Nurses ensure healthcare reaches all

National 2 minutes, 7 seconds


MEDICAL and health personnel, including nurses from the Suri Seri Begawan Hospital, took their routine health examination and promotion work to the people yesterday at a community outreach programme designed to spread awareness of health in the rural villages.

The programme, launched at the Kg Sg Mau multipurpose hall, was themed in the local language of the Dusun majority population of Kg Sg Mau, Kg Bukit Sawat, Kg Labi and Kg Merangking: "Sihat untuk Sengaie" (health for all).

Principal Nursing Officer and co-chairperson of the programme, Hjh Mai Wahidah Latifah Abdullah, said to The Brunei Times that the inaugural programme reflected the initiative of the hospital and the Ministry of Health to ensure that all the people of Belait received the same attention and awareness of health issues as well as services offered by the various government facilities throughout the district.

"The best way to ensure that rural people are not left out is to come face-to-face with them, such as we are doing today. Here, we can conduct various health examinations and promote the services available at the health facilities in Belait.

“Today marks the first formal step but we already have plans beginning next year to extend the programme to other mukims," she said.

Commenting on unique risk factors affecting rural populations, Hjh Mai Wahidah said that part of the ongoing community outreach objectives will be to collect long-term data on the village populations of Ulu Belait, particularly on non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes, high-blood pressure and heart disease.

"The perception is that the people living here are at lower risk (to NCDs), for example, due to less exposure to fast foods.

“However, we do not have the information in our records that can tell us if this is true.

“The hope is that programmes like today's will help us collect such information," said the co-chair.

Apart from various health checks and exhibition boards on health and NCDs, visitors were encouraged to perform regular health examinations, while side activities such as colouring contests and quizzes were also organised for children.

Held in conjunction with this year's International Nurses Day on May 12, the event also sought to educate the public about the roles of nurses outside of the hospital in disseminating health information and promoting healthy lifestyle habits as part of the Ministry of Health's strategy for Vision 2035.

The formal launching was officiated by the guest of honour, Belait District Officer Hj Haris Othman.

Also present were the Penghulus and Village Heads of Bukit Sawat, Labi and Merangking.

The Brunei Times