KUALA SELANGOR: Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) have been found to be the main cause of the lifespan of Malaysians staying at around 75 years, says Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad.
He said this was due to the lack of awareness on NCDs and their complications compared to people in other countries who make efforts to extend their lifespan.
Citing the example of high blood pressure and diabetes, Dzulkefly said 50% of the patients treated at health ministry facilities were not aware they had contracted these diseases.
He said this was a serious matter.
“Our lifespan has stagnated for one decade, compared to other countries, at the average of 75 years — 73 for men and 78 for women,” he said after launching the Kampungku Sihat (My Healthy Village) programme for the Kuala Selangor parliamentary constituency in Kampung Bukit Kuching Tengah, Jeram, here today.
Dzulkefly said NCDs such high blood pressure can lead to complications, including heart attacks, diabetes and renal failure. Cancer was a second major concern.
He said many people were not taking health screening seriously because of a low level of awareness or ignorance.
He noted that Singapore was serious in combating NCDs and had declared war against diabetes by making it compulsory for its citizens to undergo health screening.
Even though Malaysia has not reached that stage, the ministry has been encouraging the people to go for health checkups, he said.
In the Kampungku Sihat programme today, 550 trainees from two ministry training institutes carried out basic health checks for residents from three villages in Jeram.