Objectives AIIKU-HAN is a community organization having a long history of involvement in maternal and child health and welfare in Japan. Its activities have been modeled in rural areas of Nge-An Province, Vietnam since 2002. This study clarifies the effect of AIIKU-HAN activities in Nge-An Province, and discusses the results in context by comparing pregnant women, who are one of the beneficiary groups of these activities, in areas with AIIKU-HAN involvement (activity areas) and areas without such involvement (non-activity areas). Method This study was conducted at three communes each with and without AIIKU-HAN activity areas, for a total of six communes. Structured questionnaires were used for this cross-sectional study, covering pregnant women who were more than 16 weeks pregnant. At the same time, additional information about health promotion offered to pregnant women was collected through interviews with midwives from each of the communes. Result Compared to pregnant women in non-activity areas, pregnant women in activity areas had more knowledge concerning health issues which arise during terms of pregnancy, performed more healt-seeking behaviors, and received more support from family members. They also referred to midwives for counseling and information more often, and were more likely to relieve their anxieties by consulting with midwives in closer area to CHC. Furthermore pregnant women in activity areas received additional social support through association with AIIKU-HAN volunteers. From interviews with midwives, we determined that the content of their advice to pregnant women in activity and non-activity areas wasn't substantially different; however IEC (Information, Education and Communication) activities were more promoted in activity areas than in non-activity areas. Conclusion The results discuss both the direct and indirect effects of AIIKU-HAN activities. The support of AIIKU-HAN allowed pregnant women to gain more knowledge and strengthened their health behaviors directly. Indirectly, family support for pregnant women was increased by promotion of family involvement by AIIKU-HAN, and an environment in which pregnant women could more easily perform healt-seeking behaviors was fostered. AIIKU-HAN volunteers served as the pipeline between pregnant women and midwives through the collaboration of AIIKU-HAN and midwives, and the organization further contributed to good relationships between midwives and pregnant women. This collaboration also served as a stimulus for IEC activities by midwives.
Objectives: To assess the nutritional status of mothers and children in a mountainous commune in Viet Nam Method: This is a cross-sectional survey conducted in 2008 in mountainous commune-Phu Loc, in Ninh Binh province in Viet Nam. To assess the nutritional status of children and mothers, we collected the weight and height (or length, if children were under 2 year old) of all children under 5 yearsold, school-aged children and mother of children under 5 in the commune. Assessment and classification of nutritional status were conducted based on WHO Child Growth Standards 2006 (for child 0-5 years old), WHO Reference 2007 (for child 5-19 years old) and WHO's standard of BMI index, applied for adult in Asia-Pacific region-2000 (for mothers of children under 5 years) To assess the anemia rate, we used systematic random sampling method with mothers and children from 6 to 59 months of age as subjects. If the subjects were pregnant women, we selected all of them as this group is less than the sampling size. We took 20 ml of venous blood from subjects in the morning (fasting), and hemoglobin (Hb) concentration was determined by the Cyanmethemoglobine method. We used the standard WHO-2002 cut-off point for hemoglobin concentration in the blood by age, sex and physical condition to diagnose anemia. Results: Undernutrition among children under 5 years of age was high with stunting prevalence (height for age z-score below -2SD) at 31.6% and underweight prevalence (weight for age z-score below -2SD) at 21.1%. The stunting prevalence in school-aged children (primary and secondary school) was 21.2%. The prevalence of Chronic Energy Deficiency (BMI≤18.5) in mothers of child under 5 years of age was 19.5%, while the overweight prevalence (BMI≥) was 8.0%. The Anemia prevalence was high for all groups with rates for pregnant woman, mothers of children under 5 years and children from 6-59 months at 36.7%, 22.2%, and 32.4% respectively. Conclusion: The nutritional status of mothers and children in the assessed mountainous commune was poor with high rates of stunting in children and high rates of anemia in all for children, pregnant women and mothers of children under 5 years of age. It is necessary to develop a comprehensive intervention program in order to improve the nutritional status of mothers and children in this commune in the coming years.
Introduction Compared to Japanese nationals, foreigners residing in Japan have a poor rate of maternal and child mortality and utilization of maternal and child health services. In this study, we examine the maternal and child health services provided by public health nurses to foreigners residing in Japan. Methods Questionnaires were administered to public health nurses working at local health centers in Aichi prefecture. Results Among the respondents, 4.5% were satisfied with the support system offered to foreigners residing in Japan, and 41.5% had offered their services to foreigners residing in Japan with various ideas. The following factors significantly affected satisfaction in public health nurses: acceptance by foreigners residing in Japan of the home of a newborn and maternal and child health check-ups (P=0.037, P=0.001, respectively), utilization of translators (P=0.002), and adopting a positive attitude towards providing health care services to foreigners residing in Japan (P=0.028). Conclusions Public health nurses in Japan are not satisfied with the health care services they offer foreigners residing in Japan. The results of this study suggest that it is important to provide them with multilingual materials and help them develop a positive attitude towards offering health care services to foreigners residing in Japan.
Objective Despite the steady high prevalence of infectious diseases, Sri Lanka has an increasing awareness of lifestyle-related health diseases. To lower their risks in the future, making better lifestyle choices and establishing patterns of healthy behavior during young adulthood are essential. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore current issues of university students' health behaviors and their environments. Methods The study was conducted in a university of the Central Province, Sri Lanka. Four graduate students in the Faculty of Medicine and three senior students in the Faculty of the Arts were interviewed in a focus group. Interviews were tape-recorded, transcribed, and analyzed inductively. Results The results yielded three core categories: little interests in health, unhealthy lifestyles, and lower usage of the Student Health Center. In addition, three major health problems were observed among the participants: eating habits, substance use, and mental health. Students had little paid attention to their health. It also showed passive participation on a health check-up. Additionally students' hidden risky behaviors were observed: alcohol intake and smoking. Mental health problem is one of the great health concerns among the students. Although the School Health Center was available, the gaps between its provisions of services and students' needs are an important issue. Discussion and Conclusion Students need to pay more attention on their health conditions and the importance of preventive health. Furthermore, to improve the current university health services, accessibility, usability, and students' needs should be carefully reviewed in the context of advocacy of preventive health behaviors.
Introduction The questionnaire survey was conducted among medical interpreters to clarify the duties of medical interpreters and the contents of training programs, and to analyze the challenges in practice. Methods The self-reported questionnaires were distributed to NPOs of medical interpreters, local international exchange associations, and hospitals with medical interpreters. They were directly collected to authors and analyzed. Results The number of valid responses was 284 (response rate: 33.4%). 46.1% of the respondents had worked as medical interpreters for 5 years or more. There were a few fulltime workers and 76.4% worked as a part-time interpreters. The respondents could interpret 14 languages including sign language. Only 8.5% of them had worked more than 20 times per month, while 68.3% worked less than 4 times per month. 54.4% of the respondents have had training of medical interpreting for more than 20 hours. The respondents answered their difficulties as medical interpreters between medical providers and foreign patients. Discussions This study was targeted at medical interpreters and revealed that many medical interpreters were working at hospitals and other health facilities. The training programs to develop knowledge, skills and ethical conduct are urgently needed to establish the professionalism of medical interpreters. The coordinators are essential to advocate the roles of medical interpreters to medical providers and foreign patients, and to support medical interpreters.