Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Cultural Sensitivity and Global Pharmacy Engagement in Asia: India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, and Vietnam

Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Cultural Sensitivity and Global Pharmacy Engagement in Asia: India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, and Vietnam

Article excerpt


This is the second of two manuscripts on Asia. The aim of this paper is to facilitate culturally sensitive interactions between health care professionals, faculty members, and students from the United States and those in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, and Vietnam. The previous paper covers China, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. (1) The importance of cultural sensitivity for health care professionals and their education is discussed in the introductory paper of this series. (2)

General Country Information

India. India is a federal union comprised of 29 states and seven union territories. (3,4) According to the 2017 census, India's estimated population is 1.3 billion. (3,4) Its ethnic groups are Indo-Aryan, Dravidian, Mongoloid, and others. (3,4) Religions include Hindu (80%), Islam (14%), Christianity (2%), Sikh (2%), and others (2%). (4) Official languages include Hindi (the most commonly spoken language; 41%), Bengali (8%), Telugu (7%), Marathi (7%), Tamil (5%), Urdu (5%), Gujarati (5%), Kannada (4%), Malayalam (3%), Oriya (3%), Punjabi (3%), Assamese (1%), and others. (4) Every state also has its own native language. (3,4) English is taught, starting in elementary school, and it has the status of being the subsidiary official language for political and commercial communication. (4) English is also commonly used as a primary language in higher education.

India has a diverse open-market economy emerging as one of the fastest growing in the world. Monetary advancement measures began in the early 1990s, the goals ofwhich wereto stimulate economic growth, attract overseas manufacturing, provide relief to the middle class, curb black market money, digitalize the economy, enhance transparency in political funding, and simplify tax administration. (5) Gross domestic product (GDP) grew to nearly 7% per year from 1997 to 2017. (5) Many pharmaceutical companies have their research-and-development and manufacturing units in India, and the country is also known as one of the largest distributors of generic drugs, supplying to domestic and international buyers.

Indonesia. Indonesia consists of 13,466 islands formed primarily from volcanos, many of which continue to be active. (6) Seismic activity in the region often leads to substantial earthquakes and subsequent tsunamis. Its five largest and most populous islands are Borneo, Java, New Guinea, Sulawesi, and Sumatra. The December 2004 tsunami was the result of a devastating quake off the coast of Sumatra. Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, is located on the island of Java. This also is where the primary airport for international flights is situated. People can also fly into Bandar Lampung, Sumatra, Yogyakarta, and Bali.

Indonesia's total population is the fourth largest in the world, estimated at 260 million. (6) Nearly 90% of Indonesians are Muslim and approximately9%are Catholic or Protestant Christians. (6) Indonesia is the home of a myriad of traditions and cultures, with at least 300 major ethnic groups and 400 languages. (7) People from Indonesia are referred to as "Indonesians." The country's population includes immigrants from other Asian countries such as the Philippines, Malaysia, China, and Papua New Guinea. The official language of Indonesia is Bahasa Indonesia, but there are hundreds of local dialects and languages spoken throughout the country. (6) English is a second language for many health care professionals.

Malaysia. Malaysia, established in 1963, consists of two noncontiguous areas, peninsular Malaysia (formerly known as West Malaysia) and East Malaysia. (8,9) The capital of Malaysia is Kuala Lumpur. (8) Malaysia has a population of roughly 31 million people, of which over 80% live on the Malay Peninsula. (8)

Malaysians are made up of multiple ethnic groups: Bumiputeras (69%), Chinese (23%), and Indians and Sikhs (7%). (10) Languages spoken include Bahasa Malaysia (the official language), English, Chinese, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Panjabi, and Thai. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.