Call for papers

Close date: 15th October 2023


Special issue of Jurnal Pengajian Media Malaysia (Malaysian Journal of Media Studies) on Health Communications

Theme: Sustainability and equality of health: Empowered through communication



Health science existed thousands of years ago, beginning with traditional medicine using herbs or other spiritual methods. The information pertaining to health and medicine has long been communicated then, without a particular term given to identify such activity or behaviour. Only in 1975 ‘health communication’ was officially used for the first time by International Communication Association (Harrington, 2015).

Health communication is “the science and art of using communication to advance the health and well-being of people and populations” (SHC, 2017 cited in Society for Health Communication, 2023). It is a “multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary” (Harrington, 2015, pp10) field of research “that applies communication evidence, strategy, theory, and creativity to promote behaviours, policies, and practices that advance the health and well-being of people and populations” (SHC, 2017 cited in Society for Health Communication, 2023). In other words, it is a mixed marriage between communication and health science, which at the beginning was merely targeted to communicate health in layman’s terms, hence achieving reciprocate understandings. This field has grown more dynamic with the progress of society, environment, and technology. Communicating health is essential in this dynamic progress of attaining optimum health, including education, promotion, prevention, curative, behaviour and others. 

Health is a right of every human being. World Health Organization (WHO) defines it as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity” (2020a, pp1). As constituted, the WHO pledges to ensure “the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health.”  (WHO, 2020a, pp2). To achieve equality of health access, the WHO has strategised and executed numerous programmes to achieve universal healthcare coverage (UHC) globally, especially for non-developed nations and marginalised communities. The WHO measures health attainment using 46 methodologies, which includes emergency disaster, children and maternal mortality, safe drinking water, medical personnel, sustainable health facilities, air pollution, government and household health expenditure, children development, health regulations, women and violence, sexual relations, and reproduction healthcare, premature death, family planning, too many to mention (WHO, 2020b).

The emergence of industrial and technological development has taken its toll on global health, positively and negatively. With the climate change issues, the WHO acknowledges the direct and indirect impact of climate change on global health through social and environmental determinants of health. The WHO estimates an additional 250,000 deaths yearly as a result of climate change. Climate change eventually constrains health systems, worse in countries with inadequate health facilities. These temperamental impacts of climate change are explained clearly in the Quality Criteria for Health National Adaptation Plans report by WHO in 2021 (2021).

It is pertinent for humanity to access health facilities sustainably and equally. One field that can realise the vision of the WHO is health communication, through many aspects. Communication of health or its determinants is possible via various communication channels, including face-to-face and media communication technology. In short, the dynamic of communication can empower the sustainability and equality of health.

Authors may engage in a range of health-related topics in the field of health communication but are not limited to:

  • Pedagogies, policies and designs that promote health literacy in the modern world
  • Health systems
  • Vulnerabilities of social and environmental determinants of health
  • Health facilities and access for vulnerable and marginalised groups
  • Media and communication technologies in health education, promotion, prevention, curative and palliative care
  • Ethics, data privacy and algorithms related to communication technology
  • Misinformation of health information
  • Contingency planning of disaster or pandemic emergency
  • Message crafting
  • Sustainable health systems and facilities
  • Sustainable environmental determinants of health


Guest editors:

Arina Anis Azlan, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (National University of Malaysia), Malaysia,

Wardatul Hayat Adnan, University Teknologi MARA (MARA Technological University), Malaysia,


Submission information

Submissions are made through the journal website of JPMM. Manuscripts for research paper should be confined to approximately 7000-8000 words; while book review approximately 3000-5000 words. Authors are recommended to read through the author guidelines for information on policies and submission instructions. Authors are required to click on the theme ”Sustainability and equality of health: Empowered through communication” from the dropdown menu in the first tab (1. Start) of the new submission.

Click here to submit


For any inquiry, please contact Dr Arina Anis Azlan, Dr Wardatul Hayat Adnan, or Ms Rabiah Adawiah Abu Seman.


Key deadline:

Opening date for manuscript submission: 1st July 2023

Closing date for manuscript submission: 15th October 2023

Publication information:

Vol 1 2024



Harrington, N. (2015). Health Communication: Theory, Method and Application. Routledge.

Society for Health Communication. (2023). About Health Communication.

WHO. (2020a). Basic Documents: Forty-ninth Edition (including amendments adopted up to 31 May 2019). World Health Organization.

WHO. (2020b). Thirteenth General Programme of Work (GPW13): Methods for impact measurement. World Health Organization.

WHO. (2021). Quality Criteria for Health National Adaptation Plans. World Health Organization.