BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN- The Ministry of Health and Gleaneagles JPMC Sdn Bhd signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Thursday for two major projects under Health Promotion Centre, namely the Workplace and Health (WAH!) Programme and the Happy Environment and Lifestyle (HEAL) Programme.

Both the programmes are aimed at promoting healthy living with the WAH! Programme focused on encouraging workplaces to provide supportive environment for employees to be more active, eat healthy, be smoke-free and have good mental well being.

Meanwhile, HEAL is aimed at supporting physical activity interventions through building, strengthening and maintaining social networks that create opportunities for physical activities. The programme will engage and form partnerships with the stakeholders such as communities, schools and businesses to promote and engage in culturally appropriate physical activities.

The Head of Health Promotion Centre, Dr Hjh Norhayati Hj Md Kassim told The Scoop that the $120,000 funding from Gleaneagles JPMC will be use to develop and strengthen workplace healthy lifestyle programme in all government ministries by 2020.

Health Minister YB Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Mohammad Isham (R) hands over the mock cheque to MoH’s deputy permanent secretary (Professional) Dr Hj Zulaidi (C) after the MoU signing between MoH and Gleaneagles JPMC as the head of Health Promotion Centre, Dr Hjh Norhayati (L) looks on. Photo: Rasidah Hj Abu Bakar/The Scoop

She noted that this is the MoU signing marks the biggest collaboration of a public private partnership (PPP) between the two signatories and that the two organisations share common interests.

“For us in HPC, the collaboration [is suitable] because our focus is on non-communicable diseases (NCD) prevention, which is basically looking at ways and means of educating people and getting them to make the small changes towards more positive health behaviour,” she said.

“We have offered similar programmes in the past but we were limited in terms of manpower and resources. With this partnership, we have access to more resources that we can now focus on [health programmes] in workplaces,” she added.

The head of the Health Promotion Centre said they have identified key performance indicators (KPI) on NCDs prevention, which are aligned with the WHO’s NCD Global Monitoring Framework. She said that the two health programmes are developed to help achieve these targets.

The framework, which hopes to combat global NCD mortality rate by 2025,  comprises nine global targets and 25 indicators.  These targets include reducing physical inactivity by 10 percent and reducing premature mortality from NCDs by 25 percent. Meanwhile, the indicators include risk factors such as overweight and obesity, raised blood pressure and tobacco use.  

She said data collected in the 2011 National Health and Nutrition Status Survey showed that prevalence of physical inactivity stands at 35.5 percent. Another survey conducted in 2016, the National Survey on Risk Factors on NCDs showed that this has decreased to 25 per cent.

“We want this to carry on, because [our progress] will be monitored,” Dr Hjh Norhayati said, adding that if the programmes are successful, they hope to secure more funding for it.