Over 4,000 visit health exhibit

National 3 minutes, 8 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

ABOUT 4,300 people visited the National Campaign to Combat Non-communicable Diseases Exhibition that ended at the Ministry of Health yesterday, said a Health Promotion Centre officer.

Pg Anuar Husaini Pg Hj Ramli, a health education officer, said the ministry would conduct an evaluation of the exhibition.

“I am hoping for positive feedback from this evaluation, which will be done in the next few days. I would say overall it has been very good. Mostly we are very thankful to the Ministry of Education for sending a lot of students to come and visit. We are also grateful members of the public visited,” he said.

To promote the event and campaign, the ministry had sent flyers to 60,000 households in Brunei.

The exhibition aimed to raise awareness on creating a tobacco-free environment, promoting a healthy and balanced diet, fostering a culture of physical activities and complying with doctor’s instructions on medications to ensure effective control and management of diseases.

Pg Anuar Husaini said the concept of the exhibition was based on healthy settings.

“Healthy settings have been around since 1980s. It was a recommendation by the World Health Organisation (WHO) but in Brunei, we have only touched the surface.

“We have done some healthy settings such as in school canteens. It is just that we want to be more focused this time around. This exhibition informs people what has been around and what we are hoping to have in the future, he added.

The exhibition was divided into several settings - healthy home, healthy schools, healthy workplace, healthy supermarkets and restaurants - aimed at providing a conducive environment that promotes a healthy lifestyle.

He said the campaign, which will continue until February 2015, have lined up other activities, including a healthy lifestyle carnival slated for November.

There will also be a forum related to the campaign next year. The forum will take place in three districts - Belait, Tutong and Temburong - in January 2015.

“We are not going to stop here. We will keep promoting our messages through our Facebook page and website. Through the campaign, we want to tell the public that you can actually incorporate healthy lifestyle in your own settings,” he said.

“(Taking the first step) to be healthy might look difficult, but it is actually easy to incorporate (in your daily life). As long as you start realising you need to live healthy, such as stop smoking, take care of your health in terms of what food you consume and watch over your salt and sugar content,” he added.

Meanwhile, some members of the public lauded the exhibition as a platform to promote healthy living.

Hjh Noranita Abdullah, a 37-year-old civil servant said the interactive nature of the exhibition made it a good activity for families.

“I brought my children here and the way the exhibition was arranged, especially the food section was fun. Seeing how much sugar and salt are contained in the food, such as instant noodles and drinks, many of which are my family’s favourites really opened our eyes,” she said.

She further said the leaflet that highlights the importance of checking food labels was also beneficial.

“I would certainly be looking out for the labels the next time I go grocery shopping for my family,” said the mother of four.

Like Hjh Noranita, Hj Rahman Yahya, a 40-year-old private sector employee brought his wife and two children to the exhibition.

“I came here before with some colleagues, and I decided to bring my family here as I believed the content of the exhibition is interesting.

“The information was presented in a way that is fun and interesting for my children. This is important nowadays to attract youth’s attention. We cannot continue with static exhibitions,” he added.

The Brunei Times