RESULTS: Based on 517 cases of AFP reported during this 5-year period, the overall rate of AFP was 1.2 per 100 000 children below 15 years old. The major clinical diagnosis associated with AFP were Guillain-Barre syndrome (30.2%), central nervous system infection (16.2%), transverse myelitis (10.6%) non-polio enterovirus infection (6.2%), and hypokalaemic paralysis (5.2%). This unusual pattern with an excess of CNS infection and non-polio enterovirus infection was attributed to the outbreak of enterovirus 71 infection nation-wide in 1997. According to the WHO virological classification, there was no case of poliomyelitis due to wild poliovirus. Three cases were 'polio compatible', there were no cases of vaccine-associated paralytic polio (VAPP), while 62 cases (12.0%) were merely classified as 'non-polio AFP'.
CONCLUSION: Overall, these data suggest the absence of circulation of wild poliovirus in Malaysia from 1997 to 2001. The pattern of AFP in this study is different from other published reports.
METHODS: Retrospective review of cases of acute gastroenteritis admitted to the children's ward of the University of Malaya Medical Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, between 1996 and 1999.
RESULTS: During the study period, 333 cases (24%) of 1362 stool samples, obtained from children admitted with acute diarrhoea, were positive for rotavirus. Acute gastroenteritis constituted 8.2%, and rotavirus infection 1.6% of all the paediatric admissions each year. Of the 271 cases analysed, 72% of the affected population were less than 2 years of age. Peak incidence of admissions was between January to March, and September to October. Dehydration was common (92%) but electrolyte disturbances, lactose intolerance (5.2%), prolonged diarrhoea (2.6%) and cow's milk protein intolerance was uncommon. No deaths were recorded.
CONCLUSIONS: Rotavirus infection was a common cause of childhood diarrhoea that required hospital admission in an urban setting in Malaysia.
METHODS: The present study was a cross-sectional survey conducted from September to November 2001. Schoolchildren were recruited from primary schools that were selected randomly from a list of all primary schools in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, using random sampling numbers. Information concerning recurrent abdominal pain, socio-economic status, life events, demographic and other details was obtained using a combination of questionnaires and interviews. Academic achievement was assessed using a score based on the Malaysian Primary School Achievement Examination. An overall score at or above the mean was taken to indicate high academic achievement while a score below the mean indicated poor academic achievement.
RESULTS: A total of 1971 children were studied (958 boys and 1013 girls: 1047 Malays, 513 Chinese and 411 Indians). Of these children, 456 (23.1%) fulfilled the criteria for recurrent abdominal pain. Using the method of binary logistic regression analysis, the following factors were found to be independently associated with poor academic performance: a low socio-economic status (odds ratio (OR) 1.30; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.25-1.35); male sex (OR 1.61; 95% CI 1.26-2.05); the death of a close relative (OR 2.22; 95% CI 1.73-2.85); the divorce or separation of parents (OR 3.05; 95% CI 1.73-5.40); the commencement of work by the mother (OR 1.34; 95% CI 1.02-1.76); hospitalization of the child in the 12 months prior to the study (OR 1.83; 95% CI 1.12-3.01); lack of health-care consultation (OR 1.80; 95% CI 1.36-2.36); missing breakfast (OR 1.47; 95% CI 1.07-2.02); and lack of kindergarten education (OR 1.35; 95% CI 1.04-1.75).
CONCLUSIONS: Many factors, such as socio-economic status and recent life events, were associated with poor academic performance. Recurrent abdominal pain did not correlate directly to academic performance. Stress may be a means by which various factors cause children to struggle academically.