Sunday, May 19, 2024
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New health action plan builds on previous results

James Kon

The Brunei Darussalam Multisectoral Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases (BruMAP-NCD) 2021-2025, with the goal of reducing the risk of death between the ages of 30 and 69 from cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases by 10 per cent by 2025, was launched yesterday.

Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar was the guest of honour at An-Naura Hall of the Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Complex.

The publication of BruMAP-NCD 2021-2025 aims to continue and improve the NCD prevention and control measures outlined in BruMAP-NCD 2021-2025 as well as identify new measures for the prevention and control of appropriate NCDs based on evaluations that have been done, and strengthen the national approach in the prevention and control of NCD in Brunei Darussalam.

There are four strategic objectives under BruMAP-NCD 2021-2025: to bolster national governance for NCD prevention and control; to reduce NCD risk factors; to strengthen early detection and clinical management of NCDs and NCD risk factors; and to improve NCD surveillance and research.

Accordingly, Brunei Darussalam aims to achieve a 30 per cent relative reduction in tobacco use among adults and adolescents (13 to 17 years), a 35 per cent relative reduction in sweetened beverage consumption among schoolchildren and adolescents, a 15 per cent relative reduction in salt/sodium intake, a 10 per cent relative reduction in physical inactivity among adults and adolescent, a 10 per cent increase in the number of public education and health awareness campaigns and activities on smoking cessation, healthy eating and physical activity, and control the number of obesity cases.

Additionally, it is targetted that there will be a 10 per cent increase in screening for raised blood pressure among adults, a 20 per cent increase in screening for raised blood glucose among adults, a 10 per cent increase in screening for high cholesterol among adults, a 10 per cent increase among adults aged 40 to 69 who have an electronically documented cardiovascular risk score which includes fasting blood glucose and cholesterol levels, a 50 per cent increase among age 40 to 69 who have been screened for breast cancer using mammography in the last three years, and a 50 per cent increase among men and women aged 50 to 75 who have been screened for colorectal cancer using faecal immunochemical tests in the last two years.

Head of Health Promotion Centre and the Chair of the launching ceremony for BruMAP-NCD 2021-2025 Dr Hajah Norhayati binti Haji Mohd Kassim in her welcoming address said, “Alhamdulillah, the Ministry of Health will continue to improve measures to prevent and control NCD in the country with the BruMAP-NCD 2021-2025. The measures outlined previously in the BruMAP-NCD 2013-2018 were based on cost-effective actions recommended by the WHO, as well as best practices that have been proven in other countries.

ABOVE & BELOW: Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar views an exhibition; and Head of Health Promotion Centre Dr Hajah Norhayati binti Haji Mohd Kassim. PHOTOS: BAHYIAH BAKIR

“BruMAP-NCD 2013-2018 focussed on creating an environment that allows for healthy choices and improving the continuity of care for NCD patients. Five main objectives were identified at the time which comprised various actions to address NCD risk factors, namely tobacco use, unhealthy diet, lack of physical activity, and two objectives focussing on identifying and managing those at risk for NCDs as well as improving the quality of care and management of NCD patients.”

After the end of the BruMAP-NCD 2013-2018 framework period, she shared “an evaluation of the implementation and results was conducted jointly with the WHO which took more than a year starting in 2019”.

“The evaluation assessed progress on NCD targets at the national and global level and provided insights to policy makers on the factors that influence the sustainability of the implementations.

“It showed that technically sound policies and programmes are important but can be complicated in implementation. Adopting a variety of approaches and policies and maintaining resources as well as technical commitments is challenging and requires perseverance, innovation and broad-thinking.”

Dr Hajah Norhayati said the publication of BruMAP-NCD 2021-2025 “was completed and to be launched last year but was postponed due to the second and third waves of COVID-19.

The actions to reduce NCD risk factors and conduct surveillance of NCDs have already begun, or are being continued”.

“Among these actions are the promotion and enforcement of the Code on Responsible Marketing of Food and Beverages to Children in Brunei Darussalam; the granting of the Healthier Choice Initiative to the relevant food industry; preparatory work for the Salt Reduction Strategy; as well as planning and preparation to conduct the third National Health and Nutrition Status Survey,” she added.

To continue the NCD risk factor prevention measures, she highlighted that “several support activities were also organised in conjunction with the launch ceremony, namely, the introduction of an online health education platform for the Workplace and Health Programme, (WAH), for civil servants and the Smoking Cessation Campaign (Quit2Win) in Ramadhan for smokers. Insya Allah, such programmes and other actions in BruMAP-NCD 2021-2025 will begin fully with the recovery phase of the COVID-19 pandemic later”.

After the launch, Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar handed over copies of the BruMAP-NCD 2021-2025 to stakeholders and then toured the exhibitions.