Royalty graces health seminar on NCDs
Danial Norjidi

HER Royal Highness Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Sarah graced the occasion at a health seminar on non-communicable diseases (NCDs) yesterday, which was held at the Royal Brunei Polo and Riding Club.

The arrival of Her Royal Highness was received by the Minister of Health, Pehin Orang Kaya Johan Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Adanan bin Begawan Pehin Siraja Khatib Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Mohd Yusof, along with the Deputy Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Datin Paduka Hajah Adina binti Othman and the Adviser of the Brunei Women’s Association, Datin Hajah Masni binti Haji Muhammad Ali.

The event began with a recitation of Surah Al-Fatihah and a Doa Selamat led by Pehin Datu Imam Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Abdul Hamid bin Bakal, followed by a welcoming remark from Datin Hajah Masni in her capacity as the event’s chairperson.

Her Royal Highness delivered a sabda at the event, before officially launching the seminar. Her Royal Highness also viewed a special exhibition dealing with the prevention and control of NCDs that was set up outside the club’s Royal Berkshire Hall.

The health seminar itself was organised by the Women’s Association of Brunei Darussalam and the Ministry of Health in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports.

According to the Ministry of Health, “The seminar is aimed at increasing public awareness on the importance of a healthy lifestyle by eating healthy food, doing physical activities consistently to control and prevent NCDs.”

It was also aimed at “increasing knowledge with regards to the burden of non-communicable diseases and its impact on the country’s socio-economy”.

Three main topics were discussed over the course of the seminar by three panellists. The first of which dealt with national policy on the prevention and control of NCDs, the involvement of various sectors, including civil society organisations and the food industry in the diseases’ prevention and control.

The topic was discussed by Associate Professor Dr Haji Md Syafiq Abdullah, a consultant oncologist at the RIPAS Hospital and the Head of the Prevention and Control Unit of NCDs at the Ministry of Health.

The second topic of the morning detailed the importance of a healthy diet throughout life and was presented by Dayang Hajah Roseyati binti Dato Paduka Haji Yaakub, an officer in charge of nutrition at the Department of Health Services.

The third topic was an Islamic perspective on healthy food, which was delivered by Dr Awang Haji Muhammed Hussain bin Pehin Penyurat Haji Awang Ahmad, Acting Assistant Rector of Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali.

The health seminar’s afternoon session discussed, “Are we eating enough fruits and vegetables?” Hajah Roseyati returned to lead the topic.

Next was a session on creating an environment that enables healthy food choices, which was led by Dayang Nurasma Aini binti Haji Mat Yassin, another officer in charge of nutrition at the Department of Health Services.

The topics of “Healthy Food at School Canteens” and “Gastrointestinal Problems” were also discussed yesterday afternoon by Dayang Hajah Jamilah binti Haji Mohammed Ali, the Head of Health Promotion at Schools from the Department of Schools and Dr Adil bin Pengiran Metussin, Senior Medical Officer of the Gastroenterology and Hepatology Section at RIPAS Hospital respectively.

Attending yesterday’s seminar were members of associations under the Brunei Darussalam Women’s Council, the Women’s Bureau, the Muslimah Group, Village and Mukim Consultative Councils and other important representatives.

“The cooperative initiative of the Brunei Darussalam Women’s Council along with the government agencies, specifically the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, in organising the health seminar is an approach that is most welcomed in together tackling the challenge of NCDs and as an effort for improving the health of citizens and residents of Brunei”, said the Ministry of Health in a statement. - Borneo Bulletin (28 June 2013)