Tajuk The Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases
Speaker Y.B. Menteri Kesihatan
Tarikh Ucapan 17-05-2011 (6 hari lepas)
Acara 64th WORLD HEALTH ASSEMBLY
SPEECH BY Y.B. DATO’ SRI LIOW TIONG LAI,
MINISTER OF HEALTH, MALAYSIA
64th WORLD HEALTH ASSEMBLY
17 MAY 2011, GENEVA
Theme: The Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases
Mr. President, Director General, Honourable Ministers, Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen.
Firstly Malaysia would like to congratulate The Honourable Dr. Christos Patsalides on your appointment as the president of the 64th World Health Assembly.
Malaysia is very encouraged with the leadership and response by WHO particularly, with the cooperation of several Member States, in pushing the NCD agenda forward in preparation of the United Nations High-level Meeting in September 2011. In this respect, Malaysia would like to congratulate the Russian Federation for hosting the WHO Global Forum and the First Global Ministerial Conference on Healthy Lifestyles and Non-Communicable Diseases Control in Moscow last month. These preparatory meetings, including the regional consultations, have been invaluable in increasing the attention towards NCD at the country level.
In line with the mandates of WHO, Malaysia has developed and published the “National Strategic Plan for Non-Communicable Diseases”, also known as NSP-NCD. Adopting the whole-of-government approach, this document was presented and approved by the Malaysian Cabinet in December 2010. The Prime Minister also consented to the formation of a “Cabinet Committee for a Health Promoting Environment”, chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister with a membership consisting of ten Ministries. The first meeting was held on 4th April 2011.
Following this meeting, I am happy to report that several policy decisions were made with regards to school health. Students’ BMI status will be recorded on their report cards, which will then be reviewed by parents at the end of each school term. Following the set guidelines, obese students will then be referred to the nearest government health clinics for counselling and intervention. Another program introduced last year under NSP-NCD is the NCD risk factor intervention in schools. Obese students, therefore have another avenue for a structured intervention outside of the clinic setting. The Ministry of Education is strongly supportive and actively engaged in finalising the details of implementation.
In addition, there is now a proposed nation-wide ban on the sale of unhealthy food by vendors outside of school perimeters, which are currently enforced only in certain localities. This decision presents a unique challenge to Malaysia as enforcement is under the purview of the many different local authorities throughout Malaysia. However through the Cabinet Committee, the Ministry of Housing and Local Governments has voiced strong support, and expressed willingness to actively engage all Local Authorities to standardise the necessary by-laws and enforcement of the ban of unhealthy food outside of school perimeters throughout the country.
While we readily acknowledge that the amount of food consumed during school hours constitute probably less that 10% of a student’s total calorie intake in Malaysia, these policies has a “lighthouse effect”. These policies are highly visible and symbolic of the government’s commitment in the prevention of NCD. As our next step, Malaysia will be looking at how we can further operationalise the five “best buys” as recommended by the The Lancet NCD Action Group and the NCD Alliance, and this includes intensifying tobacco control through FCTC, salt reduction, improved diet and physical activity, reduction in hazardous alcohol intake, and essential drugs and technologies.
Specific for tobacco control, smoking cessation services have been introduced in public hospitals and health centres, provided for free to the general public. As a sign of my commitment, I will be introducing a Key Performance Index for a success rate of 60% after 6 months, for in-patients at high risk or with established cardiovascular diseases, who enroll in the smoking cessation programme.
Lastly, I am confident that we are moving in the right direction in taking our first steps at addressing this issue at the global level, under the stewardship of WHO.