The prevalence of Non Communicable Diseases (NCD) and its risk factors among Malaysian adults are still high. National Health Morbidity Survey (NHMS) 2015 shows that 17.5% of Malaysian adults have diabetes, out of which 53% are undiagnosed, 30.3% are hypertensive whereby 57% of them were undiagnosed. 1 in every 2 Malaysian adults is overweight or obese. Except for hypertension which prevalence is slightly lower compared to 2011 NHMS, all of these prevalences are increasing over the years in spite of vigorous efforts that have been conducted in educating and creating public awareness on the disease and its prevention and control. The increasing trend in NCD and its related risk factors have proved that the educational sensibility is not sufficient in prompting the adoption of healthy behaviors. Obstacles include lack of perceived priority for health, and lack of perceived priority for NCD within the health sector itself. NCD is very much associated with human behavior, environment, economic and social factors. Many studies and experiences have shown that carefully planned and fully implemented community-based intervention program play a big role in overcoming the problem of NCD. The intervention should consist of community and individual empowerment, environmental support and reorienting health services. In 2013, the ministry has taken a big step by embarking on a nationwide community based intervention program namely Komuniti Sihat Perkasa Negara (KOSPEN). This initiative brings the NCD prevention and control program to the community through trained health volunteers, who will function as health agent of change or health enablers that introduce and facilitate healthy living practices amongst their respective community members. This would serve as a mean to control NCD such as high blood pressure and diabetes and its associated risk factors such as obesity, unhealthy diet, smoking and sedentary life style within local communities Combining public education and efforts to prompt behavioral changes, KOSPEN is based on three main strategies which are advocacy and awareness, health policy adoption and establishment of healthy environments and routine NCD risk factors screenings. Trained volunteers are also capable of measuring blood pressure, blood glucose levels and body mass index (BMI) following which, at risk cases are referred to nearby health clinics for further confirmation and management. In addition to these, the volunteers who will be known as Gerak Sihat Malaysia (GSiM) are also trained to plan and organize related intervention programs at the community level for those who need it. As of May 2016, there is 5,000 KOSPEN localities nationwide with 30,000 volunteers trained. 300,000 adults have been screened for high Blood Pressure, at risk blood sugar level, overweight and smokers, out of which 70% have been referred to health clinics for Diabetic confirmation, 36% for high risk Blood Pressure and 6.5% for class II Obesity. In addition to this, weight management program is now being piloted in 134 KOSPEN localities. The Health Ministry is targeting as many as 10,000 KOSPEN localities and 50,000 GSiM by 2022. With this individual and community empowerment effort, almost six million citizens is estimated to get benefit from the program, while 1.6 million adults are expected to undergo NCD screening tests by KOSPEN volunteers.
8th National Public Health Conference 2016, Managing Society in Combating Public Health Challenges, 2-4 August 2016
This study was carried out to determine the prevalence of illicit drug use and its associated factors among male adolescents in Malaysia. Data of 13 135 adolescents were extracted from the National Health and Morbidity Survey 2017, a cross-sectional survey among school-going adolescents in Malaysia aged between 13 and 17 years, using a 2-stage stratified cluster sampling. A complex sample design analysis and multiple logistic regression analysis were applied. The overall prevalence of lifetime illicit drug use among male adolescents was 6.6%. The multivariable model showed that illicit drug use among male adolescents were associated with younger age, rural school area, marital status of parent, current smoker, ever having sex, truancy, involved in physical fight, and lack of peer support. The findings from this study can assist community and relevant authorities in their efforts to combat illicit drug usage among adolescents using intervention programs that diminishes risk factors and enhances the protective factors.