Objective To assess the level of awareness of United Nation Convention on the rights of the child (UNCRC) and its application among doctors working with children in local setting.
Methodology A cross-sectional study using self-administered written questionnaires to 148 doctors at 14 regional paediatric centres. The questionnaire used direct questions and pretested clinical scenarios to evaluate participants’ awareness of UNCRC and their knowledge of applying UNCRC in the healthcare setting.
Results 106 questionnaires were returned (71.6%) of which 102 were completed. Out of 102 participants, 63 (62%) doctors were aware of UNCRC but only 19 (18.6%) could list some articles of the UNCRC. Doctors with >5 years experience in Paediatrics were significantly more likely to have some level of knowledge on the UNCRC demonstrated by their ability to list some articles. Most quoted articles are rights to education and best available healthcare. In one given clinical scenario, 13 (13%) participants were able to list relevant articles of the rights for survival and the best available healthcare services related to it. In other two given clinical scenarios, <10% knew the relevance of the right to participate and disability right.
Conclusion The level of knowledge of UNCRC among doctors working with children in Malaysia remained suboptimal. Right-based approach management is rarely used in our daily clinical practice. Further training in this area is needed to prepare us to be better advocates for children.