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Changing Health Environments Through Land Development: The Case of the Federal Land Development Authority in Peninsular Malaysia

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Item Summary

Title:Changing Health Environments Through Land Development: The Case of the Federal Land Development Authority in Peninsular Malaysia
Authors:Meade, Melinda Sue
Contributors:Armstrong, R. Warwick (advisor)
Geography and Environment (department)
Keywords:medical geography
Malaysia
Selangor
land settlement
Lembaga Kemajuan Tanah Persekutan
show 2 morerural development
rural conditions
show less
Date Issued:Dec 1974
Publisher:[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [December 1974]
Abstract:To test the premise that the environment being created by Felda land development programs poses new hazards as well as offers new benefits to the health of the rural population, a land scheme was studied for population composition, dynamics, and health behavior including mobility and exposure to four complexes of regular relationships: the locational, biotic, constructed, and organizational. A stratified random sample of 60 households (from a population of 558) was chosen and a register of mobility and morbidity was maintained for five months on the basis of weekly recall. In addition to interviews, other sources of data were clinic, family planning, and Felda records, price surveys, field mapping, a rat trapping project for mites, and a helminth survey. The study was duplicated in briefer form in an adjacent traditional village in order to better delimit changes. A sample of Felda schemes of various types, ages, and locations was surveyed to identify the unique and more generalized aspects of the settlement studied in depth.
It was found that not only the stage reached in the development process, but also relative location with respect to accessibility, were the critical aspects of health environment. Fevers and enteric conditions particularly, and most health complaints generally, have decreased under the more sanitary and prosperous conditions of the mature land schemes. The organization on the schemes was effective at delivering information and in implementing the family planning program. Changed interaction patterns involved little contact of the population with the jungle, swamps, streams, or similar vector habitats. Endangering alterations in the biotic complex included the creation of foci of malaria in new schemes and the extension of wasteland into the settlement area with increased potential for scrub typhus. Locationally, the remoteness of the schemes together with their prosperous conditions had induced a proliferation of motorcycles and a greatly increased hazard of vehicular accidents. Other adverse consequences of location, which were often severe in the early phases of development, included inadequate food supply, difficulty of access to medical and especially emergency facilities, stress induced by distance from relatives and friends, and more scattered and distant journeys by the population with consequent hazards of pathogen dispersal.
The major health concerns are not those of deteriorating conditions, however, but of failure to achieve potential. Poor health conditions maintained by personal hygienic behavior have shown little improvement. The agricultural potential of the settlement area for vegetables and protein production has not been developed. Educational programs have been weak, despite organizational efficacy. The behavioral changes necessary to make the new environment habitable and to fulfill its potential are not complete. The social stress of isolation, strangeness, and economic discipline have resulted in some limited desertion from the schemes, violence, and psychological aberration. Despite the hazards of vectors, migration, locational disadvantages and behavioral stress, the health conditions on mature schemes are a genuine improvement over those that prevail in traditional rural village. Furthermore the Felda environment as a whole is characterized by an active, dynamic adaptation of institutions and behavior which is healthy.
Description:PhD University of Hawaii at Manoa 1974
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 202–211).
Pages/Duration:xv, 211 leaves : illustrations (some color), maps
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/10125/11613
Rights:All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections: Ph.D. - Geography


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