Not in the pink of health

  • Metro News
  • Wednesday, 18 Sep 2019

Visitors playing carrom and other games during the event in the Bagan constituency on the mainland. — Photos: MUSTAFA AHMAD/The Star

THE government’s Kampungku Sihat programme has not brought good tidings about the state of Malaysian’s wellness.

Of the thousands of villagers screened, 65% of them were at risk of diabetes and 40% teetered at the edge of hypertension.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad revealed this when he attended the Kampungku Sihat instalment in Bagan parliamentary constituency on mainland Penang on Sunday.

“So far, a total of 79 villages in seven parliamentary constituencies were visited and 3,547 were screened for non-communicable diseases (NCD), 2,643 for diabetes and 2,840 for hypertension. All have been advised and referred to clinic for further tests, ” he said.

And there is another piece of bad news: one in two Malaysians are overweight.

“The 2015 National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS) reported that one in two Malaysian adults have an obesity problem and one in three suffer from hypertension while one in five have diabetes.

“Half of the diabetes and hypertension cases were undiagnosed. The patients themselves did not know they have the diseases.

“They did not seek any treat-ment and continued with their unhealthy lifestyles and subsequently suffered serious health issues, ” he told reporters.

Dr Dzulkefly described the prevention and control of NCDs through community screening as a game changer in this country.

He said despite the promotion and awareness on NCD, the level of Malaysians with NCDs was not good and had been steadily increasing.

On top of the blood pressure and sugar tests, the community in Bagan also had the chance to find out their body mass indexes, gauge possible mental illness and even had a dental health check at the Kampungku Sihat event held at Padang Datuk Haji Ahmad Badawi.

The event was jointly launched with the national-level Fight Aedes Mega Gotong Royong 2.0 to combat dengue fever at the community level.

Kampungku Sihat was launched in Langkawi, Kuala Selangor, Pagoh, Port Dickson, Temerloh and Kuala Terengganu.

Present at the Bagan launch were Finance Minister and Bagan MP Lim Guan Eng, state health committee chairman Dr Afif Bahardin and Health Ministry deputy chief secretary (finance) Datuk Mohd Shafiq Abdullah.

Lim shared updates on his ministry’s plans with reporters at the event.

He said the Federal Government wanted to create more job opportunities with reasonable salaries to narrow the socioeconomic gap among Malaysians.

“I think one of the important aspects that we need to look into is to create job opportunities and, of course, reasonable salaries, ” he said.

He said the creation of more job opportunities with decent salaries would increase the buying power of Malaysians, especially from the lower-income group.

He said a suggestion on the matter would be presented in a parliamentary meeting on Oct 11.

On the ringgit, he said its value was affected by China’s renminbi as the country is Malaysia’s largest trading partner.

“China is our largest trading partner now. The ringgit will follow the trend.

“If the renminbi goes down, the ringgit will too, ” he said.

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