Unhealthy habits take heavy toll on livelihood, economy

Azlan Othman

An unhealthy lifestyle will cause major impacts on a person’s livelihood and the country’s economy, said Senior Medical Officer, Grade 1 at the Ministry of Health Dr Hajah Shodeena binti Haji Mohammad.

She said this as a panellist during a talk to promote healthy lifestyle, held in conjunction with the Knowledge Convention 2020, at the Sultan Sharif Ali Mosque in Sengkurong on Saturday.

“Consuming unhealthy food puts a person at risk of developing non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes, heart and kidney disease leading to complications including poor eye sight and kidney failure,” Dr Hajah Shodeena said.

“Leading an unhealthy lifestyle leads a person to require more medical attention, incurring a sizeable cost to the nation’s economy. It may also affect one’s livelihood.

“A person with diabetes has a weak immune system; the disease may result in amputation or poor eye sight, making it difficult to move around.

“We need to focus on introducing a nutritious diet at a tender age; avoiding smoking and consuming alcoholic beverages, and exercising regularly are crucial in leading a healthy lifestyle,” she said.

Panellists at the forum. PHOTO: AZLAN OTHMAN

Dr Hajah Shodeena said the ageing population will affect the country’s socio-economic structure due to higher medical costs, adding that Brunei’s average life expectancy in 2019 was 77.8 years old, with women living longer.

Meanwhile, Senior Dental Officer at the MoH Dr Hajah Nurul Sa’idah binti Haji Ishak touched on oral health and problems relating to it such as tooth decay.

She said oral habits, such as brushing teeth regularly with toothpaste containing fluoride, not smoking and frequent dental checks are essential.

Meanwhile, Assistant Rector (Student Affairs and Alumni) of Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali Dr Hajah Lilly Suzana binti Haji Shamsu emphasised on the balance between physical and spiritual health for a healthy lifestyle.

She urged Ummah to be mindful of the food intake to gain blessings from Allah the Almighty.

Permanent Secretary (Higher Education) at the Ministry of Education Dr Haji Azman bin Ahmad was the guest of honour at the talk, moderated by Hajah Zunainah binti Haji Gunong.

Senior officers at the Ministry of Religious Affairs were also present.

The next forum, titled ‘Grateful for Age Blessings’, will be held at the Tutong District Community Hall tomorrow at 9am, open to the public.

Visit www.majlisilmu.gov.bn and the official social media platforms of the Knowledge Convention 2020 for more information.