Maintain health, or risk developing other illnesses


WE ARE in strange times where all our lives now revolve around the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, we must remember that there are still other illnesses out there, therefore health must be maintained, even when cooped up at home.

Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) president Dr N Ganabaskaran (picture) said during the Movement Control Order (MCO), people need to be aware that they can also be vulnerable to other health issues.

He said disruptions to a person’s normal daily schedule can affect their health such as high blood pressure, or even heart disease, if there is a sudden drop in physical activity due to staying home.

“For example, if a person is used to waking up early for a walk or jog in the park prior to the MCO, they can experience some weight gain or even changes in blood pressure levels.

“There is also the tendency to eat more during a stressful time such as now, and this too can negatively affect health,” he added.

MMA advises the public to keep in touch with their family doctor, especially those with existing health issues.

While suspected Covid-19 cases and persons under investigation are referred directly to designated government hospitals, general practitioners (GPs) in the country play an important role in the health management of non-Covid-19 patients in the country.

Dr Ganabaskaran said patients who require ongoing care and monitoring should continue to stay in touch with their family physician.

“It is important for diabetes, hypertension and heart disease patients to be monitored during this time. Some simple light exercises daily are also encouraged to maintain health, however, they should consult their GP first.”

GPs are more innovative and creative in through various modes of communication. There are several ways that health can be monitored if a person chooses to stay at home. However, some cases will still require the patient to visit the clinic.

Dr Ganabaskaran also advised the public not to put off scheduled health check-ups, stressing that regular checks are key to good health maintenance.

“They can also call their family doctor and schedule for an appointment, so that less time is spent waiting. If there are any health issues, it must be managed early for better response.”

Dr Ganabaskaran also advised the elderly to remain at home and avoid crowded places as the risk of infection is high.

“Older persons should also keep up their light morning exercises at home. Some sunlight exposure will also be very beneficial for health,” he said.

GP clinics are also experiencing a drop inpatient visits as most people choose to stay home.

“However, now may be a good time to schedule an appointment at a clinic as less time will be spent waiting to see the doctor.”