KUCHING: The public health sector has been urged to consider new approaches when dealing with lifestyle changes brought about by development and progress.
Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud said there was a need to adopt new ideas and innovative health promotion activities that people in the developing world could accept.
He said promoting a healthy lifestyle must be with the common goal of attaining optimal health.
“We know that optimal health is not just the absence of disease, it is the state of best possible outcome in physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, environmental and social aspects of human experience,” he said when opening the 3rd International Public Health Conference and 20th National Public Health Colloquium here yesterday.
His text of speech was read by Assistant Public Health Minister Dr Jerip Susil.
Taib said non-communicable diseases (NCDs) could be treated and controlled using medications.
However, what people must know was that the cost of healthcare had risen in the past years and would continue to be on the upward trend in years to come, he warned.
“Therefore, prevention is by far the better option.”
Taib said lack of exercise, poor dietary habit, non-compliance to treatment and medication all served as a stumbling block in achieving optimal health.
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia deputy vice-chancellor (academic and international affairs) Professor Datuk Dr Noor Azlan Ghazali said much time, energy and money had been spent in controlling and preventing NCDs.
“As healthcare providers and practitioners, we will certainly not rest and lose this fight.
“NCDs have shattering effects and the risks are mostly preventable. Therefore, it is a battle that we can certainly win, with smart efforts and collaborations,” he said.