Orang Asli advised to give priority to modern medicine

23 Jun 2019 / 18:11 H.

KUANTAN: Thirty-three Orang Asli youths from Pos Lenjang, Lipis are determined to become advisers to their community so that they would give priority to modern medicine in life.

The youths who were approached by Bernama, said the modern medical knowledge, although different from the traditional practice of their ancestors, had better potentials to save lives besides preventing the spread of more serious illnesses.

Murni Bahsetak, 28, from the Semai tribe, said the importance of seeking health care and practicing proper infant and child care, including getting vaccination were basic things that must be present in the Orang Asli community.

“I notice on television there were many Orang Asli who had died in Kelantan due to measles. We were told that such things could have been avoided if they had seen the doctor earlier and given vaccination. I hope such instances could be taken as a lesson so that they would not be repeated,” she told Bernama, here today.

Murni was one of the 33 participants who had undergone the Basic Course in Emergency Treatment of the St John Ambulance Malaysia (SJAM) Pahang, here today, which was a follow-up of the Orang Asli Basic Medical Training Course held at Pos Lejang on May 1.

The two-day course which began yesterday, was a collaboration between the Federation of Malaysian Private Medical Doctors under the program Drs For All, Orang Asli Development Department, Raleigh Malaysia, and Impian Malaysia.

For Jainah Bah Ar, 36, the course carried out in simple and easily understood language had provided new knowledge, including in matters which had long been faced by the community such as treating wounds.

“We were taught that wounds had to be cleaned, dried and applied with antiseptic before being covered with a clean piece of cloth. In normal circumstances, we cover the wound with just a piece of cloth but the doctor would reprimand us saying that the action was risky as it could cause infection if dirty cloth was used.

“Our old folks might not know about it because they were used to medical treatment on their own. In fact, in the past they would be taken to traditional healers if they were ill because it was easier and nearer ... if their illness was truly serious or if there was no other choice only then they would be taken out to the hospital,” she said.

“But that was in the past, now there are facilities available. In fact, at Pos Lenjang there is a rural clinic and the doctor would come according to the schedule for medical checks. Soon there will be a ‘Pos Medik’ managed by us, so it is important for me to understand what is taught by the doctor here,” she added.

Meanwhile, Pahang SJAM Commander Dr Hew Kin Sun said the basic emergency training taught covered basic emergency treatment such as assistance in providing Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), treatment for wounds, fracture, convulsions, choking and injury due to poisonous animals involving theory and practical as well as training.

“The course is almost similar to what was learnt at Pos Lenjang previously, but it had to be done so that they would continue to remember the treatment step by step.

“This can also be regarded as a revision before the examination because they have to face a test on July 6 with me and several other doctors as examiners will enter Pos Lejang,” he said.

Dr Hew said he was impressed by the spirit shown by the 33 Orang Asli youths who would ask questions if there were things that they did not understand about. — Bernama

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