The 3rd National Health and Nutritional Status Survey (NHANSS-3) begins today in Brunei-Muara and Temburong districts with the notifications letter already sent to selected households.
This was revealed at a press conference to brief about the survey at the Al-Alfiah Hall of the Ministry of Health (MoH) yesterday, headed by Deputy Permanent Secretary (Professional) at the MoH Dr Ang Swee Hui.
Health Promotion Centre (HPC) Head Dr Hajah Norhayati binti Haji Md Kassim; HPC’s Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) Prevention Unit medical officer Dr Siti Zuhrini binti Haji Kahan; HPC research officer Dr Lubna binti Haji Abdul Razak; and Senior Assistant Professor at the Pengiran Anak Puteri Rashidah Sa’adatul Bolkiah Institute of Health Sciences Dr Nik Ani Afiqah binti Haji Mohamad Tuah also participated.
Dr Ang said the implementation of NHANSS-3 is in collaboration with Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) and supported by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The survey’s main objective is to assess the prevalence and trends of NCDs and risk factors including high blood pressure, diabetes, high levels of cholesterol, obesity, and physical inactivity.
It will also assess the health and nutrition status of children and women in the country.
Dr Lubna said the survey will enable the MoH to monitor and evaluate its current strategies and interventions in preventing NCDs and their risk factors.
“The survey will allow us to assess our progress in achieving national health and nutrition-related targets and goals.
“This will also allow the MoH to review, revise and strengthen action needed to address NCDs and their risk factors,” she said.
The survey is estimated to take about eight months, with the first phase implemented from this month until January 2023, focussing on common risk factors among adults aged between 18 to 69. Trained researchers will visit 5,762 selected homes nationwide to interview one family member and conduct simple physical examinations.
The second phase will be implemented from February to June 2023 and will focus on children and women. The researchers will be issued an official pass and authorisation letter by the ministry. Only citizens and permanent residents will be invited to participate and the households will be randomly selected.
A training workshop for the researchers was conducted last month to ensure that the survey runs smoothly, said Dr Lubna.
“The MoH, in collaboration with UBD and WHO, conducted a workshop for our researchers, followed by a pilot survey.” Selected families will receive a notification letter and house owners will be briefed on the survey when the researchers visit and ask permission to proceed.
Only one person from the household will be selected once permission is granted, and they will answer a questionnaire to assess their behavioural risk factors after which their height, weight, blood pressure, waist and hip circumferences will be measured.
Appointments will be made to have their non-fasting urine and fasting blood tests.
The blood tests will be finger-prick tests conducted at the person’s home, while the urine will be sent to a laboratory to be checked for sodium and creatinine levels.
In view of the significant burden of NCDs and its risk factors in the country, where the most common causes of premature death are cardiovascular disease including heart disease, strokes, cancer and diabetes, Dr Lubna encouraged those who have been selected to participate so that the objectives can be achieved towards a healthier nation.
Engagement sessions between the ministry and penghulus and village heads will be held in Belait and Tutong districts before the survey commences in these districts.