| Azlan Othman |
THE worrying trend of the surge in Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in the country was highlighted in a public talk yesterday with cancer, diabetes mellitus as well as heart and cerebrovascular diseases named as the leading causes of death.
In Brunei, many may still be unaware that they suffer from NCDs and many more are unaware of the risks.
This was highlighted in the talk by Dr Hjh Rafidah binti Hj Gharif, the Acting Medical Specialist of Basic Healthcare Services, Health Services Department, for the National Campaign Against Non-Communicable Diseases held at the Al-Afiah Hall, Ministry of Health, at Commonwealth Drive. Plus, she said, many do not undergo regular health screenings.
It is suggested that Bruneians aged 40 years and above should annually undergo NCD risk factor screenings to ensure that they are in good health.
She added that globally, 36 million or 63 per cent of deaths have been caused by NCDs and the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that by 2030 annual deaths caused by NCDs could increase to 55 million with cardiovascular diseases contributing to 48 per cent of deaths, followed by cancer (21 per cent), chronic respiratory obstructive diseases (12 per cent) and diabetes (3.5 per cent).
Risk factors include an unhealthy diet, a lack of physical exercise as well as the use of tobacco and alcohol. About 80 per cent of premature coronary diseases, strokes and diabetes could in fact be prevented.
She also highlighted on the overweight and obesity trends in Brunei Darussalam and the dangers of the use of tobacco.
Dr Hjh Rafidah also noted that doctors in the country see diabetes patients on a daily basis.
However, only 14 per cent of the patients are taking their medicine.