Health screening vital for early detection of chronic diseases
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
MEMBERS of the public, especially those aged 40 years and above are urged to go for health screening at their nearest clinics as this could help detect chronic diseases early.
In an interview with a nursing officer during a health screening drive organised by the Ministry of Health (MoH) at the Ministry of Development building recently, Cathrina Hj Mohamad Sigie Al-Islam, said people in their forties are more prone to non communicable diseases (NCDs).
She said the elderly are more vulnerable to the risk factors that contribute to NCDs, whether it is from unhealthy diet, lack of physical activity or exposure to tobacco smoke.
Cathrina also said that she has noticed most people who go for health screenings are unaware that they have high cholesterol levels.
“Regular and consistent health tests can help find problems before they start getting worse,” she said.
“By going through these health checks, it can also help detect diseases that can still be controlled. Getting the right health services, screenings means you are taking steps that help your chances of living a longer, healthier life,” she added.
According to the Health Ministry, NCDs account for 52.5 per cent or 772 of 1,470 total deaths in 2014. Of deaths caused by NCDs in the sultanate, about 50 per cent were under the age of 70.
The nursing officer said Bruneians cannot keep on relying on medical treatments to combat against NCDs.
Instead, Cathrina said people must adopt healthy habits to reduce common risk factors by exercising regularly and eating healthily.
“People must know that prevention is better than cure,” she said.
“In Brunei, what we notice is that people tend to have poor eating habits. Many tend to opt for quick and cheap food instead of healthy, nutritious options,” she added.
She advised the public to refrain from indulging in a diet high in fat, sugar and sodium, noting that it is closely linked to obesity, heart diseases and diabetes.
She said Bruneians should go for health screening, where they will be checked on their cholesterol and sugar level, body mass index (BMI), blood pressure.
“Health screening is the first step, don’t wait and do it as soon as possible,” she said.
The Brunei Times