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Thursday, December 8, 2022
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    Rural areas included in national health survey, says ministry

    Lyna Mohamad

    The 3rd National Health and Nutritional Status Survey (NHANSS-3) is on the health and nutritional state of the whole country hence rural areas are also covered.

    This was said by Deputy Permanent Secretary (Professional) at the Ministry of Health (MoH) Dr Ang Swee Hui at a press conference.

    “We want to make our population a healthy one and we need the cooperation of all to have a good view and formulate policies to improve access to healthcare or managing certain conditions,” he said.

    Should a participant have emergencies during consultation, there is a pathway to refer them to the emergency department with blood test results provided to the participant immediately, he added. Additionally, the blood test is fast and accurate, and in general there are two results needed, which is the sugar and cholesterol level.

    This was reiterated by Health Promotion Centre’s (HPC) Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) Prevention Unit medical officer Dr Siti Zuhrini binti Haji Kahan who said the data collectors are trained on what to do should there be abnormal results during the consultation and that participants will be given referral forms to be seen at the nearest hospital or the emergency unit depending on the urgency.

    ABOVE & BELOW: Deputy Permanent Secretary (Professional) at the Ministry of Health Dr Ang Swee Hui; Head of Health Promotion Centre (HPC) Dr Hajah Norhayati binti Haji Md Kassim; HPC’s Non-Communicable Diseases 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 answer questions during a press conference. PHOTOS: MUIZ MATDANI

    The finger-prick blood test results will state the sugar and cholesterol levels immediately and the participants will be given a piece of paper to inform them of their blood pressure, height, weight and BMI measurements, she said.

    Additionally, the blood test results will not be synced to Bru-HIMS or the BruHealth app, unlike the urine tests which will be recorded as they are sent to the laboratory for processing.

    She also said that participation is voluntary. “Potential participants will receive information sheets describing the survey and will be required to sign a consent form to participate.”

    She added, “‘Household members’ means primary residents and not those temporarily staying, or foreign domestic helpers.”

    HPC Head Dr Hajah Norhayati binti Haji Md Kassim said they are mostly looking at NCD factors and collecting data on participant behaviours including tobacco use, diet and physical activity.

    She added, “We understand that different ministries also conduct nationwide surveys from time to time and that selected households may have also participated in other surveys.”

    On this note, she said what they are doing is to improve their services for the health of the country and the people. “I really hope that everyone will cooperate and assist our research assistants who will be knocking on your door.”

    HPC research officer Dr Lubna binti Haji Abdul Razak thanked participants for their understanding and cooperation in ensuring the survey process runs smoothly. “We really need your cooperation to ensure accurate data for Brunei.”

    Senior Assistant Professor at the Pengiran Anak Puteri Rashidah Sa’adatul Bolkiah Institute of Health Sciences (PAPRSB IHS) Dr Nik Ani Afiqah binti Haji Mohamad Tuah said Universiti Brunei Darussalam will focus on training.

    They will assist MoH to deliver basic research competency and work together with World Health Organization professionals, with reinforcement from what the field workers have actually experienced.

    “Field research requires skills like interviewing and understanding cultural values, which is very important when you visit someone’s house. These ensure field workers are confident, professional and respectful.”

    In terms of measuring parameters, they ensure the field workers, including student volunteers, know what to do and follow the correct steps.

    “I would like to appeal to the communities to support us in collecting complete data so we can actually use it for policies, for service and, as a professional who actually analyse this data, to offer good service to Bruneians.”

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