Health ministry launches quit-smoking mobile app
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
THE Ministry of Health launched their new mobile app ‘STaR – Sihat Tanpa Rokok’ (Healthy Without Smoking) at the Health Promotion Centre (HPC) yesterday.
The app, launched in conjunction with World No Tobacco Day 2015 (observed globally on May 31), will be fully available for download by all by next week.
STaR is the health ministry’s latest effort to further reduce smoking and raise awareness on the negative impacts of the habit nationwide.
The app provides real-time information from the HPC about ongoing tobacco usage, trends and its dangers, as well as recommending ways to stop smoking.
Another feature of the app is its function that allows users who intend to stop smoking to keep track of the number of days that have passed since they quit the habit.
It also shows the estimated amount of money they would have saved through doing so.
STaR provides users with the option to create individual profiles, and includes a chat function allowing like-minded users to interact with one another online.
Speaking to members of the media at the launch, Minister of Health Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Johan Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Hj Adanan Begawan Pehin Siraja Khatib Dato Seri Setia Hj Mohd Yusof said the message the ministty, through the application, hopes to send out is very clear.
“Smokers have to understand that in order to safeguard and ensure the health of themselves, their families and communities, they must stop smoking,” YB Pehin Dato Hj Adanan said.
The health minister acknowledged that “the tobacco industry convinces people in many ways to smoke”.
“So, on our side, we have to take different approaches too (to tackle the issue)... such as what we’ve done through this mobile application,” he said.
According to MoH Director-General Dr Zainal Ariffin Hj Yahya, mHealth (mobile health) has been identified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as an effective way to disseminate information effectively and quickly to the public, via electronic communication equipment such as mobile phones, PDAs, tablets and the like.
“Therefore, there is no doubt that the STaR application will aid the Ministry of Health, particularly the HPC, in this regard,” he said.
STaR was developed by Syahamsudin Hj Ali of the MoH Dental Services Department, who has some background in app developing.
He worked with the HPC to develop the app over a few months, and will continue doing so to ensure the app remains up-to-date.
STaR is currently available on the Android platform through Google PlayStore, while its Apple counterpart will be available on the App Store beginning June 10.
The app can also be accessed at mystar.goodbarber.com.
Any queries on STaR can be directed to the Healthline at 145 or 8882005.
The Brunei Times