singapore, of the ages represented in this study may indeed be classified according to their father's dialect and this is likely to be the case for at least the next decade or so. This finding will be of use to cancer epidemiologists as well as others studying Chinese dialect group variations in disease patterns.
The Singapore Cancer Registry started operations on January 1, 1968. It is a population-based registry that seeks to obtain basic epidemiological and clinical data on all cases of cancer diagnosed in Singapore. The results presented pertain only to Singapore citizens and permanent residents and cover the period from 1973 to 1977. Of special interest are the cancer patterns of the main ethnic groups in Singapore. Generally, the Chinese (76% of total population) have significantly higher risks for cancer; the most prevalent sites are the nasopharynx, esophagus, stomach, liver, and lung. Within the Chinese group are also dialect group differences. The Malays (15% of population) have the lowest rates for most sites, whereas among the Indians (7% of population), mouth cancer is an important site for both sexes. All these variations provide useful clues in the search for etiological factors.