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References: Orang Asli bibliography 2001 (35): health Abdul to Dunn

Updated: Aug 28, 2023

From: Lye Tuck-Po, ed. 2001. Orang Asli of Peninsular Malaysia: A Comprehensive and Annotated Bibliography, CSEAS Research Report Series No. 88. Kyoto: Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University.References 1019–1090


Health, biomedicine, genetics

Unless otherwise noted, all commentaries in this section are by Adela Baer. For more detailed notation on particular studies and findings, see #Baer #85.

Category: Health A to E

536. ABD. HALIN Hamid. 1990. “Health among the Orang Asli in Peninsular Malaysia: An overview”. Pp. 77–93 in Margins and minorities: The peripheral areas and peoples of Malaysia. Edited by Victor T. King and Michael J. G. Parnwell. Hull, UK: Hull University Press — proffers official views and some statistics; lacks analysis.
537. ABD. RASHID Kasri. 1986. Comparative study on selected aspects of health among a group of Malay and a group of Orang Asli in Mersing, Johor, West Malaysia. M.Pub.Health thesis, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur.
1021. ABD.-KADIR, R., and A. YASSIN. 1989. Periodontal status (CPITN) of six-to-fifteen year old West Malaysian aborigines (Proto-Malays). Journal of the Nihon University School of Dentistry 31(4): 612–618 — reports low percent of periodontal problems and 47 per cent school absenteeism among Temuan of Selangor.
1022. ——. 1990. Prevalence of dental caries in the Selangor Orang Asli children. Journal of the Nihon University School of Dentistry 32: 275–280 — on Temuan.
1023. ——. 1992. Dental health status of the Orang Asli school children in Selangor. Department of Community Dentistry, University Malaya, Kuala Lumpur — on Temuan, with data on government administration, census, and health services.
1024. ——. 1993. Dental health beliefs and attitudes of a group of rehabilitated Selangor Proto-Malays (Temuan tribe) in Malaysia. Kajian Malaysia11(2): 74–84 — curiously, does not examine the serious dental needs of adults, especially the elderly. By “rehabilitated” the authors appear to refer to resettlement, and measure “rehabilitation” success as being “only semi-isolated with access to outside stores”.
1025. ABD.-KADIR, R., and N. ADNAN. 1989. Dental caries experience of 7 to 12 year old West Malaysian aborigines (Temuan tribe). Odontostomatol. Trop. 12(1): 7–11 — on Bkt. Lanjan.
1026. ABDULLAH, S., et al. 1995. Cockroaches and house lizards trapped from Malay and Orang Asli villages in Endau, Johore, Malaysia. Trop. Biomed. 12: 177–178 — on Jakun; the cockroaches and lizards harboured pentastomes.
1027. ABDULLAH, W. O., P. OOTHUMAN, and HASHIM Yunus. 1993. Detection of circulating antigens and parasite-specific antibodies in filariasis. SEA J. Trop. Med. Publ. Health 24 (Suppl. 2): 31–36 — studied six Orang Asli at Gombak Hospital who had acute lymphatic filariasis.
1028. AMAL, N. M., and S. YUSSOF. 1996. The effectiveness of permethrin-impregnated bed nets for malaria control in Kg. Ganoh, an Orang Asli area of Rompin district, Pahang, Malaysia. Med. J. Mal. 51(4): 491–493 — the village had 63 cases of malaria before nets were given, and three cases a year later. A longer-term study, with proper research “controls”, would have been useful.
1029. AMBU, STEPHEN, et al. 1996. Helminth infections of rodents in Orang Asli settlements in Selangor, Malaysia—possible health risks. Trop. Biomed. 13: 123–127 — on Temuan of Bkt. Kemandul, U. Lui, U. Kuang, and Bkt. Tampoi, and Mah Meri of Sg. Judah and Sg. Bumbon.
1030. ——. 1997. Detection of Angiostrongylus malaysiensis circulating antigen using monoclonal antibody-based enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (MAB-ELISA). SEA J. Trop. Med. Publ. Health 28 (Suppl. 1): 143–147 — on Orang Asli in Grik, Perak.
1031. ANANDAN, J., T. W. LIM, and N. HAUG. 1969. Studies in bacterial disease in West Malaysian Orang Asli (aborigines): Previously unrecorded Salmonella serotypes. Med. J. Mal. 23(4): 269–271 — on Gombak Hospital patients.
1032. ANDRE, R., et al. 1972. In vivo and in vitro studies of chloroquine-resistant malaria in West Malaysia. Trans. Roy. Soc. Trop. Med. Hyg. 66: 644–652 — studied chloroquine resistance in 33 Semai schoolchildren (of Tapah) who had malarial parasites.
1033. ANUAR, H., et al. 1984. Detection of Malaysian schistosomiasis in Orang Asli of Peninsular Malaysia using serodiagnostic tests. SEA J. Trop. Med. Publ. Health 15(4): 479 — on Temuan (Bkt. Lanjan), Semelai (Pos Iskandar), and unidentified Gombak Hospital patients/visitors.
1034. ARASU, G. D. 1992. Risk behavior and malaria in Malaysia. SEA J. Trop. Med. Publ. Health 23 (Suppl. 1): 51–56 — recommends “settlement” of Johor Orang Asli as a corrective to perceived “risk behaviours”. The definition of “risk behavior” is, however, little more than some widely circulated cliches.
1035. ARCHIBALD, C., et al. 1991. Antibodies to Plasmodium falciparum in an indigenous population from a malaria endemic area. Acta Tropica48: 149–157 — on Semai of Betau; no anti-malaria control programme existed in this area for the period 1985–1987, even though the presence of malaria was already known to exist.
1036. ARIFF, R. H. (Tengku), et al. 1997. Health status of aboriginal children at Post Brooke, Kelantan. Mal. J. Child Health 9(1): 60–64 — joint reference to Ariff #1036, Karim #1136, Norhayati #1210, and Ramah #1261: these reports show that Temiar health problems are endemic for all age groups; children are the worst off. Children’s diseases and problems include: intestinal worms, intestinal protozoa, malaria, dental caries, anaemia, high mortality. Government provision of health services varied unevenly and the quality of care was not comprehensive.
1037. ARMSTRONG, H., and E. K. TAN. 1978. Body-image perceptions as a function of assimilation within the Malaysian aborigines. Journal of the Society of Psychology 105: 165–173 — studied “Senoi” at Gombak Hospital and in their home villages re indulgent child-rearing and other issues.


1038. BAER, A[dela] S. 1967/1968. The genetics of human populations in Southeast Asia. Malayan Scientist 4: 17–22 — regional review of early work.
1039. ——. 1988. Elliptocytosis, malaria, and fertility in Malaysia. Human Biology 60: 909–915 — though it is difficult to show how human fertility differences contribute to Darwinian selection, this study found suggestive, but not conclusive, evidence for these differences being important for ovalocytosis (earlier called elliptocytosis) in a malarial environment. On Temuan of U. Serendah, Bkt. Legong, U. Kuang, and Tekir Labu.
1040. ——. 1995. Human genes and biocultural history in Southeast Asia. Asian Perspectives 34: 21–35 — discusses Aslian and Malayic language speakers. Analysis of north-south and east-west axes of genes and cultural traits indicated that both gene and cultural “flow” was largely west to east in Southeast Asia.
1041. ——. 1998. Malaria vs. genes in the Malayo-Bornean arc. Borneo Research Bulletin 29: 128–142 — Borneo is noticeably different from Orang Asli areas in terms of inherited resistence to malaria; possible explanations are discussed.
1042. ——. 1999. Rainforest malaria, mosquitoes and people. MNJ 53(4): 295–301 — outlines a number of conditions why Orang Asli continue to account for half the reported malaria infections, despite forming such a low percentage of the population. Malaria control programmes continue to target the so-called traditional life of Orang Asli without taking sufficiently into account factors such as those caused by resettlement programmes, influx of non-immunes into Orang Asli areas, and large-scale land clearance. [LTP]
1043. ——. 2000. The genetic history of the Orang Asli: Uniting patchwork data. BIPPA 19: 3–10 — suggests that too little is known about Orang Asli genes to support any current popular/political prehistory scenarios.
1044. BAER, A[dela] S., L. E. LIE-INJO, Q. B. WELCH, and A. LEWIS. 1976. Genetic factors and malaria in the Temuan. Am. J. H. Gen. 28: 179–188 — the first determination that ovalocytosis was an evolutionary adaptation in humans to the selective force of malaria. Found that malarial parasitemia was 29 per cent in a sample of 404, although people exhibiting ovalocytosis showed genetic resistance to high levels of parasitemia.On Temuan of Ayer Baning, Bkt. Legong, Tekir Labu, U. Kuang, and U. Serendah.
1045. BALLINGER, S., et al. 1992. Southeast Asian mitochondrial DNA analysis reveals genetic continuity of ancient Mongoloid migration. Genetics 130: 139–152 — various misidentifications and “extrapolations” of Orang Asli groups plague this paper. Reportedly studied a few Temiar, Semai, Jakun, “Jeni”, and “unidentified” Orang Asli. For corrections, see Genetics 130: 957 (1992); for a critique, see #1043.
1046. BISSERU, B. 1968. Skin test suggesting human toxocariasis in West Malaysia. Med. J. Mal. 23(1): 35–40 — in one unidentified Temuan village, dogs were a common reservoir of infection of dog roundworms for humans; 11 per cent of Gombak Hospital Orang Asli patients gave positive skin tests for toxicaria.
1047. BISSERU, B., and A. A. AZIZ. 1970. Intestinal parasites, eosinophilia, hemoglobin and gamma globulin of Malay, Chinese, and Indian school children. Med. J. Mal. 25: 29–33 — 51 per cent of Orang Asli children had hookworm; over 90 per cent had some parasitism. A generation later, matters were not strikingly better, as more recent studies have revealed.
1048. BOLTON, J. Malcolm. 1968. Medical services to the aborigines in West Malaysia. British Medical Journal 2: 818–823 — comprehensive report from the former head of medical services for Orang Asli. Discusses the organization of services, disease rates, immunizations, prematurity, infant mortality, and birth control.
1049. ——. 1972. Food taboos among the Orang Asli in West Malaysia: A potential nutritional hazard. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 25: 789–799 — lists food taboos and reviews nutritional conditions for an impressive range of communities. These were: Semai (Kg. Satak), Temiar (Kg. Belatim), Semelai, Chewong, Jah Het, Semaq Beri, Mah Meri, Kensiu, Jahai, Mendriq, Batek, Lanoh, Orang Kanaq, Orang Seletar, Orang Kuala, Temuan (U. Langat). Nutrition of Temuan children and of Semai and Temiar (all ages) was adequate at the time.
1050. ——. 1972. The control of malaria among the Orang Asli in West Malaysia. Med. J. Mal. 27(1): 10–19 — discusses malarial control and reviews earlier malarial surveys (of Semai in the 1930s and 1960s, and Temuan, Temiar, Jahai in the 1960s).
1051. ——. 1973. A training-oriented medical programme in West Malaysian aboriginals. Medical Journal of Australia 2: 1122–1125 — this good programme was discontinued later.
1052. ——. 1973. Family-centered hospital treatment in the aboriginal people of West Malaysia. Community Health 5: 70–74 — reports on weekly distribution of anti-malarials, a semiannual dental cleaning for children, the childhood vaccination programme, and a decline in TB and malaria.

1053. BOLTON, J. Malcolm, and L. E. LIE-INJO. 1969. Hb E-beta thalassemia in West Malaysian Orang Asli (aborigines). Med. J. Mal. 24: 36–40 — study of an extended family in Gopeng, Perak: Semai x Chinese.
1054. BOLTON, J. Malcolm, and M. SNELLING. 1975. Review of tuberculosis among the Orang Asli (aborigines) in West Malaysia from 1951–1970. Med. J. Mal. 30(1): 10–29 — found males and the elderly at greatest risk for contracting TB. At the time of study, patient cost at Gombak Hospital was only 28 per cent of that at other government hospitals.
1055. BREARLEY, A. 1970. Serum proteins, hematocrits, heights and weights of aborigine subjects in W. Malaysia. Med. J. Mal. 24: 183–186 — study of 109 Orang Asli, 4 to 45 years of age, accompanying patients to Gombak Hospital, ethnicity not specified; 88 were from the forest fringe, 21 from deep forest; none were from resettled sites. Serum protein levels were healthy, implying that nutrition was adequate, at least for these hospital visitors.
1056. BROWN, G., D. ROBINSON, and D. HUXSOLL. 1978. Serological evidence for a high incidence of transmission of Rickettsia Tsutsugamushiin two Orang Asli settlements. Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg. 27: 121–124 — on scrub typhus among Temuan of Bkt. Lanjan and Semelai of Pos Iskandar. Argues that scrub typhus is understudied, may not be uncommon, and can have severe consequences.
1057. BURNS-COX, C., and J. MACLEAN. 1970. Splenomegaly and blood pressure in an Orang Asli community in West Malaysia. American Heart Journal 80: 718–719 — little risk of coronary heart disease was found in a sample of 85 (male and female) Temiar from Sg. Nenggiri. Today, with pressure to turn to store-bought food, this finding may no longer be valid.
1058. BURNS-COX, C., Y. H. CHONG, and R. H. GILMAN. 1972. Risk factors and the absence of coronary heart disease in aborigines in West Malaysia. British Heart Journal 34: 953–958 — study of 73 Orang Asli men visting Gombak Hospital: one case of elephantiasis was found and 34 per cent had enlarged spleens. All had low blood pressure and were adequately nourished.
1059. CADIGAN, F., et al. 1972. The effect of habitat on the prevalence of human scrub typhus in Malaysia. Trans. Roy. Soc. Trop. Med. Hyg. 66(4): 582–587 — found scrub typhus antibodies in 73 per cent of Orang Asli from “deep jungle”, 48 per cent from “fringe” areas, and eight per cent from non-forest villages.
1060. CANDLISH, J., N. SAHA, and J. W. MAK. 1997. Plasma lipids and apolipoproteins in a population of Orang Asli (‘Aborigines’) from West Malaysia. Atherosclerosis 129(1): 49–51.
1061. CAVALLI-SFORZA, L., P. MENOZZI, and A. PIAZZA. 1994. The history and geography of human genes. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press — a few Southeast Asian data are omitted, in error, or mislabelled.
1062. CHAN, O. L., et al. 1974. The cardiorespiratory fitness and energy expenditure of the Temiar. Med. J. Mal. 28(4): 267–272 — measured the food intake and energy expenditure of 35 Nenggiri boys and men engaged in various activities; found no malnutrition or yaws. [ASB; ATR #1680]
1063. CHE GHANI, B. M., and P. OOTHUMAN. 1991. “Patterns of soil-transmitted helminth infection in relation to types of water supply, housing facilities and availability of latrines in rural areas of Peninsular Malaysia”. Pp. 64–71 in Collected Papers on the Control of Soil Transmitted Helminthiasis, vol. 5. Ed. M. Yokogawa, et al. Tokyo: APCO — on children and intestinal parasites.
1064. CHEAH Phee Kheng. 1999. Health status of Orang Asli (Semelai) women in Kampung Sungei Lui, Jempol, Negeri Sembilan. B.Med.Sci. thesis, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University Putra Malaysia, Serdang — rare study of a neglected topic.
1065. CHEE Heng Leng. 1995. “Health and nutrition of the Orang Asli: The need for primary health care amidst economic transformation”. Pp. 48–71 in #769 — general review; cites and discusses some unpublished work.
1066. CHEN, H., R. SOKAL, and M. RUHLEN. 1995. Worldwide analysis of genetic and linguistic relationships of human populations. Human Biology 67: 595–612 — includes data on “Kensiu”, perhaps a mislabeling of older “Negrito” data; suggests “Kensiu” may be as genetically related to Malays as, e.g., Turks are to Koreans.
1067. CHEN, P. C. 1975. Medical systems in Malaysia: Cultural bases and differential use. Soc.Sci. Med. 9: 171–180 — reviews earlier work and compares traditional Semai medical practices to those of other Malaysian ethnic groups. [ASB; ATR #1680]
1068. ——. 1977. Food habits and malnutrition. Med. J. Mal. 31: 170–174 — with passing reference to Orang Asli, citing work by others.
1069. CHIANG, G. L., et al. 1990. Effectiveness of repellent/insecticidal bars against malaria and filariasis vectors in Peninsular Malaysia. SEA J. Trop. Med. Publ. Health 21(3): 412–417 — the interesting findings by this team about mosquito repellents unfortunately did not lead to any practical outcome. On Semai of Betau.
1070. CHIN, J. 1964. Absence of Dia+ in Malayan aborigines. Nature 201: 1039 — on Aboriginal Malays and Senoi; the “absence” seems reliable since the sample size was 270.
1071. CHONG, Y. H. 1978. “Serum lipids, blood pressure and body mass index of Orang Asli-possible effects of evolving dietary and socioeconomic changes”. In Proceedings of international workshop on alteration of food habits in health and diseases. Osaka, Japan.
1072. CHONG, Y. H., and C. W. PANG. 1980. “Blood lipids in the Malayan aborigines”. Pp. 165–168 in Food and nutritional biochemistry. Ed. P. Kanagasuntheram. Kuala Lumpur: Proceedings of the Second Symposium of the Federated Asian and Oceanian Biochemists — determined that periurban Semai adults had a higher risk of coronary heart disease than did forest-fringe or deep-forest Orang Asli; this result is in line with the trend to store-food nutrition into Orang Asli areas.
1073. COLLINS, W., et al. 1968. Studies on the relationship between fluorescent antibody response and ecology of malaria in Malaysia. Bull. WHO39: 451–463 — studied various places and communities: Batu 55 Jerantut Rd., F. Kemar, Banding, Kuah, Sira, Peltu, F. Betau, F. Chabai, K. Yai, Gamala.
1074. CUTHBERTSON, C., B. NAEMIRATCH, L. THOMPSON, OSMAN Ali, etc. 2000. Dietary intake and iodine deficiency in women of childbearing age in an Orang Asli community close to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. A-P J. Clin. Nutr. 9(1): 36–40 — among Temuan of Kg. Lalang (46 km SE of K. Lumpur), 34 per cent of the women were goiterous; these women also had “lower protein and energy intakes”. These findings suggest that too little has improved for women’s health over the decades. See also: Cuthbertson, C., et al. 1999. Food sources, dietary intake, cultural and other factors which affect the prevalence of iodine deficiency and iron deficiency anaemia in Orang Asli women of childbearing age in Sg. Lalang, Chemong village, Hulu Langat, Selangor, Malaysia. Public Health (Community Nutrition), University of Queensland.
1075. DARLINA bt. Mohd. Dhari. 1998. Health status of Semelai women in Kampung Sungai Sampo, Negri Sembilan. B.Med.Sci. thesis, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang — one of the rare studies on women’s health.
1076. DELORME, D., et al. 1989. Identification of sporozoites in Anopheles maculatus from Malaysia by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. Trop. Biomed. 6: 21–26 — on malaria among Temiar of Pos Legap.
1077. DEWEY, R., and A. RUDNICK. 1973. An Orang Asli blowpipe with a syringe-type dart for the live capture of wild primates in Malaysia. SEA J. Trop. Med. Publ. Health 4(2): 285 — part of a study to determine if arboreal primates were reservoirs of a dengue virus that is transmissible to humans and to isolate the specific forest vector that infected high canopy primates.
1078. DISSANAIKE, A. S. 1976. Further studies on trypanosome infections in Orang Asli in West Malaysia. Trans. Roy. Soc. Trop. Med. Hyg. 70(2): 170–171.
1079. DISSANAIKE, A. S., H. T. ONG, and S. P. KAN. 1974. Trypanosome infections in Orang Asli (aborigines) in West Malaysia. Trans. Roy. Soc. Trop. Med. Hyg. 68(4): 494–495 — two Semelai cases found: one at Post Iskander, the other at Kg. Guntor.
1080. DISSANAIKE, A. S., M. K. KUTTY, and A. M. DAS. 1975. Sarcocystic infection in an Orang Asli. SEA J. Trop. Med. Publ. Health 6(3): 400–401 — the infection was incidental to a lethal brain tumor.
1081. ——. 1977. Studies of parasitic infections in Orang Asli (aborigines) in Peninsular Malaysia. Med. J. Mal. 32: 48–55 — studied mainly hospital patients; ethnic groups not identified. 25 per cent had amoebic antibodies; 21 per cent had E. coli infections, over 90 per cent had intestinal helminths; 11 per cent had falciparum malarial parasitemia and 89 per cent were seropositive for the falciparum parasite; 14 per cent had microfilariae; 16 per cent were seropositive for toxoplasmosis. Despite a lack of ethnic or ecological breakdown, the results effectively highlight the poor state of Orang Asli health in the 1970s.
1082. DOBBINS, J. 1979. Life expectancy in an aboriginal Malaysian population. SEA J. Trop. Med. Publ. Health 10(1): 106–114 — reports Semelai life tables, infant mortality, and life expectancy. Unfortunately, a full demographic profile was not done, vitiating the results.
1083. DUGDALE, A., J. Malcolm BOLTON, and A. GANENDRAN. 1971. Respiratory function among Malaysian aboriginals. Thorax 26(6): 740–743 — on Gombak Hospital patients/visitors; mention that gout and tuberculosis were common.
1084. DUNN, F[rederick] L. 1968. “Epidemiological factors: Health and disease in hunter-gatherers”. Pp. 221–228 in Man the hunter. Ed. Richard B. Lee and Irven DeVore. Chicago, Il: Aldine — comprehensive summary of the intestinal parasitism of Semang (among other hunter-gatherers of forested and desert environments); lists 22 species of such parasites, higher than for desert dwellers. Points out that the role of disease in hunter-gatherer population regulation was at that time (and largely remains) a neglected topic of study. [LTP; ASB]
1085. ——. 1968. “The current status of ethnographic, genetic and other biomedical research among the primitive ethnic groups of Southeast Asia”. Pp. 533–563 in The biology of human adaptability. Ed. P. Baker and J. Weiner. London: OUP. Chapter not included in the 1st ed. of the book.
1086. ——. 1968. The TIF direct smear as an epidemiological tool. Bull. WHO 39: 439–449 — laboratory evaluations based on Orang Asli fieldwork.
1087. ——. 1972. Intestinal parasitism in Malayan aborigines (Orang Asli). Bull. WHO 46: 99–113 — on Semang, Temiar, Jah Het, Semai, Semelai, Temuan, Jakun; found 92 per cent of 1036 persons had parasites.
1088. ——. 1977. Secular changes in Temuan (Malaysian Orang Asli) settlement patterns, subsistence, and health. MNJ 31(2): 81–92 — studied the N. Selangor area, where the Temuan were isolated from the forest, had rubber smallholdings or worked in estates. Associated intestinal parasitism with post-1945 crowded conditions; reported that improvement in child health and malarial control in the 1960s led to a four per cent annual growth rate in population. [RKL #1691; ASB]
1089. DUNN, Frederick L., and J. Malcolm BOLTON. 1963. The MIF direct smear (DS) method in the study of intestinal parasitism in Malayan aborigines. Singapore Medical Journal 4: 175–176 — technical, specialized report on worms.
1090. ELSE, J., et al. 1976. Further studies on trypanosomiasis. Trans. Roy. Soc. Trop. Med. Hyg. 70(2): 170–171 — on Semelai of Pos Iskandar. Nine of the 55 subjects had trypanosomes, six of 54 had filariae, two of 54 had malarial parasites.
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