MoH to conduct women and children survey the 2nd time since 2016


THE Ministry of Health (MoH) through the Institute of Public Health will conduct the “National Health and Morbidity Survey: Maternal and Child Health (NHMS: MCH)” for the second time since 2016.

The survey will be conducted for three months beginning Aug 9 to Oct 31 this year.

NHMS: MCH aims to obtain the latest information on the health status of Malaysian women, mothers and children, to provide the latest health trends which will help the ministry increase healthcare accessibility among women and children.

The key survey topics will include the health status of women between the ages of 15 to 49, before pregnancy, during pregnancy and after delivery, as well as the health status of children under the age of five.

These include their immunisation coverage, nutritional status and child development, children’s morbidity and children’s oral healthcare.

For this year’s edition, the Institute of Public Health will add new scopes regarding domestic violence, family planning and vaccine hesitancy due to the current trends.

Deputy Health Minister I Datuk Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali (picture) said there have been many cases of domestic violence and victims’ fear to speak up.

“The second is about vaccine scepticism which we have observed. We started the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme last year.

“A total of 99% of the adult population has received the first dose, followed by teenagers (95%), but not even more than half of the children population (49.5%) have received the first dose,” he said in a press conference.

The minister believes that disinformation on social media is the cause of this, where these groups prefer to listen to other people rather than doctors.

MoH advises mothers to not have pregnancies too frequently and wants to ensure that a mother is healthy enough before they are ready to get pregnant again.

A total of 14,000 households nationwide will be involved in the survey which will be selected randomly through the Department of Statistics Malaysia’s enumeration blocks.

Moreover, a total of 32,000 respondents will be interviewed face-to-face, fill a questionnaire, review their antenatal card and immunisation card, while health assessments will be conducted for children.

The ministry will dispatch a total of 70 data collection teams where each of them will be using a vehicle with an official NHMS: MCH sticker alongside one field supervisor, one nurse and two trained interviewers.

In the previous NHMS: MCH in 2016, it was revealed that 86.4% of children completed primary vaccination at the age of 12 months, while only less than a half of women population (47.1%) breastfed their newborns.

A majority of the respondents (97.4%) had received adequate antenatal care with at least four antenatal visits as suggested by the World Health Organisation and 12.7% of women suffered from postnatal depression.