Community Education and Field Training Among the Jahai School Children in Sungai Tiang on Zoonotic Disease Transmission

This activity mainly focuses on creating awareness on the risks of zoonotic infections involving the children of the indigenous Jahai people from Sungai Tiang in Belum forest located in the state of Perak, Malaysia.

There are three phases to the activity in which the first phase focuses on the recognition of pathogens and understanding the impact to human health. The first phase was held from 30th March to 1st April 2018 with more than 70 children from the age of 6 to 12 years old involved. Few activities were prepared by the facilitators to introduce bacteria and viruses than can cause diseases and how those diseases can impact human health. Before the break, the correct way to wash hands was demonstrated by facilitators for the children to implement in their daily lives.

The second phase was held from 13th April to 15th April 2018. During this phase, the same children with some new addition of the Jahai children participated in the activities prepared by the facilitators. This second phase focuses on the personal hygiene practice and food preparation especially bush meat and the third phase was held from 27th to 29th April 2018 and focused on environment friendly practices and hygiene.

A total of hundred university students from Universiti Putra Malaysia, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Universiti Sains Malaysia, University Tunku Abdul Rahman, Cyberjaya University College of Medical Sciences and Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia that came from various disciplines play the role as facilitators with guidance from few lecturers in each phase. The young and energetic facilitators were very enthusiastic to educate the children and create awareness on the danger of zoonotic infections to their health.