Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau (fourth from right) presenting a token of appreciation to Dr Tan for the service rendered to the rural community.
LONG BEMANG, Baram: Rare health problems such as hypertension or high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes are now creeping into the rural community in Baram.
This was revealed by Dr Tan Tsu Khon, the medical team leader of the Health Camp and Telematch, an outreach program organised by Lions Club of Miri Mandarin, at Long Bemang in Baram recently.
“Many of those who turned up for screening in this camp and other programmes before this were detected with these three health problems,” he said.
Around 400 people from Long Bemang including Penans from Long Buang and Long Tujang turned up for the programme.
“These three health problems were rare among rural community in the olden days or the last 10 to 20 years. Lately, health screening results indicate increase in the number of those detected with these three health problems,” Dr Tan added.
Without revealing the number of those detected with hypertension during the three day–two night programme, Dr Tan, who hails from Lawas but practising in Sabah, believes changes in diet and lifestyle among the rural community may be the cause for the increase in the number of cases.
“In the olden days, they used to plant their rice or vegetables the organic way without using fertiliser or pesticides. Nowadays, they consume rice that are imported or produced through modern and non-organic practices,” he added.
Dr Tan also said the changes in ingredients or food preparations using artificial sweeteners and taste enhancements might also lead to the spike in the number of health problems among the rural people.
“There is also tendency for them to consume sweet and salty food and junk food, which now are easily available.
“The lifestyles that are more relaxed and easy with less hard and manual work also lead to the increase,” he elaborated.
On health supplements, Dr Tan advised them to monitor their effectiveness after consuming them.
“The supplements are not only costly but also could cause another health complication. Therefore, it is important to monitor the effectiveness of the supplements you are taking.”
The doctor also reminded them not to take the easy approach when having health symptoms.
“It is understandable that it is costly for you travel to the hospital or clinic either in Miri or Marudi, but you can go to the health clinic nearest to you.”
During the programme, Dr Tan and his medical team also visited the bed-ridden in Long Bemang, Long Buang and Long Tujang.
Overall, Dr Tan was impressed with the good turn-up from these three settlements.