Volume 30, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



A survey of 308,101 primary school children in Peninsular Malaysia conducted in 1979 by the School Health Services, Ministry of Health, Malaysia, revealed that 10.7% of children were infested with . The prevalence rate was higher in the economically less advanced states of Terenganu (34%), Kelantan (23%), and Perlis (21%) than in the other states (4–13%). Of 14,233 school children examined in the State of Melaka, 26% of Indians, 18.7% of Malays, 6.1% of Europeans, and 0.7% of Chinese had pediculosis. The prevalence rate, which has remained unchanged over the past 5 years, does not appear to vary with age but is higher in children with long hair and those from the lower socioeconomic groups. Boys have a lower infestation rate than do girls. The higher incidence in Indians and Malays correlates well with their lower socioeconomic status in the community, and their cultural habit of maintaining longer hair than do the Chinese. These differences become less apparent in the higher socioeconomic groups.


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