| Siti Hajar |
THE rising death rate due to Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) in the country has raised concerns among medical practitioners with the Minister of Health yesterday calling upon the community to seriously consider their lifestyle choices.
During the launch of Carnival Campaign against NCDs, Pehin Orang Kaya Johan Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Adanan bin Begawan Pehin Siraja Khatib Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Mohd Yusof said the year 2012 saw a 51.4 per cent death rate due to chronic NCDs out of a total of 1,215 deaths that occurred.
Among the more serious cases that the country is currently facing, he added, is the number of those who have been diagnosed with Stage Two Diabetes.
“This form of diabetes can be prevented and serious complications stemming from this disease can be avoided through change in attitude and self-discipline, which includes opting for a healthier lifestyle,” added the minister.
In quoting the World Health Organization, the minister elaborated that a change towards a more improved lifestyle can avert 80 per cent of premature deaths resulting from chronic NCDs including factors that contribute to higher risks of such ailments such as high blood pressure and instances of obesity.
With this year’s global diabetes awareness theme that emphasises on ‘Healthy Living and Diabetes’, it was reminded that the populace should keep in mind three main points that should be taken into consideration as part of their daily habits that include ‘Make Healthy Food the Easy Choice’, ‘Healthy Eating: Make the Right Choice’, and ‘Healthy Eating begins with Breakfast’.
“If chronic diseases and early risk factor indications are not prevented or controlled and if an individual does not heed the doctor’s advice, this can result in conditions that are even more complex,” he said.
“Risks and instances of NCDs along with chronic diseases such as diabetes will become a heavy burden for patients to carry, and could disrupt their quality of health and living, well-being, productivity as well as income which could affect their families.” At the same time it will hinder an individual from performing his/her religious duties.
As a consequence of these adverse effects related to NCDs, continued the minister, is the fact that patients “will suffer for the rest of their lives” whilst those living with diabetes could potentially face heart attacks, strokes, kidney failures, blindness and even amputation of limbs which, the minister believes “are tragedies that we as a community as well as family members would not want to endure”.
The minister called on both the government and private sectors along with educational institutions to band together in enhancing preventive measures to reduce the number of NCD cases.
As the government agency responsible for the public’s health, the ministry has taken the lead in raising the level of health consciousness in the country through strategic action plans, which include raising a generation that is active mentally and physically and contribute to the country’s socio-economic future.
Among the ministry’s initiatives was yesterday’s carnival with an added feature being contributions to the Patient Assistant Welfare Fund the proceeds of which to be distributed to patients who are registered with the Medical Welfare Unit under the Ministry of Health.
Apart from the number of stalls that were setup as part of the event, participants were encouraged to take part in a number of sporting activities that included a walkathon joined by the minister alongside other entertaining activities such as a scavenger hunt with opportunities to win prizes.