Culture of Health in Society

 ‘Instil culture of health in society’
on: February 12, 2017

| Azlan Othman |

DIABETES and high blood pressure are no longer diseases that affect old people. Nowadays in Brunei, young people aged 20-30 years and even children fall victims to these diseases, said Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Zulkarnain bin Haji Hanafi, the Minister of Health yesterday while addressing members of the Legislative Council (LegCo) during a dialogue session at the Women and Children Centre of the Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha (RIPAS) Hospital.

“A survey conducted by the Ministry of Health (MoH) has found that many children are taking fizzy drinks sold outside their school compound although school authorities have provided healthy food. We need cooperation from parents and family members to end this problem,” the minister added.

“This is a cause for concern for the nation as the young people are the asset of the nation and their future cannot be jeopardised.”

The minister added, “Brunei is still facing challenges from non-communicable diseases like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and stroke. These five diseases are the main cause of death in the country. Obesity rate in Brunei is the highest in the Asean region.

“As the situation is so alarming, the ministry is striving to give the best service in meeting customers’ high expectation in tandem with the social and economic development in the country.”

Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Zulkarnain bin Haji Hanafi also touched on the three core strategies of the ministry towards realising its vision ‘Together towards a Healthy Nation’, which are: inculcating the idea that health is everyone’s business; preventing and controlling non-communicable diseases; and delivering excellence through consolidation and realignment of healthcare services to give value-added services to the public, reducing wastage.

The minister also highlighted the importance of instiling a culture of health for the wellbeing of the individual, family, society, and nation. Firm cooperation from all levels of the society is crucial in enhancing public awareness on the importance of taking care of one’s health, he said, stressing that health is everyone’s business.

“Changing the culture may take time, and we should do it step by step. For instance, from today, we could start cultivating healthy behaviours such as stopping smoking and eating wisely and moderately by ensuring that at least half-a-plate of fruits and vegetables, a quarter of carbohydrates like rice and another quarter of proteins like fish, meat or egg in the diet.

“We should also carry out sports activities five times a week and at least 30 minutes a day, which will have a positive high impact on our future health,” Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Zulkarnain bin Haji Hanafi added.

The dialogue session was followed by a briefing on the challenges and development of the healthcare system as well as the latest efforts undertaken by the MoH.

The briefing was led by Haji Zakaria bin Haji Serudin, the Permanent Secretary at the MoH; Dr Hazri bin Haji Kifle, Deputy Permanent Secretary (Policy) at the MoH; and Dr Hajah Maslina binti Haji Mohsin, Deputy Permanent Secretary (Professional) at the MoH.

Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin


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