BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Aug. 12 (Xinhua) -- Brunei will play a leading role regionally in the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases (NCD) such as cardiovascular diseases, cancers, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases which are the leading causes of death within the ASEAN bloc.
This is among the priorities that Brunei will focus on during its chairmanship in the ASEAN Health Ministers Meeting and Senior Officials Meeting on Health Development (SOMHD) for the 2016-2017 period, a senior Bruneian medical official said.
"Our task as a leader within the health sector in ASEAN now is to see how we can add value to preventing and controlling non-communicable diseases in the region," Justin Wong, medical superintendent for public health at Brunei's Ministry of Health, was quoted as saying by local media on Friday.
He said that although life expectancy is increasing and people are generally improving in terms of health status within ASEAN, NCDs are among the challenges faced by ASEAN members as there has been an increasing pattern along with the growing wealth and economic development in the region.
"Brunei is no stranger to this particular trend as well, and (therefore) one of the strategic priorities of the Ministry of Health for the next five years is to prevent and control non-communicable diseases," Wong said.
During the 23rd ASEAN summit in Brunei in October 2013, the leaders adopted the Bandar Seri Begawan Declaration on Non-Communicable Diseases. It urged ASEAN health ministers to enhance efforts toward achieving the voluntary global targets for the prevention and control of NCDs by 2025.