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Innovation from Kapit, Sarawak, Malaysia
The Occupational and Environmental Health Section of the Sarawak State Health Department organised a special training on Healthy Settings for its Assistant Environmental Health Officers (AEHO) who are involved in Healthy Settings and Healthy Cities projects.
Kapit is the largest administrative division in the state of Sarawak with the total land area of 38, 934 sq km. It is located along Rajang River - the longest river in Malaysia. Kapit has a widely dispersed population of 109,531. From Sibu town, Kapit can be reached by river.
A total of 40 AEHO attended the briefing and field visits. Observers from the Kuching Healthy City team (State planning Unit, Kuching north City Hall, Kuching South City Council, Padawan Municipal Council and Ministry of Social Development & Urbanisation) also participated in this special activity. The agenda comprised: (1) briefing on concept, (2) sharing of experiences of successful Healthy Settings projects by relevant teams, (3) field visits to Healthy Villages and Healthy Clinics, and (4) evaluation of two Healthy Villages.
Its objective is to provide the officers with the knowledge and better understanding of the concept of Healthy Settings. The understanding of the concept given during the briefing was further enhanced through the hands-on activities through the field visit and evaluation exercises.
Through the visionary team at the Kapit Divisional Health Office, the Healthy Village programme was introduced and started in Kapit in 2001. Since its inception, they have been very successful with more than 90 villages throughout the Division embarking on the project. The Healthy Settings concept has also been extended to several health clinics within the Division.
The participants visited four Healthy Longhouses (Rh.) and two Healthy Health Clinics. The longhouses visited were Rh. Belikau, Rh. Jeffery Nudong, Rh. Mujah Rh. Pasang. The health clinics visited were KK Ng. Ibau and KK Ng. Mujong.
The longhouses visited have been very successful in changing the mindset of its people. This was evidenced by the improvement in the overall physical surroundings, the organisation and administration of the longhouse, the gotong royong (team) spirit, health and safety consciousness, and the most notable of all – their success in kicking their smoking habit.
Similarly, the two health clinics visited were evidence that Healthy Setting Concept is relevant and applicable of where they are located. These are very remote clinics. Despite all the limitations, the clinic staff had succeeded in transforming the clinic – not only into a functional and client-friendly health facilities– but also into a beautiful clinic in a very remote and rural setting.
For more information on this programme, please access our Kuching Healthy Cities website at
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