Strengthening Community Empowerment and Participation of Population For Maternal Health Problems and Health-Seeking Behaviour of Orang Asli at Peninsular Malaysia

What is this project about?

Maternal health care among the Orang Asli (Aboriginal peoples) community continues to be a concern. While the absolute number of maternal deaths has been low, statistically this remains a concern as it is still very much statistically significant due to the relatively small number of total population of Orang Asli as compared to other ethnic groups in Malaysia. Furthermore, the rate of home delivery and late antenatal booking is still high among Orang Asli women. The rate of safe delivery conducted by trained personnel among the Orang Asli mothers ranged from 77.3% to 87.3% over the period of year 2003-2007. It was reportedly to be lower than the recorded national average rate of safe delivery for the same period of time.  

Given these data, the Institute for Health Management, Ministry of Health proposed that a study be conducted with an aim to determine the health-seeking behaviours among the Orang Asli and the viability of promoting a sustainable and effective method of improving the maternal health of Orang Asli.  The specific objectives of the study will be: to explore the health-seeking behaviour of a targeted Orang Asli population especially with regards to their maternal health; introduce the peer support group as an intervention to identified Orang Asli participants; and evaluate the effectiveness of the peer support group intervention in improving the maternal health among the Orang Asli participants.

What has been the situation?

Since Malaysia achieved her Independence in 1957, much assistance, support and provision have been continuously provided to the Orang Asli. Unfortunately, nationally, a large proportion of the Orang Asli population are still persistently lagging behind in terms of their socio-economic status, health status, education and other fields. This scenario is disheartening especially due to the fact that the Orang Asli population is considerably much smaller in number as compared to other Malaysian ethnic groups.

How are we doing this?



Given the above scenario, the Institute for Health Management under Ministry of Health proposed that a study be conducted with an aim to determine the health-seeking behaviours among the Orang Asli and the viability of promoting a sustainable and effective method of improving the maternal health of Orang Asli.

The specific objectives of the study will be:

  1. To explore the health-seeking behavior of targeted Orang Asli population especially with regards to their maternal health;
  2. To introduce the peer support group as an intervention to the identified Orang Asli communities; and
  3. To evaluate the effectiveness of the peer support group intervention in improving the maternal health among the Orang Asli participants.

What have we accomplished so far?

First tranche of the NEX cash advances is already released to the implementing partner to carry out research activities and the team will be reporting the disbursements by end of September 2014.

Who finances it?

Year Donor Amount
2014-15 UNDP TRAC USD28,465
2014-15 Government Cost-sharing USD48,246

Delivery in previous fiscal year

Year Donor Amount (USD)
2014 TRAC / GCS $8,648.75
2015 TRAC / GCS $34,695

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