CM: State seeks to speed up elimination of communicable diseases

Posted on : 13 Sep 2017  Source of News: borneo post online

Abang Johari (third right) launches the conference. From right are Dr Sim, Dr Lokman, and Dr Jamilah. At second left is Asfia. – Photo by Muhammad Rais Sanusi

KUCHING: Sarawak aims to speed up its targets to eliminate communicable diseases in the state.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said the faster the targets of controlling and eliminating communicable diseases are achieved, the more the state will be able to save precious resources for tomorrow.

“Currently, we are faced with the enormous burden of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, complications of tobacco use, cancer, and many more.

“Therefore, we have numerous tasks ahead of us, in fighting this together and I truly hope that this conference will be able to provide solutions for Sarawak, our nation and even at a regional level,” Abang Johari said when opening the Fifth Asia Pacific Conference on Public Health on Monday.

“This is a crucial moment for all of us. We are presented with a ‘make or break’ opportunity for this country and the region. I pledge my full personal support for this effort, in particular to facilitate and enable the implementation of health programmes within Sarawak and the country.”

Abang Johari said decades ago, Sarawak was plagued with many communicable disease outbreaks, which included malaria; tuberculosis; as well as hand, food and mouth disease.

“We have had an acute shortage of healthcare providers, who always have second thoughts about coming over to stay in this part of the country. I want to take this opportunity to personally thank the Ministry of Health Malaysia for your unending sacrifices, efforts and time to tackle these problems especially through the Sarawak State Health Department and facilities within its jurisdiction. This success could not have been possible without the active role played by the public health professionals,” he said.

Abang Johari also pointed out that much of rural Sarawak is only accessible by river transport.

“Remote rural areas that are beyond the operating areas of health clinics, about 12km or 7.5 miles, and inaccessible by land or river are serviced by a monthly flying doctor service, which was established in 1973 and is still functioning.”

He added, “We are striving very hard to achieve the status of a developed nation, particularly in a widespread area of Sarawak. With the assistance and support rendered by the health sector, we hope to achieve this status even sooner. In view of that, the Sarawak State Government continues to support the public health professionals to champion the health agenda of the state and country.”

Among those present were State Legislative Assembly Speaker Datuk Amar Mohd Asfia Awang Nassar, Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian, Academy of Medicine Malaysia’s College of Public Health Medicine president Datuk Dr Lokman Hakim Sulaiman, and state health director Dr Jamilah Hashim.