One of the many booths exhibiting health and medical services that were set up at the International Health Conference 2013 at The Centrepoint Hotel in Gadong. Picture: BT/Yusri Adanan
A FIVE-YEAR action plan that aimed at an 18 per cent reduction of premature mortality from non-communicable diseases was launched by His Royal Highness Prince 'Abdul Malik yesterday.
His Royal Highness officiated the launch of the "Brunei Darussalam National Multi-Sectoral Action Plan for the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases 2013-2018" at the International Health Conference 2013 exhibition held at the Centerpoint Hotel, Gadong.
In an opening address to the conference, the Minister of Health, Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Johan Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Hj Adanan Begawan Pehin Siraja Khatib Dato Seri Setia hj Mohd Yusof, said that the action plan outlined "holistic, integrated and multi-sectoral approach" and has "set the goal of achieving an 18 per cent relative reduction in pre-mature mortality from NCDs by 2018".
Some of the more notable goals set out by the plan highlighted in its exhibition include all public places to be smoke-free by 2016, reduction of the rate of increase of obesity and diabities to one per cent and a 50 per cent reduction of consumption of sweetened drinks in children.
The plan has five distinct objectives: to reduce tobacco use; to promote balance and healthy diet; to increase physical activity; to identify people at risk for NCDs and to Manage (them) effectively; and to improve the quality of care and outcomes of NCD management.
The minister of health said that while Brunei has a high quality and comprehensive health care system, "new challenges are emerging and particularly significant is the prevalence of non-healthy lifestyles that have led to an epidemic of non-communicable diseases like cancer, heart diseases, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases and their risk factors in our country".
The action plan aims to address those challenges, and through a strategic framework, "curb the fast growing burden of mortality and morbidity from non-communicable diseases in the country," said the minister.
According to statistics outlined in the action plan, non-communicable diseases account for an estimated 82 per cent of all deaths in the Brunei Darussalam.
The top four causes of death in the country were Cancer, Cardiovascular Diseases, Diabetes Mellitus and Cerebrovascular diseases, it noted. "In terms of common risk factors for NCD, Brunei has one of the highest rates of obesity in Southeast Asia, with nearly one-third (27 per cent) of the adult population are obese," it said.
The Brunei Times