Bandar Seri Begawan - More than half of the total deaths (51.9 per cent) in Brunei Darussalam accounted for people who suffered from cancer, heart disease, diabetes and stroke. Out of 1,235 deaths recorded in 2011, 641 people died due these chronic diseases.
This was revealed by the Minister of Health, Pehin Orang Kaya Johan Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Adanan bin Begawan Pehin Siraja Khatib Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Md Yusof, during the launch of the Healthy Mukim Programme for Mukim Pengkalan Batu at the Pengkalan Batu Health Centre yesterday.
This was attributed to the increasing trend of these diseases and caused a negative impact, which brought serious concern and attention on a global level through the World Health Organisation (WHO) and to all its regions and member countries.
The minister highlighted the seriousness of the problem in the country and said these diseases are the leading cause of health-related deaths worldwide and in the individual countries.
"In tackling the prevalence of the chronic diseases from continuing to be a burden and a major effect on the welfare of individuals, families as well as the nation's socio- economic development, various strategies, control and preventative measures have been taken and intensified from time to time," the minister said.
"Based on research from the WHO, it is proven that among the risk factors attributed as a main cause of chronic diseases are not practising a healthy lifestyle especially exceeding the average consumption of food intake and not practising a well-balanced diet of which such meals produce high level of sugar, fat and salt; lack of physical activities; overweight and obesity as well as high levels of cholesterol," the minister said.
"If we prolong and continue to Practise this unhealthy lifestyle, then in the long run, this may cause breathing difficulties; high blood pressure; diabetes; and more worrying diseases such as heart disease, stroke and kidney ailments." The minister said once the disease becomes complex, then this may require intervention which could be a lengthy treatment, and in turn substantially increases the medical expenses of the Government of His Majesty Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam.
"Apart from that, the patients will feel the burden with regards to their overall health and well-being, their job, work productivity, earnings and quality of life as well as the burden faced by their families," the minister said.
He emphasised the importance of raising awareness on the risks of such diseases and taking, preventative and control measures to combat its prevalence.
According to evidence-based research, the minister said that chronic diseases could be avoided, prevented or controlled if they cultivate a healthy lifestyle by consuming moderate and balanced diet; staying away from smoking and alcohol; frequently taking part in physical activities with a minimum session of 30 minutes per day for five days in a week, taking care of dental health as well as receiving health check-ups from time to time in a nearby health centre and following a doctor's professional medical advice.
The preventive measures and steps in practising a healthy lifestyle provides an important foundation to ensure that we are constantly in a healthy, active and productive state, which guarantees quality of life. These are one of the continuous strategic steps of the Ministry of Health to improve care and the quality of health in the country through prevention and control of chronic and non-communicable diseases. This also includes the promotion of healthcare to embrace a healthy lifestyle in the community such as the Healthy Mukim Programme.
Yesterday's multi-programme also coincided with the launch of Body Mass Index (BMI). An exhibition was toured by the minister after its launch. The winner of the healthy eating competition was announced, and a walkathon and an aerobic session were held.--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin