Malaysia, unhealthy nation with low health awareness – Khairy

by BERNAMA / pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia is considered as an unhealthy country as the number of people suffering from heart disease and obesity is high, said Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.

He said health awareness among the people was also low.

“If you ask me, if Malaysia is now a healthy country, my answer is No. We are among countries that are tops in terms of obesity, heart disease and among the leading causes of COVID-19 death in the country is because most of the patients have comobidities or chronic diseases.

“In Malaysia one in every two people are obese and overweight, including myself, while one in four don’t practise physical activity and only one in 20, maintain healthy eating.

“According to official statistics, half a million adults suffer from depression. I am confident that this is lower than the actual figure,” he said while appearing as a guest on TV1’s Selamat Pagi Malaysia programme today.

As such, in realising Agenda Nasional Malaysia Sihat (ANMS), he said Malaysians need to make a behaviorial change voluntarily and increase awareness to create a healthy nation without having to rely on the Health Ministry or the government.

He said a change in behavior and awareness to get a health check is the core of ANMS.

“If we want to depend on the Health Ministry alone to monitor standard operating procedure (SOP) compliance and issue compounds, we do not have the manpower.  We want the country to succeed in terms of pandemic management,” he said while citing Japan which had successfully managed the pandemic through behaviorial change without having to issue compounds.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob today launched the ANMS as preparation to help Keluarga Malaysia (the Malaysian Family) face and cope with the endemic phase of COVID-19.

The ANMS agenda is for a period of 10 years, from 2021 to 2030 and the implementation is to be divided into two terms; the first from 2021 until 2025, and the second from 2026 and will end in 2030.”

Meanwhile, Khairy said a committee has been established to bring together all the related ministries  to report on the measures to be taken to realise ANMS at the ministry level.

He said besides the people’s health, the agenda also takes into account the quality of air and ventilation involving new buildings, in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19.