This presidential address delivered at the Annual Meeting of the Malaya Branch of the British Medical Association deals with the history of the impact of western medicine on Malaya. In the early years curative medicine monopolized attention. A Port Quarantine Service was established in 1900 but serious attention to preventive medicine had to wait till 1911 When the Health Service of the then Federated Malay States was founded. Rubber had brought amazing prosperity and disease prevention yielded increased dividends. The address provides much interesting information about Malaya, its peoples and their diseases, and the efforts made by research workers and health departments to control disease prevalence during the last 28 years: this does not lend itself to summary. For the future, outstanding tasks include the application of recently acquired knowledge and techniques to the control of malaria; an allout attack on tuberculosis; much more attention to nutrition and deficiency diseases, and an orientation of the work of the Health Services towards social medicine. Norman White.
The current COVID-19 pandemic has exposed missing links between health promotion and national/global health emergency policies. In response, health promotion initiatives were urgently developed and applied around the world. A selection of case studies from five countries, based on the Socio-Ecological Model of Health Promotion, exemplify 'real-world' action and challenges for health promotion intervention, research, and policy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Interventions range from a focus on individuals/families, organizations, communities and in healthcare, public health, education and media systems, health-promoting settings, and policy. Lessons learned highlight the need for emphasizing equity, trust, systems approach, and sustained action in future health promotion preparedness strategies. Challenges and opportunities are highlighted regarding the need for rapid response, clear communication based on health literacy, and collaboration across countries, disciplines, and health and education systems for meaningful solutions to global health crises.
In a correspondence to BMC Public Health, Dunn et al. (Dunn SE, Reed J and Neumann C. BMC Public Health (n.d)) respond to our review on the occurrence of unintentional, acute pesticide poisoning (UAPP). Based on a systematic review and further data sources we estimated that about 385 million cases of UAPP occur annually world-wide including around 11,000 fatalities (Boedeker W. et al. BMC Public Health:1875, 2020).