Health of MoH staff not that healthy

National 1 minute, 55 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

OVER 60 per cent of 291 Ministry of Health (MoH) staff aged above 40 were found to have high blood cholesterol, a health official said yesterday.

Citing findings from the ministry’s Health Screening Effectiveness (3PK) Programme, Dr Hj Azlan Hj Jaludin said 180 health personnel aged 40 and above suffer from the chronic disease.

The 291 Ministry of Health staff aged 40 and above were required to undergo the health screening programme, which was launched in October last year.

Dr Hj Azlan, who heads the National Non-Communicable Diseases Survey, said a pre-intervention health screening last October also found that 70 per cent or 210 MoH employees were overweight and 16 per cent had high blood pressure.

The health official was speaking on the sidelines of the 3PK Programme roadshow at the Ministry of Development yesterday.

The screening programme was introduced to curb the rising number of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) through health screening for vulnerable groups across government ministries.

Dr Hj Azlan said early detection of high cholesterol can play an important role in preventing chronic diseases such as heart disease.

The ministry previously reported that out of 1,470 total of deaths, 227 people in Brunei died from cardiovascular diseases in 2014.

Heart disease is the second highest cause of death in Brunei after cancer.

Dr Hj Azlan added that abnormal cholesterol levels are partly due to an unhealthy lifestyle, which often includes eating a diet that is high in fat.

According to the health official, the health screening also found that 12 per cent of MoH personnel aged above 40 had high sugar levels.

A person having high blood sugar levels for a long period of time can face risk of permanent damage to parts of the body such as eyes, nerves, kidneys and blood vessels.

According to the ministry, the risk of heart diseases and stroke is two to four times higher among diabetics than non-diabetics.

Dr Hj Azlan said employees with abnormal results or those who were diagnosed with a condition are then referred to health centres for medical follow-ups and health reviews.

“Those with borderline levels will be asked for follow-ups, those with very high levels will be referred to doctors, dieticians.

“For example, those with high body mass index will be referred to the weight management clinic. It all depends on the levels as some might need medication,” he added.

The Brunei Times