Another major objective of IMU is to build into community projects which include creating opportunities for community based research that involves the students, thus bringing about the application of knowledge gained in the classrooms towards academic excellence in research. Such activities also provide an excellent opportunity for faculty and students of the various academic programmes to work together as a team, thus bring about inter-professional learning and team work. Towards this end, IMU has ‘adopted’ a number of rural constituencies in the Klang Valley, Negeri Sembilan and Johor through collaboration with local health authorities and relevant local district authorities. These ‘Kampung Angkat’ projects include, Kampung Orang Asli Serendah, Damansara Constituency, Kampong Kala, Kampung Tekir and some villages in Batu Pahat.
Kampung Orang Asli Serendah— Located in Ulu Selangor, was among the first village to be adopted. It was ‘adopted’ through the approval of the Orang Asli Affairs Department and the cooperation of the village administration. Demographic data for each family was established, followed by measurement and collation of health parameters into a database.
This project was coordinated by the Department of Community Medicine of IMU and has the participation of the various departments of the University. A ‘clinic’ was established and was used by both staff and students of the IMU Bukit Jalil campus. Visits included general health and oral health screening and health education. Some of the specific topics on health education among the village population include breast cancer, breast feeding, diabetes, smoking risks, alcoholism, immunization, eye diseases, lice infestation and general hygiene.
Individuals with specific health problems were referred to the local government health authorities for treatment and follow-up. Eye problems are resolved through collaboration with the Tun Hussein Onn Eye Hospital. Physical improvements on the surrounding environment are also carried out.
These include relevant renovation work for the kampong ‘community’ facilities, gotong royong activities, provision of public utilities, etc. Funds for these physical improvements are raised through sponsorship programmes by corporate bodies or community service clubs (e.g. Rotary, Lions, etc.) as well as through budget provided by IMU.
Damansara Constituency— In Kuala Lumpur is an urban community with a mix of upper and lower income groups comprising the usual racial mix of the country. Projects were focused on the lower income groups. Regular activities carried out are similar to the Serendah project.
Kampong Kala in Gombak — Located in Selangor is yet another Orang Asli village where active health projects were held. This community is located near a small district hospital where direct access to health care facilities was within easy reach.
Kampung Tekir, Labu— Located in Negeri Sembilan is the project site for the IMU Clinical School. It is also an Orang Asli village. Regular visits to this village have been going on since the establishment of the clinical school. A very extensive database on health parameters has been established and intervention measures taken by the various clinical departments of the university.
For the IMU Clinical students in Batu Pahat, Johor, community work has been carried out among a number of villages around the district. Kampungs involved include Kampung Parit Warijo, Sri Medan; Kampung Sejagong, Sri Medan and Kampung Sri Pantai Senggarang.