5 ways to reduce risk factors of NCDs to be published in healthy lifestyle manual
Thai Health Promotion Foundation (ThaiHealth) has revealed that according to a study, that many Thai people are still at risk of dying from non-communicable diseases (NCDs), notably cancer, and the reduction rate will not be met by the previously-set Sustainable Development Goals within 2030, while campaigning to eradicate 5 risk factors of alcoholic beverages, cigarettes, lack of physical activities, nutrition, and air pollution, to prevent further premature deaths caused by NCDs.
In the collaboration between Burden of Disease Program Thailand (BOD) and the International Health Policy Program (IHPP), Ministry of Public Health, and World Health Organisation’s Country Cooperation Strategy on NCDs (WHO-CCS NCDs), Division of Non-Communicable Diseases, Department of Disease Control, and ThaiHealth, BOD Programme Manager Dr Kanitta Bundhamcharoen said the working group had conducted a study on premature deaths of Thai people in their 30-69 years of age caused by NCDs in 4 groups: coronary disease, cancers, diabetes, and chronic respiratory diseases between year 2000 and 2018, and a forecast of death rate in 2025 to 2030, under an effort to reduce the rate to one-third within 2030 according to the Sustainable Development Goals. The study has indicated that the premature death rate is in a slight downtrend — with men having greater risks than women.
Dr Kanitta voiced concerns that the rate of premature death caused by 4 groups of NCDs and the projection for 2025 of SDGs laid out by WHO of 11.1% and the projection of 2030 for 2030 of 9.9% will not be met, as Thailand is believed to achieve only 12.6% in 2025 and 12.0% in 2030. According to the forecast, premature deaths caused by cancers accounted for 56,965 deaths annually, following by 30,064 deaths from coronary diseases, 9,205 deaths from diabetes, and 4,699 deaths from chronic respiratory diseases. In percentage, the study also found that 57% or more than half of premature deaths was caused by cancer, 27% by coronary diseases, 13% by diabetes, and 3% by chronic respiratory diseases. Sorted geographically, the largest number of deaths in the cancer group was found in Thailand’s northeast, the largest number of deaths in the coronary disease group was found in the central region, while the deaths from chronic respiratory diseases were found mostly in the country’s north and the western part of the central region.
Assistant CEO and Acting Director of Healthy Lifestyle Promotion Section, Dr Pairoj Saonuam said that ThaiHealth — through its Academic and Innovation Section — is in support of the long-term projects of Thailand’s burden of disease index development plan. The development plan aims at 3 missions: 1) development of significant burden of disease index for use in the evaluation of efficiency of the country’s public health system, and its investment, indicators, and the development of related projects, 2) development of knowledge to answer the questions on Thailand’s present situation in terms of burden of diseases and its future, and evaluation of the public health system’s work, and 3) utilisation of such data by ThaiHealth to plan ahead the proactive measures to create integrated framework for the coalition of ThaiHealth and the Division of Non Communicable Diseases, Department of Disease Control, Public Health Ministry. ThaiHealth will later develop another set of knowledge on 5 risk factors in order to communicate with the general public in its public relation operations.
Dr Pairoj elaborated that “ThaiHealth puts its emphasis on the very source of these 5 risk factors: consumption of tobacco, alcoholic beverages, malnutrition, and air pollution. ThaiHealth plays its role as an organisation in charge of developing such educational injections, pushing policies, and moving Thai society towards healthier lifestyles. The plan may not work its magic overnight, but in 20 years time, if Thai people turn towards better lifestyles the mission will be a success, with Thai people not falling victims to such diseases prematurely. In 2022, ThaiHealth will make its attempt to take control of the 5 risk factors, launch campaign to encourage people in workplaces, schools, and communities to change their lifestyles, mobilise policies to control the spread of unhealthy food with the use of tax barrier, and educate people the healthy lifestyles in the digital age for the sake of personal health.”
Director of Non Communicable Diseases Division and Manager of WHO-CSS NCDs working group, Dr Krisada Hanbunjerd, said that the National Strategy Committee on Protection and Prevention of Non-Communicable Diseases had given a green light to the “Together Fight NCDs” inter-organisational integrative master plan on fighting the NCDs, with the following aims: By 2025, 1) people will have reduced their consumption of sugar and sodium by 30%, 2) 70% of people nationwide are aware of their own health indicators and measures to deal with risk factors under the theme “Know Your Number, Know Your Risk”, 3) people who do not know they are suffering from diabetes and blood pressure will be screened and receive diagnosis, and 4) people suffering from such diseases are aware of the measures to deal with themselves. To realise the project, the Department of Disease Control has disseminated the plan to its 13 regional branches nationwide. Furthermore, people who do not know they are having the dangerous level of blood pressure are encouraged to check themselves whether or not they have the average blood pressure taken daily for 7 days of 135/85 and to receive further diagnosis and treatment at hospitals and health centres stated in their universal healthcare rights.