MoD staff undergo health screening

National 2 minutes, 33 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

MINISTRY of Development staff aged 40 and above underwent health screening yesterday as part of the government’s move to curb the rising number of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in the sultanate.

Organised by the Ministry of Health (MoH), the initiative called the Health Screening Effectiveness (3PK) Programme looks to spot risk factors of NCDs among civil servants who are ‘vulnerable’.

Speaking to reporters yesterday, Head of the 3PK Programme Dr Hj Azlan Hj Jaludin said the vulnerable groups comprise individuals aged 40 and older who have been identified as at risk of developing chronic diseases.

“You should visit your health clinics regularly, even if you feel healthy,” he said, adding that very few individuals identified as vulnerable and at risk of developing NCDs have undergone health screening at their nearest clinics.

According to Dr Hj Azlan, there are 900 personnel from MoD who have been identified to undergo the health checks, adding that MoH is targeting a minimum of 30 personnel a day to take the health screening.

“What we initially did was we wrote letters to all ministries requesting them to submit names of their employees aged 40 and above. Our health screening nurses will go through Bru-HIMS (Brunei Healthcare Information Management System) to see who are not following up with their health at any hospitals, so we prioritise these individuals,” he added.

He said the MoH had received over 2,000 proposed individuals from MoD, but only 900 were eligible for the health screening, he said.

The health official said the 3PK programme was introduced in 2013 because of low turnout for screening at health centres.

Dr Hj Azlan said the screening aims to ensure the health condition of vulnerable groups, adding that the programme also acts as an early detection of risk factors for chronic diseases.

He said the ministry conduct the health screening at the Ministry of Education in April. The health screening includes cholesterol and sugar level check, body mass index (BMI) count, blood pressure check and a counselling session at the end of the procedure. Participants were also required to fast for 12 hours prior to the health screening.

In an interview, Nursing Officer Cathrina Hj Mohamad Sigie Al-Islam, said Bruneians, particular the elderly, should get their health checked.

“Regular health tests can help find problems before they start. They can also help find problems early, when your chances for treatment and cure are better. By getting the right health services, screenings, and treatments, you are taking steps that help your chances of living a longer, healthier life,” she added.

Cathrina said out of the five personnel from MoD that had undergone the health screening under her supervision, four of them had high cholesterol.

She said elevated cholesterol levels are not caused by diet alone, as it is a combination of factors that contribute to the chronic disease.

“Your lifestyle choices make a difference, from what to eat and whether or not to exercise. These are areas of your life where you can take control to improve your cholesterol levels and enhance your overall health,” said the health official.

The Brunei Times