About 50 per cent of those having non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in the country are not aware they have such diseases, said Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.
He said that was one of the factors that prompted the government to introduce the healthcare protection scheme for the low-income B40 group, known as “Skim Peduli Kesihatan”, to carry out health screening to identify those with NCDs.
“Fifty per cent of those diagnosed with NDCs cannot control their disease. Hence, the need to improve primary healthcare at the health clinics so that we can control diabetes, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol) and other diseases," he said at the signing of a memorandum of agreement (MoA) on Exercise Clinic’s Smart Partnership, here, Monday.
He said the problem of NCDs in Malaysia was becoming worrying as the prevalence of the diseases in the country was the highest in the ASEAN region.
On diabetes, Dr Noor Hisham said the 2015 National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS) showed that 3.5 million people or 17.5 per cent of the Malaysian population were diabetic.
"With regard to hypertension, it is 30.3 per cent or 6.1 million people, while the number of obese people, rose from 15.1 per cent in 2011 to 17.7 per cent in 2015," he said.
On the MoA, Dr Noor Hisham said it was signed between Sultan Abdul Halim Mu'adzam International Islamic University and MS New Symphony Exercise Clinical Sdn Bhd to set up exercise clinics to reduce the risk of people getting NCDs.
He said through the clinic, set up in Kuala Ketil, Kedah, patients registered at health clinics in the area found with risks of getting NCDs, would be referred to the exercise clinic.
“They will be advised on the right exercise to do by the therapist,” he added.