MoH lauds JPD’s plan to better transport system

National 1 minute, 52 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

THE Health Ministry lauded the initiatives by the Land Transport Department (JPD) under the Ministry of Communications to improve public transport in the sultanate as this could help increase physical activity amongst Bruneians, a senior health official said recently.

In an interview with The Brunei Times Dr Norhayati Hj Kassim, head of Health Promotion Centre (HPC) said the public transport transformation project is a step towards enabling for a healthier society, adding that the initiative could aid the Health Ministry in achieving its national target.

The HPC head said by encouraging people to walk more, the nation can achieve its Brunei Darussalam National Multi-sectoral Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of NCDs (BruMAP-NCD 2013-2018) target, a plan launched by the Ministry of Health (MoH) in 2013 in a bid to combat non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

She was speaking on the sidelines of a workshop on NCDs recently at Universiti Brunei Darussalam.

Dr Norhayati noted that one of the plan’s target is to reduce physical inactivity in the nation by 10 per cent before the year 2018.

“With better access to public transportation, that means Bruneians would have to walk from home to the bus stop. So even if you go on a transport system, it still require you to walk. So for (MoH), this is beneficial and we welcome that,” she said.

Dr Norhayati said she recently attended a consultative briefing held by the Land Transport Department (JPD) to discuss its plans to upgrade transport system in Brunei by making it more reliable to use by the public.

“It was really fantastic to hear, them presenting their proposals and policies. The health sector supports the public transport system because this is an opportunity for people to walk more,” she said, adding that automobile are affordable in Brunei, causing many preferring to drive to their destination.

She said that a shift to more walking and cycling combined with improved public transport can yield much greater and immediate health benefits and can enhance levels of physical activity which can help prevent a range of chronic diseases including cancer, heart diseases and diabetes.

“It’s a win-win situation, they’re addressing the policy needs as well as addressing (MoH’s) policy needs,” she said.

The Brunei Times