A nationwide survey conducted in 2006 demonstrated that the prevalence of non-communicable diseases in Malaysia has almost doubled over the last decade. Respondents from urban areas reported higher prevalence of chronic illness compared to those from rural areas.
The rapid rise of non-communicable diseases predominantly affects the lower socio-economic groups living in urban areas.
Realizing this, a group of researchers from the University of Malaya (UM) took an initiative to improve the general wellbeing and health status of the urban population involving lower socio-economic group by conducting a community based participatory action research project.
A total of 800 households from 4 Projek Perumahan Rakyat (PPR) will be involved in this project. The PPR involved are PPR Kerinchi, PPR Pantai Ria, PPR Seri Cempaka and PPR Seri Pantai.
The main aim of the project is to improve the general wellbeing and health status of the urban population by providing specific interventions and health promotion to the community. The objectives are to access the general and oral health status and prevalence of disease among the residents of PPR; to identify the health seeking behavior and utilization of health care services among the study population; and to determine food and nutrition practices.
The community project was officially launched by Y.B. Dato’ Raja Nong Chik Dato’ Raja Zainal Abidin, Minister of Federal Territories & Urban Wellbeing in a ceremony at the PPR Kerinchi today. Also present was Professor Adeeba Kamarulzaman, Dean of Faculty of Medicine, UM.
This research project is funded by the Research University Grant from the Ministry of Higher Education as UM is on the 5 Research Universities identified. This is one of the Flagship Projects identified by UM and headed by Centre for Population Health in conjunction with other centres under the Health and Translational Medicine Research Cluster. The goal of the Flagship project is to focus on research that may be translated directly in improving the healthcare and wellbeing of the community. As UM aspires for World Class research excellence, through the implementation of this Flagship project, the public especially communities in the proximity of the university would equally benefit from it.
Report written by Associate Professor Dr Tin Tin Su.