Workplace health plan a necessity: Official

National 1 minute, 51 seconds


A SENIOR Health Promotion Centre official has urged government agencies and companies to implement a workplace health promotion programme to ensure employees are aware of their state of health. Dr James Lee, head of work health promotion programmes, said there were cases of patients unaware of their high body mass index (BMI) and cholesterol levels, which could lead to higher risks of developing diseases.

“There are cases whereby the patients don’t know they have high blood pressure or high blood glucose or cholesterol,” said Dr Lee in a recent interview.

The Health Promotion Centre’s Integrated Health Screening and Health Promotion Programme among Civil Servants 2007-2011 showed that 38 per cent of government workers had high blood pressure while 11 per cent had high blood sugar levels.

A total of 21,437 government employees from 12 ministries were screened for the study.

The figures were cited from the report Role of Occupational Health in Managing Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in Brunei Darussalam, published in November 2014 by Acting Director General of Ministry of Health’s Medical Services Pg Dr Hj Muhd Khalifah Pg Hj Ismail and Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) of Universiti Brunei Darussalam Dr David Koh. The report also showed that 66 per cent of the respondents had weight-related problems, while 25 per cent had high blood cholesterol.

Figures from the report also showed that 23 per cent of those screened did not do any exercise.

Dr Lee said those with high blood pressure and high blood glucose should consult their doctors and undergo regular check-ups, and seek treatment immediately when the need arises.

“Usually in one screening it may show a high reading but the patients must be monitored regularly and a number of measurements taken before a definite diagnosis can be made,” said the health expert, adding that many patients neglect their doctor’s appointment and prescribed medications.

“That’s why if companies have a good workplace health promotion programme, the employees can be screened regularly and know their risk factors,” said Dr Lee. He urged ministries and companies to implement a workplace health promotion programme in their organisations. “They (organisations) should use their workplaces to raise the awareness of the workers on the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle,” he said.

The Brunei Times