Lee (third left) presents allocation cheques to Ting as others look on.
MIRI: The is a need for Malaysians to place high value on their personal health in view of rising prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) brought about by obesity, smoking, unhealthy eating and physical inactivity, says Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Lee Kim Shin.
He said the Health Ministry, through the National Strategic Plan for NCD, is committed to reducing the prevalence of NCDs such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity, premature mortality due to cardiovascular disease, cancer and chronic respiratory disease.
“Healthcare spending has outpaced economic growth especially due to an increase in NCDs amongst the population, an ageing population and technological advancement. This raises concerns of sustainability.
“Last year, it is estimated that 73 per cent of total deaths in Malaysia were due to NCDs and half of the number were caused by cardiovascular disease.
“Some 17 per cent of these people died prematurely at between 30 and 70 years old,” he said in his address when closing the 2nd Borneo Diabetes Conference 2019, here yesterday.
Lee said based on data from the National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS) 2015, it could be assumed that the prevalence of NCD risk factors continues to rise, which is a worrying trend for the country.
“The prevalence of diabetes had tripled from 6.3 per cent to 17.5 per cent from 1986 to 2015. At this rate, about one in four to five Malaysians will be diabetic in 2020, and three in 10 in 2025.
“More alarmingly, more than 50 per cent of NCD cases are not diagnosed and the number continues to increase.”
Lee stressed that it would be pointless for the country to strive towards achieving developed-nation status if its citizens continue to ignore their health.
“Unless we address this dichotomy of how low Malaysians value health, that achievement of developed-nation status will surely ring hollow. NCD is one of the most important challenges that must be tackled collectively by all Malaysians,” he said.
At the event, Lee presented government grants of RM11,000 from his minor rural project allocation, and another RM10,000 from Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian, to the Miri branch of Diabetes Malaysia.
Among those present were Diabetes Malaysia president Prof Dato Dr Ikram Shah Ismail, conference organising committee chairperson Jong Koi Chong, conference scientific committee chairperson Dato Dr Fam Tem Lom, Miri Hospital director Dr Jack Wong and Diabetes Malaysia Miri branch chairman Ting Chiew Moi.
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