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  1. Mohamad Noh K, Jaafar S
    Citation: Mohamad Noh K, Jaafar S. Health in all policies: The primary health care approach in Malaysia. 50-years experience in addressing social determinants of health through Intersectoral Action for Health. World Conference on Social Determinants of Health. 19-21 October 2011, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

    At Independence in 1957, Malaysia inherited a rural urban divide and racial identification of specific economic functions. Thus, the government’s welfarist policy was on growth with equity. This entailed the formulation of national social policies to reduce poverty and at the same time to restructure society by addressing economic imbalances and eventually eliminating racial identification of specific economic functions. The poverty reduction approaches placed a strong emphasis on rural socio-economic development addressing the social determinants of health. This approach has served Malaysia well over the decades but since the 1990s Malaysia has been caught in a middle income trap. Realising that achieving a high income nation status by 2020 is not possible at the present economic trajectory, Malaysia has now embarked on a national transformation agenda based on the four pillars of inculcating the cultural and societal values under the 1Malaysia Concept and the twin commitments of people first in all policies & projects and performance now; a government transformation programme (GTP); macroeconomic policies under the economic transformation programme (ETP); and the operationalisation of these policies through the 10th Malaysia Plan. The highest political commitment is given to the implementation of these national policies by the various agencies, orchestrated and coordinated by a central planning process which cascades down to the state and district administrative levels of the government machinery. The health policies follow these national policies and the thrust of the Malaysian health care system is primary health care, supported by an inclusive referral system to decentralized secondary care and regionalized tertiary care. This model of comprehensive public primary health care delivers promotive, preventive, curative and rehabilitative care across the life course. The network of static health facilities is organized into a two-tier system which includes outreach services for remote areas. Community participation is encouraged through village health promoters, health volunteers and advisory panels. The primary health care approach has delivered increased access to health care at a relatively low-cost. This has translated into health gains for the Malaysian population comparable with countries of similar economic development. As Malaysia moves towards a high income nation status, as demographic and epidemiological transitions continue, and as new health technology develops, the demand for health care by the - Draft Background Paper 7 - 2 population will continue to rise with increasing expectations for more care of even higher quality, and at ever increasing cost. This is especially challenging as Malaysia’s open economy is yet to recover fully from the Asian financial crisis of 1997. The government transformation programme, with its focus on a whole-of-government approach, is a natural progression for the primary health care approach to addressing the social determinants of health as a vehicle for social justice to reduce health inequalities.
    Matched MeSH terms: Social Determinants of Health
  2. Pocock NS, Suphanchaimat R, Chan CK, Faller EM, Harrigan N, Pillai V, et al.
    BMC Proc, 2018;12(Suppl 4):4.
    PMID: 30044886 DOI: 10.1186/s12919-018-0100-6
    Migrants and refugees face challenges accessing both healthcare and good social determinants of health in Malaysia. Participants at the "Migrant and Refugee Health in Malaysia workshop, Kuala Lumpur, 9-10 November 2017" scoped these challenges within the regional ASEAN context, identifying gaps in knowledge and practical steps forward to improve the evidence base in the Malaysia.
    Matched MeSH terms: Social Determinants of Health
  3. Christiani Y, Dhippayom T, Chaiyakunapruk N
    Glob Health Action, 2016 Dec;9(1):32505.
    PMID: 28795917 DOI: 10.3402/gha.v9.32505
    Background Inequalities in access to medications among people diagnosed with diabetes in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) is a public health concern since untreated diabetes can lead to severe complications and premature death. Objective To assess evidence of inequalities in access to medication for diabetes in adult populations of people with diagnosed diabetes in LMICs. Design We conducted a systematic review of the literature using the PRISMA-Equity guidelines. A search of five databases - PubMed, Cochrane, CINAHL, PsycINFO, and EMBASE - was conducted from inception to November 2015. Using deductive content analysis, information extracted from the selected articles was analysed according to the PRISMA-Equity guidelines, based on exposure variables (place of residence, race/ethnicity, occupation, gender, religion, education, socio-economic status, social capital, and others). Results Fifteen articles (seven quantitative and eight qualitative studies) are included in this review. There were inconsistent findings between studies conducted in different countries and regions although financial and geographic barriers generally contributed to inequalities in access to diabetes medications. The poor, those with relatively low education, and people living in remote areas had less access to diabetes medications. Furthermore, we found that the level of government political commitment through primary health care and in the provision of essential medicines was an important factor in promoting access to medications. Conclusions The review indicates that inequalities exist in accessing medication among diabetic populations, although this was not evident in all LMICs. Further research is needed to assess the social determinants of health and medication access for people with diabetes in LMICs.
    Matched MeSH terms: Social Determinants of Health
  4. Tee GH, Aris T, Rarick J, Irimie S
    Asian Pac. J. Cancer Prev., 2016;17(3):1269-76.
    PMID: 27039759
    BACKGROUND: Tobacco consumption continues to be the leading cause of preventable deaths globally. The objective of this study was to examine the associaton of selected socio-demographic variables with current tobacco use in five countries that participated in the Phase II Global Adult Tobacco Survey in 2011 - 2012.

    MATERIALS AND METHODS: We analysed internationally comparable representative household survey data from 33,482 respondents aged ≥ 15 years in Indonesia, Malaysia, Romania, Argentina and Nigeria for determinants of tobacco use within each country. Socio-demographic variables analysed included gender, age, residency, education, wealth index and awareness of smoking health consequences. Current tobacco use was defined as smoking or use of smokeless tobacco daily or occasionally.

    RESULTS: The overall prevalence of tobacco use varied from 5.5% in Nigeria to 35.7% in Indonesia and was significantly higher among males than females in all five countries. Odds ratios for current tobacco use were significantly higher among males for all countries [with the greatest odds among Indonesian men (OR=67.4, 95% CI: 51.2-88.7)] and among urban dwellers in Romania. The odds of current tobacco use decreased as age increased for all countries except Nigeria where. The reverse was true for Argentina and Nigeria. Significant trends for decreasing tobacco use with increasing educational levels and wealth index were seen in Indonesia, Malaysia and Romania. Significant negative associations between current tobacco use and awareness of adverse health consequences of smoking were found in all countries except Argentina.

    CONCLUSIONS: Males and the socially and economically disadvantaged populations are at the greatest risk of tobacco use. Tobacco control interventions maybe tailored to this segment of population and incorporate educational interventions to increase knowledge of adverse health consequences of smoking.

    Matched MeSH terms: Social Determinants of Health*
  5. Kwan Z, Bong YB, Tan LL, Lim SX, Yong AS, Ch'ng CC, et al.
    Psychol Health Med, 2017 02;22(2):184-195.
    PMID: 27541601 DOI: 10.1080/13548506.2016.1220603
    Patients with psoriasis may have increased risk of psychological comorbidities. This cross-sectional study aimed at determining associations between sociocultural and socioeconomic factors with the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS) scores and the Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI) scores. Adult patients with psoriasis were recruited from a Dermatology outpatient clinic via convenience sampling. Interviews were conducted regarding socio-demographic factors and willing subjects were requested to complete the DASS and DLQI questionnaires. The Pearson χ2 test, Fisher's exact test and multivariate logistic regression were used for statistical analysis to determine independent predictors of depression, anxiety, stress and severe impairment of quality of life. Unadjusted analysis revealed that depression was associated with Indian ethnicity (p = .041) and severe impairment of quality of life was associated with Indian ethnicity (p = .032), higher education (p = .013), higher income (p = .042), and employment status (p = .014). Multivariate analysis revealed that Indian ethnicity was a predictor of depression (p = .024). For stress, tertiary level of education (p = .020) was an independent risk factor while a higher monthly income was a protective factor (p = .042). The ethnic Indians and Malays were significantly more likely than the ethnic Chinese to suffer reduced quality of life (p = .001 and p = .006 respectively) and subjects with tertiary education were more likely to have severe impairment of quality of life (p = .002). Our study was unique in determining sociocultural influences on psychological complications of psoriasis in a South East Asian population. This has provided invaluable insight into factors predictive of adverse effects of psoriasis on psychological distress and quality of life in our patient population. Future studies should devise interventions to specifically target at risk groups in the development of strategies to reduce morbidity associated with psoriasis.
    Study site: Dermatology clinic, University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
    Matched MeSH terms: Social Determinants of Health*
  6. Baker SR, Foster Page L, Thomson WM, Broomhead T, Bekes K, Benson PE, et al.
    J. Dent. Res., 2018 09;97(10):1129-1136.
    PMID: 29608864 DOI: 10.1177/0022034518767401
    Much research on children's oral health has focused on proximal determinants at the expense of distal (upstream) factors. Yet, such upstream factors-the so-called structural determinants of health-play a crucial role. Children's lives, and in turn their health, are shaped by politics, economic forces, and social and public policies. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between children's clinical (number of decayed, missing, and filled teeth) and self-reported oral health (oral health-related quality of life) and 4 key structural determinants (governance, macroeconomic policy, public policy, and social policy) as outlined in the World Health Organization's Commission for Social Determinants of Health framework. Secondary data analyses were carried out using subnational epidemiological samples of 8- to 15-y-olds in 11 countries ( N = 6,648): Australia (372), New Zealand (three samples; 352, 202, 429), Brunei (423), Cambodia (423), Hong Kong (542), Malaysia (439), Thailand (261, 506), United Kingdom (88, 374), Germany (1498), Mexico (335), and Brazil (404). The results indicated that the type of political regime, amount of governance (e.g., rule of law, accountability), gross domestic product per capita, employment ratio, income inequality, type of welfare regime, human development index, government expenditure on health, and out-of-pocket (private) health expenditure by citizens were all associated with children's oral health. The structural determinants accounted for between 5% and 21% of the variance in children's oral health quality-of-life scores. These findings bring attention to the upstream or structural determinants as an understudied area but one that could reap huge rewards for public health dentistry research and the oral health inequalities policy agenda.
    Matched MeSH terms: Social Determinants of Health/statistics & numerical data
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