WE MALAYSIANS sure do know how to enjoy the variety of food and cuisines available to us.
As much as we love our food, it is important that we keep our digestive system running in good shape.
According to Digestive Health Malaysia (DHM) deputy chairman and gastroenterologist consultant associate professor Dr Raja Affendi Raja Ali, Malaysians are not getting their health screened regularly and are ignorant to digestive disorders and its potential threat.
“Digestive problems can occur and affect all areas of your life.
“Symptoms of poor digestive health, such as heartburn, diarrhoea and constipation can be embarrassing, unpredictable and disruptive.
A good majority of us – whether out of ignorance, fear of ridicule or shame – wait until the last possible moment to seek treatment, but by then it could all be too late,” Raja Affendi said.
To his concern, he also mentioned that only 9% of colorectal cancer patients were diagnosed early (stage 1) while the majority were identified at more advanced stages, according to National Cancer Patient Registry (2008-2013).
To address this issue, DHM launched the country’s first online Digestive Health Assessment Tool (DHAT) to help the public to pay attention and to make a quick assessment of their digestive health.
“DHAT is not meant to substitute expert consultation.
“Instead, it sets out to spark awareness and encourage Malaysians to be more mindful and empower them to take charge of their own digestive health,” Raja Affendi advised.
In conjunction with World Digestive Health Day 2016, DHM also launched The Vitagen Healthy Digestive Roadshow, a partnership with Vitagen Healthy Digestion Programme to help put digestive health issues in the limelight.
VItagen Malaysia marketing manager Yap Jay Queen said the company will continue to support DHM;s vision to promote optimal digestive health among Malaysians through community education.
“As Malaysia’s first and number one cultured milk drink, we recognise the importance of corporate engagement in giving back to the society.
“We are delighted to support expert professional bodies such as DHM to empower the public towards better digestive health,” Yap said.
Also present at the launch were DHM council member Dr Sheikh Anwar, Health Ministry medical development division director Datuk Dr Azman Abu Bakar, DHM council member Datin Dr Liew Yin Mei, National Cancer Council (Makna) project manager Ravi Varman and Nutrition Society Malaysia president Dr Tee E Siong.
At the event, visitors enjoyed a many educational and interactive family-oriented activities such as Vitagen colour contests, fitness demonstrations and DHM’s newest highlight – a colorectal cancer screening showreel depicting the various methods used to detect the disease.
Not only that, visitors also enjoyed free health screening and educational advice from gastroenterology nurses, fitness experts, nutritionists and dietitians.
Vitagen Healthy Digestion Programme, an educational vehicle established to facilitate the promotion of digestive health among the public, will also be having roadshows in Ipoh and Johor Baru in September and November respectively.
For details, visit www.digestivehealthmalaysia.org
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