Health is wealth! See you at the Star Health Fair

Health screenings reveal many have chronic diseases

KUALA LUMPUR: A quarter of those who went for health screening last year were found to have a chronic condition they were not previously aware of.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said 25% of 317,766 people who went for a health screening in government clinics and hospitals found out they had conditions such as cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

“It is an alarming figure,” he said after launching the Star Health Fair at the MidValley Exhibition Centre here yesterday.

However, he said most of those who discovered they were suffering from such diseases were over 30 years old.

Liow said it would be difficult to provide free health screening to all Malaysians.

“It would be costly to screen everyone,” he said, adding that the ministry, however, is implementing a pilot project to enable village heads to give basic health screening.

“We’re trying to train them to do simple tasks like taking blood pressure and the Body Mass Index (BMI),” he said, adding that the project is being carried out in two areas for now.

Liow also commended The Star for organising a fair specially dedicated to health.

What’s hot?: Visitors checking out the booths at the health fair at the MidValley Exhibition Centre.

“It is my sincere hope that The Star Health Fair will not only be the first of many such fairs, but will also achieve success, perhaps even surpassing the Star Education Fair!” he said.

Star Publications (M) Bhd group managing director and chief executive officer Ho Kay Tat said in his speech that The Star Health Fair complements what the newspaper offers in print.

“As The People’s Paper, The Star believes in serving the community and what better way than to help them lead healthy, active and productive lives,” he said.

In Penang, The Star also held a two-day health fair at the Straits Quay ending today.


Penang Fair Packed with healthy fun

The Star Health Fair kicks off at Straits Quay in Penang with something for everyone.

FROM yoga to Wing Chun and salsa to gymnastics, The Star Health Fair 2012 in Penang has something in store for everyone.

Starting today at one of Penang’s newest hotspots, Straits Quay, the two-day event is jam-packed with exciting events running from 7.30am to 10pm on both days.

Line dancing will kick off the fair’s schedule today on the scenic pro-menade facing the Straits Quay marina from 7.30am to 9am.

This will be followed by a mass aerobics session at Quay North at 8am. During this one-hour session, participants will get the chance to shake it loose using a variety of different styles and moves.

Kickboxing, Latin dancing, bhangra, senam silat, zumba, dang-dut, Thai dancing and Bollywood dancing are just some of the diffe-rent styles that will be incorporated into the lively session.

Events will then move into the Straits Court located just inside the mall’s entrance.

After a fitness demo, martial arts will take centre stage from 9.30am till noon.

Expect action-packed moves as self-defence exponents go all out to show their Silambam, Ip Man Wing Chun, Kendo, Jodo, Shao Lin, Jiu-Jitsu and Silat Cekak skills.

There will also be free health checks from 10am to 6pm at the Straits Court while free health talks will be conducted at the 1st floor lobby from 11am to 5pm.

Among topics that will be discussed are stress management, how to prevent and survive heart attacks, understanding cancer, and autism.

There will also be a talk on yoga while a mass family yoga session by yoga master Yogacharya Prof Prabhuji will be held at the main lobby from 5pm to 6pm.

Free refreshments will be offered throughout the fair, including Milo drinks and Fitnesse breakfast cereals from Nestle Products Sdn Bhd, drinking water from Keluarga Utama Sdn Bhd and F&N Seasons drinks from F&N Beverages Marketing Sdn Bhd.

These companies will have booths at the venue. Other participating companies such as Takasima and Tesco, hospitals and pharmacies will also have booths at the fair. The public can sign up as Tesco Clubcard members at the Tesco booth.

As the sun sets on Straits Quay today, it will be time to slip on those dancing shoes.

All visitors are invited to cha cha, samba, waltz and tango into the evening with the first of two dance performance sessions from 6pm at the main lobby.

The dancing will then move to the floating stage near the marina for the day’s finale with belly dancing, Bollywood dancing, Zumba and Pop Jazz.

Put on your walking shoes for the second day of the fair tomorrow as there will be a 3km Fun Family Walk. Participants will enjoy a brisk tour of Seri Tanjung Pinang that will kick off at 7.30am.

The walk is open to those aged 13 and above. Those interested to participate are requested to come early to book places as the event is limited to 500 walkers.

Those who complete the walk in an hour will be eligible for an attractive lucky draw where Sony tablet computers, global positioning system (GPS) devices, Takasima exercise equipment and Tesco vouchers will be among prizes up for grabs.

The lucky draw is also open to those who participate in The Star Health Fair 2012’s other mass activities such as the mass aerobics sessions and family yoga sessions.

Aside from a fitness demo and martial arts demo, Day Two of the fair also holds a Kids’ Segment at the main lobby.

During the one-hour session that starts at 5pm, Master Q and Friends will make an appearance followed by modern aerobics and gymnastic dancing, modern dancing and Latin for kids.

There will also be free medical checks on the second day from 10am to 6pm at the Straits Court and free health talks at the first floor lobby from 10.30am to 5pm.

Among the highlights of these sessions is a blood donation drive by Gleneagles Medical Centre and talks on qigong, traditional Indian health remedies, kidney transplants, knee arthritis, menopause and prostate cancer.

There will be dance performances from 6pm, first at the main lobby until 7pm followed by the floating stage from 7pm to 8pm. The dances include the genres of rumba, paso doble and jive.

The Star Health Fair 2012 is orga-nised by The Star and endorsed by the Penang Municipal Council.

Takasima and Tesco are the fair’s main sponsors, Straits Quay the official venue host, while Pantai Hospital Penang and Gleneagles Medical Centre, Penang, are the event partners.

Admission to the fair is free.

RM1.7b spent on generic drugs last year

The Sundaily April 7, 2012 Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai had his blood pressure checked by Columbia Asia nurse Muzarith Sofia after officiating the Health Fair, April 7, 2012. BERNAMApix

KUALA LUMPUR (April 7, 2012): Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said a total of RM1.7 billion was spent by the government last year in purchasing generic drugs, mostly to cater for the increasing number of non-communicable diseases (NCD) patients nationwide.

He said the government expected the expenditure would increase every year.

“Why the sudden increase… because of NCDs, because of high cholesterol, hypertension and so on. Patients have to take Levithol and all kinds of medicine. Everyday you have to take the medicine and it is very costly,” he told reporters after launching The Star’s Health Fair 2012 here today.

Liow explained that most of the generic drugs were supplied by local manufacturers but some were imported.

“It’s more cheaper (to use generic drugs), in fact this is the trend in the world now, most hospitals in the world are using generic drugs…efficiency of the drugs is the same and we can help more people. In Malaysia, in terms of percentage of generic drugs used, it is about 50%, “he said.

Thus in efforts to reduced the number of NCD patients Liow said the government was planning to organise 80 health carnivals at the community level nationwide by the end of this year to create awareness among the people to go for regular health screening every year.

He also recommended that Malaysians over the age of 30 instead of 40 undergo regular screening for NCD risk factors every year, due to many cases of NCD being detected in the early stages.

“This is important because NCDs do not kill you quickly. It is a silent group of diseases, slowly killing you with heart disease, kidney disease and much more,” he said, adding that one in seven Malaysians were diagnosed with diabetes.

Other than that, Liow said the government was also making efforts to train community and Neighbourhood Watch leaders to represent the ministry in conducting health screening at grassroots level.

He said a pilot programme on this had been conducted in Pahang and that it proven to be effective. — Bernama

Good dose of healthy fun


THOUSANDS of people spent their weekend in a healthy manner by making a beeline to Straits Quay in Tanjung Tokong, Penang, which was the venue for the inaugural The Star Health Fair 2012.

Activities started from as early as 7.30am and lasted till 10pm on both days.

Many took part in mass line dance and mass aerobics sessions.

There were also martial arts demonstrations such as lion dance, silambam, Ip Man Wing Chun, Japanese Kendo and Jodo, Shao Lin traditional martial art, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, silat cekak, kickboxing and praying mantis boxing.

Visitor Sharon Lim, 27, who was among those who witnessed the martial arts demonstrations, said she missed out the happenings on the first day.

“A friend from outstation visited me on Saturday. However, I made it a point to come today as I am a red belt holder in Taekwondo,” she said yesterday.

Family outing: Participants enjoying a leisurely walk during The Star Health Fair at Straits Quay.

Earlier, some 500 people turned up for the Fun Family Walk. They took a 3km walk around the Seri Tanjung Pinang.

Another 200 people also joined in the mass aerobics session at the North Quay.

There was also a blood donation drive to replenish the blood bank of Gleneagles Medical Centre.

Visitors also attended health talks on subjects such as ‘Stress Management’, ‘Understanding Cancer’, ‘Does My Child Have Autism’, ‘Menopause’, ‘Prostate Cancer’, and ‘Health Remedies Following Ancient Science and Vasthu Sastra (Indian Geomancy)’.

The kid’s segment where cartoon characters Master Q & Friends came to greet children was also a big crowd-puller.

Parents were as excited as their children to meet the characters and many opted for family photo shoots.

Crowd-puller: Ervin and Eelynn Kok keeping the audience mesmerised with their slick samba moves at Straits Quay’s main lobby.

Ballroom dancers took centre stage with several couples showing off silky moves in samba, cha cha, rumba, jive, waltz, tango and paso doble.

It was followed by sensual belly dance, Bollywood dance, pop jazz and also the exciting zumba party.

Infectious mood: The crowd joining in the Zumba dance party in the open air at Straits Quay.

On Saturday, more than 200 people turned up in the Straits Quay promenade to take part in the mass line dance.

Shirley Ong, 71, said line dancing had been her hobby for the past 12 years.

“It keeps my mind alert and it is also a good form of exercise. I also get the opportunity to mix with more young people,” she said.

An instructor Lily Tan, 47, said she picked up the dance 10 years ago as it was simple and suitable for people from all walks of life.

She added that she had incorporated other dance moves into line dancing.

“I visit other dance groups to exchange ideas. I also like to add in some ballroom dancing style,” the grandmother-of-two said.

Healthy beverages were provided to visitors by F&N Beverages Marketing Sdn Bhd and Keluarga Utama Sdn Bhd.

The fair was organised by The Star and endorsed by the Penang Municipal Council with Straits Quay as the official venue host.

Relaxing moment: Visitors trying out Takasima’s range of massage chairs on display.

Takasima and Tesco were the main sponsors while Pantai Hospital Penang and Gleneagles Medical Centre, Penang, were the event partners.

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