Screening their way to better health


Visitors playing the Heart Beat Challenge to differentiate between healthy and unhealthy habits.

ACCORDING to the National Health and Morbidity Survey 2023, two in five Malaysian adults do not go for health screenings.

The most common reasons given by the 21,000 respondents were that they felt healthy, had no overt symptoms or simply lacked the time to do so.

To address this worrying trend, IHH Healthcare Malaysia held a roadshow at Gurney Plaza in Penang to increase awareness about the importance of regular check-ups.

It featured a Black Box where information and insights about heart health, cancer risks as well as bone and joint care were presented via vivid displays.

Visitors getting free health screenings during the roadshow.Visitors getting free health screenings during the roadshow.

Two game stations – Heart Beat Challenge and Cancer Crush Challenge – required attendees to differentiate between healthy and unhealthy habits by matching icons on a screen, and stomp on cancer cell imagery projected on the ground, respectively.

There were also complimentary health screenings, body posture tests and consultation by the group’s team of doctors throughout the five-day roadshow.

IHH Healthcare Malaysia chief commercial officer Sipika Singh said the “Act Sooner, Live Better” roadshow highlighted the company’s ongoing commitment to preventive healthcare.

Dr Boon says vitamin D and calcium are crucial for bone health.Dr Boon says vitamin D and calcium are crucial for bone health.

“This is because regular screenings allow one to get timely diagnosis of ailments and illnesses, and thus, the appropriate medical intervention and treatment.

“Coupled with expert care and advanced medical technologies, there can be improved outcomes,” she said.

Sipika said heart disease remained the leading cause of premature deaths in Malaysia, making up 18.4% of all medically certified deaths in 2022 according to the Statistics Department.

Cancer prevalence also rose from 10.5% in 2021 to 12.6% in 2022.

Increasing numbers of people were also experiencing issues with their bones and joints due to inactive lifestyles.

“We hope the event will empower people to take charge of their health and not wait until worrying symptoms appear before they seek treatment.

“Regular screening allows one to diagnose any potential issues early, which translates to more treatment options and ultimately, better chances of recovery,” said Sipika.

Pantai Hospital Penang orthopaedic surgeon Dr Boon Huck Wee also highlighted that osteoporosis and osteoarthritis remained prevalent issues.

To mitigate these concerns, people should prioritise maintaining adequate nutrition, including sufficient calcium intake and vitamin D, he said.

Additionally, engaging in appropriate physical activities tailored to one’s age and health condition is crucial.

Exercises and activities that may be beneficial include swimming, cycling, walking and yoga.

“Vitamin D and calcium are crucial for bone health.

“Women in particular should undergo bone screenings post-menopause and incorporate vitamin D and milk into their diets,” said Dr Boon.

IHH Healthcare Malaysia is one of the largest private healthcare providers in the country, with a network of 11 Pantai Hospitals and four Gleneagles Hospitals alongside the Prince Court Medical Centre and Timberland Medical Centre.

The roadshow at Gurney Plaza, which also offered TikTok Augmented Reality features and online contests, was the second in a series of three.

It was previously held at 1 Utama shopping centre in Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

Next, it will be at Aeon Mall Tebrau City in Johor Baru from July 5 to 7, from 10.30am to 10pm.

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