SEACO is a developing research partnership between the community of Segamat and Malaysian, Australian, and European universities. The aim of SEACO is to develop a deep understanding of the factors that sustain health and wellbeing in a community, and how those factors change over time. By understanding this, we hope to improve the lives of individuals and families living in Segamat. SEACO was launched by Y.A.B. Dato’ Haji Abdul Ghani bin Othman the Mentari Besar of Johor in November 2011 and is supported by the Ministry of Health.
Malaysia is a nation in transition. The factors affecting the health and wellbeing of the population are also changing. Communicable diseases used to be the major health burden; now it is non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.
Surprisingly, little is known about the household and community factors that maintain or prevent the diseases. SEACO will investigate this. But SEACO is about more than just disease. It is about the total wellbeing of individuals, families, and communities. Beginning March 2012, researchers from the Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences at Monash University, Sunway Campus will start collecting data from households as part of a long-term community health project in Segamat. The project will focus on households in the mukim of Bekok, Chaah, Gemereh, Jabi and Sungai Segamat. The project involves a series of visits to households by trained Data Collectors to obtain general information on the factors that affect health and wellbeing. On the first visit they will collect basic information about individuals living within each household. On subsequent visits we will conduct health screening, and where it is appropriate we can make referrals to District health services.
Individuals and families involved in SEACO will receive health screening, and where appropriate, referrals to District health services. As the the project develops, we will share summary findings about the community’s health and well being, but never release private information about individuals. Summaries of the research findings will also be sent to the District Office and the Ministry of Health to highlight potential issues, allowing them to adjust policies and take appropriate action.
SEACO has established a sophisticated computer system for ensuring that any information that you share with us will remain safe and secure. When results are shared with others through research summaries, policy briefs, scientific publications, or our website, you will remain anonymous and unidentifiable.
Your initial contact with SEACO will probably be when a trained Data Collector visits your household to conduct an initial interview. They will be wearing a vest with the SEACO logo. Please also ask them to present their SEACO photo-ID. We would like you to be involved, but participation is voluntary. Initial data collection commences in Bekok in March 2012 and will be extended to the other mukim over the next few months. The first visit will last about 20 minutes depending on the number of people living in the household. Basic information, including ages and levels of education and health-related information will be collected about household members. Later visits may be longer, if for example we are conducting health screening, or shorter if we are just updating our records to see if anyone has left the household or joined it. We will visit each household about 2 to 3 times a year. If a data collector comes at an inconvenient time, a better time can always be arranged.
SEACO is a partnership between the people of Segamat and SEACO’s partner universities. Over time we believe it can make a real contribution to your health and wellbeing and the community, but it relies on your goodwill. Please join us.
If you have any questions about SEACO, or you would like to be involved as a Data Collector or member of a community committee, please contact us here.