Tuesday, 20 September 2022

Authors

P Rajasegaran1; Z Ya'cob1; JJ Khoo2; SK Loong1; BL Makepeace2; S Abu Bakar1
1 University of Malaya, Malaysia;  2 University of Liverpool, UK

Discussion

The Orang Asli are the ethnically diverse descendants of the earliest inhabitants of Peninsular Malaysia, some of which have origins extending beyond the past 10,000 – 15,000 years. Living in rural areas, they are still deprived of the basic necessities of life, including the facilities, education and knowledge essential for health and well-being. In line with our research goal to understand the transmission of vector-borne diseases among the rural populations in Malaysia, we took the opportunity to conduct engagement activities with the Orang Asli communities of the Semai and Jakun tribes with support from the Global Peace Foundation. The engagement programs consisted of interviews and talks using pictorial posters appropriate for illiterate participants of all ages from villages in Perak and Pahang states. The interview sessions with the Jakun tribe revealed that approximately 30% of the villagers have experienced vector-borne diseases, especially malaria and Chikungunya.This two-way interaction also discovered that 99% of participants of both tribes had experienced being bitten by more than one vector, primarily by mosquitoes followed by ticks and mites. Additionally, young children were found to be affected by soil-transmitted diseases. Our pictorial posters include information on the transmission of vector-borne and zoonotic diseases, including Covid-19, information on disease symptoms and preventive measures, as well as general hygiene measures. Essential items including nutritious food, deworming tablets and school stationeries were also distributed to the people. Through engagement activities, we effectively garnered the support of the Orang Asli communities for better research and education to help alleviate the diseases affecting them.

Hosted By

British Society for Parasitology (BSP)

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