Physical activity promoted to tackle NCDs

Izah Azahari

Supporting active communities and promoting physical activity in Brunei Darussalam was the focus on the second day of the BruMap-NCD 2021-2025 consultation session organised by the Ministry of Health (MoH).

Attended by 20 representatives from the government sector, the session featured World Health Organization (WHO) Consultant Erica Reeve sharing the findings of the BruMap-NCD 2013-2018 evaluation and the action recommendations to address issues related to the lack of physical activity.

The recommendations included seeking opportunities to cultivate physical activity into the daily routine by ensuring the development of infrastructure such as roads, parks or recreational areas; the development of urban areas and planning on transportation to meet standards; taking into account the needs of the public, consumers and workers to perform physical activities; continuing measures to expand infrastructure for walking, hill climbing and cycling in park areas and natural surroundings; and considering incentive programmes for those who actively use public transportation to schools and workplaces.

Another recommendation involved the mobility break that considers short-term exercise as a daily activity at school and at work; subsidising and incentivising physical activity by offering subsidies and incentives for those are referred to or encouraged to use fitness centres or gyms; and considering the use of school facilities or local sports venues at night or on holidays for free, or through subsidies for the use of local families or communities.

The participants also discussed a mass media campaign to promote physical activity and exercise with a focus on women and adolescents, and link physical activity to health, along with a promotion on various types of physical activities that can be done every day.

Participants during the discussion. PHOTO: MOH

Simultaneous consultations were held within the health sector to strengthen the steps in early detection and management of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and chronic respiratory disease.

Since last Tuesday, the health consultation sessions were conducted virtually until today by Head of the Non-Communicable Disease Prevention Unit at the MoH Dr Ong Sok King and WHO Consultant Dr Yap Wei Aun.

The sessions were attended by 60 participants comprising physicians and associate health professionals from government and private health facilities from the Clinical Department under the Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha (RIPAS) Hospital, the Department of Basic Healthcare and the Department of Healthcare Technology under the MoH; and physicians from The Brunei Cancer Centre (TBCC), Early Detection and Cancer Prevention (EDCP) Services, Pantai Jerudong Specialist Centre (PJSC), the Brunei Neuroscience, Stroke and Rehabilitation Centre (BNSRC), Jerudong Park Medical Centre (JPMC) and a number of
private clinics.

The health consultation session began by discussions on cancer last Tuesday, followed with discussions on cardiovascular disease and diabetes prevention yesterday, and discussions on chronic respiratory disease prevention and data surveillance today.