| Zee Yusri |
IN BRUNEI Darussalam, Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) are considered the top cause of deaths over the last three decades. Current trends indicate NCDs will continue to dominate the local health landscape, potentially impacting socio-economic development, escalating healthcare costs and affecting overall quality of life.
In light of this, a national campaign for the prevention of NCDs was officiated by His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office, at the Ministry of Health (MoH), yesterday.
The theme for the campaign is ‘Our Health, Our Responsibility: Act Now!’. A logo has been created to highlight four key messages in association with the theme – ‘Appreciate our smoke-free environment’, ‘Make the wise choice’, ‘Read food labels’, ‘Make exercise part of your life’ and ‘Know your medication and control your illness’.
The campaign will help in the implementation of ‘Brunei Darussalam National Multisectoral Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases (BruMAP-NCD) 2013 – 2018’, and to increase awareness and commitment from the MoH, relevant government agencies, the private sector, non-governmental organisations (NGO), educational institutions and the public to jointly address, prevent, control and reduce the burden of NCDs.
Raising awareness among specific target groups in society, specifically the youth, students, senior citizens and people with NCDs is important.
The initiative can help reduce the burden borne by the Brunei Government and the families of those affected in regards to medical treatment costs.
This was all underlined by the Minister of Health, Pehin Orang Kaya Johan Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Adanan bin Begawan Pehin Siraja Khatib Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Mohd Yusof, in his welcoming speech during the ceremony held for the campaign’s launch.
His Royal Highness delivered a sabda, in which he addressed the importance of tackling NCDs and the roles of health centres and the community in combating this scourge.
A keynote address was also presented by the Deputy Permanent Secretary (Professional & Technical) at the MoH, Dr Hajah Rahmah Haji Md Said, which was entitled ‘Reviewing the Challenges and Actions in Tackling Non-Communicable Diseases’.
After the deputy permanent secretary’s speech, His Royal Highness, accompanied by ministers toured the Healthy Living Exhibition and Exposition that focused on a range of issues such as a framework for reducing tobacco use through advice and support groups; promoting a healthy diet and an increase in physical activity within all levels of society; identifying individuals at high risk of contracting NCDs and a more effective management of these diseases.
The expo is based on the concept of living in a healthy environment conducive to a better quality of life whether it is your home, workplace, school, supermarket or restaurant.
The expo is aimed at the general public, specifically the youth and students. Products supporting a healthy lifestyle are also available for purchase by visitors. Health talks and symposiums were also organised during the expo for participants.
The ceremony ended with a group photo session with His Royal Highness, followed by the signing of the campaign’s insignia.