PUTRAJAYA (Sept 8): Seventy-three per cent of deaths in the country are caused by non-communicable diseases (NCDs), which are closely linked to unhealthy lifestyles, said Deputy Health Minister Lukanisman Awang Sauni.
In his speech when officiating the 2023 national-level “Bulan Malaysia Sihat Sejahtera” (BMSS) celebration here today, he said nearly half of the Malaysian population is unaware that they have an NCD.
“Nearly 50 per cent (of Malaysians) are not aware that they are suffering from NCD and this leads to a higher risk of complications when it is not treated early,” he said.
According to the 2019 National Health and Morbidity Survey, one in two adults is overweight or obese, with the highest prevalence among women at 54.7 percent and individuals aged 55 to 59 at 60.9 per cent.
The survey also stated that one in four adults in the country is not physically active and the least active groups are women (28 per cent), students (39 per cent), and senior citizens (59 per cent).
The survey also found that one in three Malaysians has low health literacy, as evidenced by an unhealthy and inactive lifestyle, not eating adequate amounts of fruits and vegetables, and smoking.
As such, Lukanisman hoped that the implementation of the BMSS through the Healthy Malaysia National Agenda would raise public awareness about living a healthy lifestyle.
BMSS is observed every September in line with the Health Ministry’s direction of switching the focus from “sick care” to “health care and wellness” through preventive measures by promoting a healthy lifestyle aligned with the Health White Paper, he said.
“The increase in diseases caused by Malaysians’ unhealthy lifestyles puts high pressure on the country’s healthcare system and its finances,” he said. – Bernama