Deputy minister: Kospen to be expanded nationwide to address non-communicable diseases

Deputy Health Minister Datuk Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali speaks during a press conference at the Parliament building in Kuala Lumpur July 22, 2020. — Bernama pic
Deputy Health Minister Datuk Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali speaks during a press conference at the Parliament building in Kuala Lumpur July 22, 2020. — Bernama pic

ALOR GAJAH, Aug 29 — The ‘Komuniti Sihat Pembina Negara’ or Kospen (Healthy Community Country Builder) programme will be expanded nationwide to address problems related to Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), which are the leading cause of premature death in the country.

Deputy Health Minister Datuk Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali said that based on the National Health and Morbidity Survey conducted by the ministry last year, the percentage of adult Malaysians suffering from obesity increased to 19.7 per cent from 17.7 per cent in 2015, and diabetes also increased to 18.3 per cent compared with 13.4 per cent recorded last year.

“For hypertension, it still remains at 30 per cent. Hence, Kospen is important and it is an initiative of the ministry to emphasise the empowerment aspect among community members for the prevention of non-communicable disease risk factors so that they will be responsible for their own health.

“It is the ministry’s intention to strengthen and further expand the implementation of this Kospen because it is an important component in the Agenda Nasional Malaysia Sihat (ANMS) which was approved by the Cabinet recently,” he told reporters after officiating the Melaka state-level Kospen volunteer programme here today.

Also present were state Health and Anti-Drug Committee chairman Rahmad Mariman, MOH’s Disease Control Division director Dr Norhayati Rusli and Melaka health director Dr Ismail Ali.

According to Dr Noor Azmi, Alor Gajah is the second location for Kospen after Bagan Serai, Perak (in July) and it will be held at three more locations, namely Sungai Besar, Selangor; Hulu Terengganu, Terengganu and Jempol, Negeri Sembilan.

He said that as of now, Kospen had about 5,000 volunteers nationwide and the ministry was targeting an additional 500 people who would be registered as volunteers for the programme.

There were seven scopes of activities carried out under Kospen including healthy diet, smoke-free, active living, community health screening as well as weight management programmes, he said.

Kospen, first introduced in 2013, is the brainchild of former Health Minister Datuk Seri S. Subramaniam and to date as many as 1.3 million adults have been screened via the programme. — Bernama

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