Over the course of three days, 22 papers were presented and three workshops and one forum held at this year's Knowledge Convention which was Chemed "The luxury of health is the foundation of the nation's welfare".
The theme's focus was on medicine and health, and was addressed from a variety of perspectives, not only in terms of conventional and evidence-based medicine, but also holistically, but also from the Islamic viewpoint and in terms of spirituality and alternative medicine.
The seminars and workshops, which ended yesterday, were summarised with a list of resolutions during the afternoon session by Dr Hjh Maslina binti Hj Mohsin, the dean of the PAPRSB Institute of Health Sciences.
Dr Hjh Maslina said the concept of health is holistic and encompasses physical, spiritual, emotional, social and environmental areas. She explained that handling health issues is the responsibility of all parties - the government, the private sector, communities, families and individuals.
"An upward trend of chronic (non-communicable) diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes in Brunei is at an alarming rate. Risks identified leading to the diseases are poor diet, lack of physical activity or risky habits that affect health. Disease prevention is better than cure, so the action of systematic and comprehensive prevention must be implemented in terms of conventional medicine which is backed by evidence, and also through the practices and teachings based on Al-Quran and Hadith, especially by performing prayers and fasting," said Dr Hjh Maslina.
In providing a balanced diet from birth, breastfeeding is the basis of the perfect life of a child, according to the Islamic perspective on health, she added.
"Programmes that have been implemented by the Ministry of Health to increase awareness and acceptance of breastfeeding must be extended to the local community and also includes immediate family members (such as husband, mother and mother-in-law) so that mothers will be able to exclusively breastfeed babies for six months. Women play a very important role as a wife, mother and caregiver to achieve the wellbeing and health of the family".
Meanwhile, in further elaborating the resolutions, Dr Hjh Maslina said that a positive mind plays a big role on the health of an individual. Any change in behaviour, she said, should be based on the intention and emotional awareness that can lead to positive changes such as a healthy lifestyle.
"We must instil positive thinking in the minds of people in this country to adopt a healthy lifestyle and to stop habits that can affect health, such as smoking."
According to Dr Hjh Maslina, Islam also provides an alternative perspective on the treatment and prevention of mental illnesses in the form of spirituality, which can help improve the effectiveness of the handling of mental illness in this country.
She further said that the community's stigmatised notion of mental illnesses should be eliminated by first changing the name 'elaun orang gila' or 'lunatic allowance'.
--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin