Health Ministry to conduct survey on mothers and children's health from Aug 9 to Oct 31

PETALING JAYA: The Institute for Public Health for the second time will conduct the National Health and Morbidity Survey: Maternal and Child Health (NHMS MCH) for three months from Aug 9 to Oct 31 to study the health status of women, mothers and children in Malaysia.

Deputy Health Minister I, Datuk Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali said the study would involve about 14,000 households comprising 32,000 respondents while 70 data collection teams would be simultaneously collecting the data.

The first study was carried out in 2016.

He said the key survey topics would include the health status of women aged 15 to 49 during pre-pregnancy, pregnancy, delivery birth and post-delivery, while the health status of children under the age of five would include immunisation coverage, nutritional status and oral health care.

"The additional scopes in the survey this time are intimate partner violence, contraception, miscarriage/abortion and vaccination hesitancy,” he said at a press conference after launching NHMS MCH on Thursday (Aug 4).

The findings from the first survey in 2016 showed that 86.4% of children completed the primary vaccination at the age of 12 months while only 47.1% of babies less than six months old were exclusively breastfed compared to more than 50% of the World Health Organisation (WHO) target.

On maternal health, it was found that 97.4% of the respondents received adequate antenatal care with at least four antenatal visits as suggested by WHO. However, it was found that 12.7% of women experienced postnatal depression.

Dr Noor Azmi hoped the survey findings this year could provide comprehensive evidence-based data on the health status of women, mothers and children to enable the Health Ministry evaluate the existing programmes and further improve the health services for this group. - Bernama

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