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IJSTR >> Volume 3- Issue 4, April 2014 Edition

International Journal of Scientific & Technology Research  
International Journal of Scientific & Technology Research

Website: http://www.ijstr.org

ISSN 2277-8616

Are The Rural Baram Communities Aware Of Influenza Pandemic?

[Full Text]



Samuel Lihan, RohayaMohd Nor, Rose Nanju, Sidiah John Siop, Rekaya Vincent Balang, Constance Rinen Justin Wah, Nordiana Ahmad Nordin, Rudy Ujang



Index Terms: Pandemic influenza, awareness, Baram communities



A research team from Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) consisting of researchers from three different faculties has visited certain parts ofBaram which were Marudi, Long Lama, Long Bedian and Long San to assess the awareness of influenza outbreak and preventive measures among the rural communities. The team also investigates the information processing and styles, including the engagement and utilization of media by the rural communities which is vital for effective risk communication in any activity related to public health campaign. A five-day trip from UNIMAS to all the study locations, starting from 14th of May until 18th of May 2012, has enabled the research team to gatherfeedback via survey and interviews to assess the level of awareness, knowledge and health practices among the rural communities with regard to dealing with potential influenza pandemic outbreaks. Focus group interviews conducted at Long Bedian and Long San have further permitted the research team to gather the community feedback in relation to barriers in attaining effective risk communication using media and other channels in public health campaign activities targeted for rural communities of Sarawak. Health education talk was also given to the local community during this trip. The team had also enjoyed the privileges of sharing and promoting UNIMAS, in conjunction with its 20th anniversary, to the local students and parents throughout the research journey. Some important findings inferred from this research expedition include the relatively low level of basic knowledge about H1N1 pandemic among the respondents. However, good percentage of participants has some knowledge to certain important preventive measures including hand washing, cover nose and mouth when sneezing, avoid crowded area, and throwing tissue into rubbish bin after use. On the methods the respondents obtain access to information about swine flu outbreak, a big number of respondents rely on TV, radio and newspaper to obtain information pertaining to the H1N1 outbreak. Besides that, most respondents gained H1N1 information through their family members and friends, as well as government health talk or campaigns and posters that provided related H1N1 information. Printed materials that are not translated into their mother-tongue is the most common barrier related to communication channel that respondents have experienced in understanding the information about H1N1. The main challenge faced by the communities is the high illiterate level in the written common English language. Furthermore, the complex terminologies used in the disease understanding is a big issue for them.



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