| James Kon |
HIS Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office, yesterday called on the public to shed the mentality of relying on the government to maintain good health, saying that everyone has a role and responsibility in preventing Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).
In a sabda to launch the National Campaign against Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) at the Ministry of Health (MoH), His Royal Highness urged the people to make full use of the early disease detection services as well as treatment and advice on NCDs offered by public and private healthcare agencies.
Local research has found unhealthy lifestyle as one of the main causes of NCDs such as cancer, heart diseases, diabetes and respiratory problems, His Royal Highness said. Also contributing to NCDs are unhealthy eating habits, lack of physical activity, the use of tobacco and alcohol.
The problem has increased the cost of treatment of NCD patients for the government and affected the productivity of the workforce and the nation’s socio-economic growth.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) NCDs are the main causes of premature deaths globally – death which occurs before a person reaches the age of 60.
His Royal Highness said the NCDs-related deaths are expected to increase as much as 17 per cent in the next 10 years if action on eradication of NCDs, including preventive measures and control, are not taken.
In Brunei Darussalam, the authorities are concerned about NCDs and unhealthy lifestyles, His Royal Highness said. NCDs such as cancer, heart diseases, diabetes and high blood pressure were among the main causes of deaths in the past 10 years. A total of 670 premature deaths or 55 per cent of the 1,216 deaths were due to NCDs, according to a Ministry of Health report in 2012.
His Royal Highness said, “I welcome the initiative of the Ministry of Health in setting up the Brunei Darussalam National Multi-Sectoral Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases 2013-2018. These efforts will further strengthen the joint measures and preventive strategy from government agencies, private sector, NGOs and the community as a whole.”