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Malaysia

Institute for Public Health To Conduct Survey On Maternal And Child Health

The survey findings are expected to provide evidence-based data on the health status of women, mothers, and children.

Photo by Samuel Lee from Pixabay.

KUALA LUMPUR, August 8 – The Institute for Public Health (IPH) under the Ministry of Health will for the second time conduct the National Health and Morbidity Survey: Maternal and Child Health (NHMS MCH). The survey will be conducted for three months starting from August 9 to October 31, 2022.

The NHMS MCH aims to obtain the latest information on the health status of women, mothers and children in Malaysia. Findings from the first survey in 2016 showed that 86.4 per cent of children have completed primary vaccination at the age of 12 months.

While WHO has set a target to increase the rate of exclusive breastfeeding up to at least 50 per cent in the first six months, local data indicates that exclusive breastfeeding is only at 47.1 per cent in Malaysia.

For maternal health, it was found that 97.4 per cent of respondents received adequate antenatal care, with at least four antenatal visits as suggested by the WHO.

However, it was found that 12.7 per cent of women experienced postnatal depression. 

The NHMS MCH this year is expected to provide detailed information on the latest trends in health status that will assist the MOH to further strengthen health services specifically for women, mothers, and children.

The NHMS MCH will obtain comprehensive health data among women, mothers and children. Key survey topics include:

  • The health status of women aged between 15 and 49 during pre-pregnancy, pregnancy, delivery birth, and post delivery.
  • The health status of children under the age of 5, such as immunisation coverage, nutritional status and child development, children’s morbidity, and children’s oral health care.
  • Newly added scopes such as intimate partner violence, contraception, miscarriage and abortion, and vaccine hesitancy.

This survey will involve about 14,000 households throughout Malaysia. The households are randomly selected via enumeration blocks provided by the Statistics Department. A total of 32,000 respondents will be interviewed.

IPH will employ a total of 70 data collection teams in the field simultaneously for data collection activity. Each team will travel using a vehicle with the official NHMS MCH sticker and include one field supervisor, one nurse, and two trained interviewers.

During the data collection activity, the team of data collectors will visit all the selected eligible households with children under five years of age.

Data collection activity will involve face-to-face interview, self-administered questionnaires, review of antenatal and immunisation cards, health assessment for children such as anthropometric measurement, and child development.

The survey findings are expected to provide comprehensive evidence-based data on the health status of women, mothers, and children that will allow MOH to evaluate existing programmes and devise strategies or new activities such as resource planning to further improve the health status of women, mothers, and children in Malaysia.

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