Royalty at Health Promotion Walkathon
By Rokiah Mahmud

In conjunction with the launching of the Health Promotion Blueprint 2011-2015 and health promotion campaign, the Ministry of Health yesterday organised a Health Promotion Premier Walkathon. The event took place at the Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar 'Ali Saifuddien in the capital.

His Royal Highness Prince 'Abdul Malik attended the walkathon. Upon arrival, HRH Prince 'Abdul Malik was greeted by Minister of Health, Pehin Orang Kaya Johan Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Adanan bin Begawan Pehin Siraja Khatib Dato Seri Setia Awg Hj Md Yusof.

The event started off with a warm up and aerobic session for 15 minutes led by Mohd Darus Tanjong and staff from Department of Youth and Sports and Health Promotion Centre.

It was followed by HRH Prince 'Abdul Malik launching the Health Promotion Premier Walkathon.

After the launch, Prince 'Abdul Malik together with some 6,000 people participated in the walkathon which covered 3.5 kilometres for men and 3.4 kilometres for women. Apart from the public, the event was also participated by personnel from ministries, government departments, higher-educational institutions, civil servants, private companies, Mukim and village consultative councils, school students and some associations.

The Health Promotion Blueprint 2011-2015, which was launched on April 20, is a health promotion networking document which contains short- and medium-term strategies to promote a healthy lifestyle and to prevent and control the occurrence of chronic diseases in the nation.

In an interview with the Bulletin, Dyg Rine Karim, one of the government officers, said, "In order for me to keep myself healthy, I must allocate myself time to take part in sports activities. I have even enrolled with one of the fitness centres to ensure I do some exercise and I am also strict in my diet."

Mohd Darus has opted to stay away from smoking, do regular exercise, consume less fatty foods, especially fast food, and eat more fruits and vegetables. He added that "healthy living is not an option but it is a responsibility for individuals to carry out in order to support the nation's emphasis on healthy living".

Practising a healthy lifestyle by doing physical activities is one of the best ways to prevent and control chronic diseases such as heart failure, diabetes, obesity or other health problems.

Nur Shariza, 25, from the private sector said, "The Health Promotion Blueprint is a good initiative by the Ministry of Health.

"Brunei has one of the highest rates of chronic diseases, therefore, its is the right time to enforce the blueprint and this shows how we as a nation is responsible to fight the diseases by practising a healthy lifestyle. Hopefully, in the years to come the rate would gradually decrease." - Borneo Bulletin (25th April 2011)