Heart-related diseases are among the leading causes of death in Malaysia and they contributed 17 per cent of the 18,515 recorded deaths in 2020, said Health director-general Datuk Dr Muhammad Radzi Abu Hassan.

He said expenses due to heart-related diseases also burden the country, based on the report titled ‘The Direct Healthcare Cost of Non-communicable Diseases in Malaysia’, published in 2022, that in 2017, it was estimated that RM3.93 billion out of a total of RM9.65 billion in healthcare used to treat heart patients.

“The cost is expected to continue to increase if appropriate measures are not taken to control and prevent the disease,” he said in a statement today in conjunction with the World Heart Day today.

In conjunction with this year’s World Heart Day, he said advocacy is focused on the importance of ensuring a healthy heart without any complications and therefore, the Ministry of Health (MOH) is working to strengthen prevention activities as well as early detection of risk factors so that early intervention and treatment can be provided.

Dr Muhammad Radzi said one of the main efforts undertaken was to introduce the National Health Screening Initiative (NHSI) in July 2022 which targeted 1.5 million Malaysians.

He said the screening activities were carried out at all health clinics through Peka B40 or through community programmes including Komuniti Sihat Perkasa Negara (KOSPEN) and screening programmes from home to home through the MADANI Afiat Programme.

“Since it was launched in July 2022, a total of 2,128,048 individuals have been screened of which a total of 1,111,568 individuals have been screened up to Sept 27, this year,” he said.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency