Brunei most progressive ASEAN country in combating Non-Communicable Diseases

National 1 minute, 57 seconds


BRUNEI has made the most progress in combating non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in 2015 compared to its regional counterparts, according to a World Health Organization (WHO) study.

The WHO’s NCDs Progress Monitor 2015 found that Brunei is the only ASEAN member state that has “fully achieved” 10 out of 18 indicators from the report that monitors the prevention and control of NCDs globally.

The report, which was published in May last year, is based on 10 indicators with eight sub-indicators covering a range of critical issues including the setting of overall NCD reduction targets, measures to reduce tobacco consumption, harmful use of alcohol, unhealthy diets and physical inactivity along with measures to strengthen treatment and care for people with NCDs.

The report categorises the achievements into partial, fully and not achieved.

Head of Health Promotion Centre (HPC) Dr Hjh Norhayati Hj Md Kassim presented the report during the NCD Workshop at Universiti Brunei Darussalam yesterday.

She said Brunei has achieved most of the WHO progress monitor indicators including the implementation of risk factor surveys, applying smoke-free policies and health warnings as well as offering drug therapy and counselling for high risk persons.

“This is a surprise for us, we didn’t expect to make it onto the list, nevertheless this shows that we are on the right track in meeting our objectives (in the national action plan on the prevention and control of NCDs),” she said on the sidelines of the workshop.

Out of the 18 indicators, Singapore managed to achieve nine out of the 18 indicators while Malaysia and Thailand scored eight.

WHO stated that a significant number of countries showed little progress, with 14 countries not achieving a single progress indicator and a further 20 countries only achieving one of the indicators.

In the region, Cambodia only achieved three indicators, while Myanmar and Laos scored fewer than three out of the 18 indicators.

Other countries that have made major strides include Chile, Iran, Colombia, Canada and Russia.

Brunei together with Bulgaria and Malta scored 10, while Brazil and Costa Rica scored 14 out of 18 fully achieved measures.

According to WHO, 16 million people die prematurely before the age of 70 from chronic diseases, in which four out of five of these deaths occur in developing countries.

It added that if countries fail to tackle NCDs, an estimated $7 trillion could be lost in developing countries over the next 15 years.

The Brunei Times