HOME ABOUT CONTACT AVAILABLE ISSUES SUBSCRIBE MEDIA & ADS CONFERENCE CALENDAR
LATEST UPDATES » Volume 20, Volume 2, February 2016 Biomedical Research Governance       » Tissue banking in Singapore — An Evolving Enterprise       » China Recognizes Prominent Scientists and Stresses on Innovation       » NUS Researchers Uncover Potent Parasite-killing Mechanism of Nobel Prize-Winning Anti-Malarial Drug       » A New Water Robot "Born" to Detect Water Quality       » Probing the Mystery of How Cancer Cells Die       » Researchers Find Link between Processed Foods and Autoimmune Diseases       » Unravelling the Genetics of Pregnancy and Heart Failure      
BIOBOARD - MALAYSIA
Indigenous people 'at graver risk' of neglected diseases
Mass drug administration against neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) must be prioritized for indigenous communities such as the Orang Asli in Malaysia who are at graver risk of such diseases due to malnutrition and abject poverty.

This is a key recommendation of a study on indigenous or aboriginal populations published earlier this year by Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, Texas, United States.

"Although aboriginal people make up a small percentage of the world's population, they are disproportionately affected by poverty and neglected tropical diseases," says Hotez. "Unless we act now, they could represent the groups last to benefit from potential NTD elimination endgames."

The term Orang Asli applies to more than a dozen indigenous groups comprising around 150,000 people living in peninsular Malaysia. Although Malaysia has experienced rapid economic growth since the 1970s and reduced the level of national poverty, Orang Asli communities are still classified as extremely poor. Most live in rural areas with limited basic healthcare and economic opportunities.

Several efforts have been carried out by the government and NGOs, such as the 450-bed Orang Asli hospital built on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, but a high prevalence of hookworm and intestinal parasitic infections, malaria, dengue and tuberculosis persists among these groups. The Orang Asli account for 50 per cent or 450-600 cases of reported malaria infections per year in peninsular Malaysia. Tuberculosis cases are 5.5 times higher than the national average rate, according to Alberto Gomes, anthropology professor at La Trobe University in Australia.

Hotez recommends that essential medicines such as ivermectin, azithromycin and deworming treatments be included in mass drug administration to control NTDs. But he notes: "Such measures are a key component of more broad and encompassing measures that include sanitation, access to clean water, good food, integrated vector control and management, childhood immunisations and personal and family hygiene."

Gomes agrees that the overall social condition of the Orang Asli must likewise be addressed as language barriers and discrimination discourage many of them from seeking medical aid.

"Generally, Orang Asli are unwilling to seek medical treatment from the government because they are often discriminated against by the mostly non-Orang Asli medical staff," Gomes says. "Orang Asli have told me that they are often treated in a condescending manner at government clinics. They claim to have been ridiculed, laughed at and scolded by medical staff. Orang Asli reticence in their communication with medical practitioners has, on occasions, led to misdiagnosis."

Source: Business Wire

Click here for the complete issue.

NEWS CRUNCH  
news EmTech Asia Opens: Features 50 speakers on innovation and emerging technologies
news Russia's only project to supply local high-tech anti-cancer drugs abroad continues with the first shipment to Vietnam
news Wheat Genome Sequencing Gets Major Boost
PR NEWSWIRE  
Asia Pacific Biotech News
EDITORS' CHOICE  

Primates in Biomedical Research
COLUMNS  
\
APBN Editorial Calendar 2016
January:
Guest Editorial - Biotechnology In Korea
February:
Guest Editorial - Biomedical Research Governance
March:
Guest Editorial - Life-Saving Opportunities: A Guide to Regenerative Medicine
April:
Cancerology / Oncology
May:
Guest Editorial - Antibody Informatics In Japan
June:
Medical Devices and Technology
July:
Water Technology
August:
Occupational Health
September:
Olympics: Evolution of Sports
October:
Respiratory: Seasonal flu viruses
November:
Tobacco Smoking
Editorial calendar is subjected to changes.
– Editor: Carmen, Jia Wen Loh
MAGAZINE TAGS
About Us
Events
Available issues
Editorial Board
Letters to Editor
Instructions to Authors
Advertise with Us
CONTACT
World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd.
5 Toh Tuck Link, Singapore 596224
Tel: 65-6466-5775
Fax: 65-6467-7667
» Editorial Enquiries: biotech_edit@wspc.com
» For Subscriptions, Advertisements &
   Media Partnerships Enquiries:
   Ms PoPo Kwok or Ms Sok Ching Lim/td>
Copyright© 2015 World Scientific Publishing Co Pte Ltd  •  Privacy Policy