Dr Sim: Heart diseases ‘reach’ rural areas in Sarawak faster than roads

Dr Sim (centre) officiating at the World Heart Day 2022 at Swinburne University of Technology, Sarawak Campus today (Oct 1, 2022).

By Ling Hui

KUCHING, Oct 1: Deputy Premier Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian lamented that cardiovascular diseases ‘reach’ rural areas in Sarawak faster than basic infrastructure.

He said heart diseases and related health complications such as obesity are no longer found only in urban areas, but also among the rural people today.

“Unfortunately, as a consequence of lifestyle changes, heart diseases have reached the rural areas, faster than our infrastructure. It means our culture (lifestyle) needs to change.

“Nowadays, even the rural areas have obesity. I went to a longhouse in Engkilili and the rural people asked me for funding for new uniforms. I thought they had no uniforms.

“Then they said they need new uniforms because they can no longer fit in their old ones because they are now too fat,” he said.

Dr Sim, who is also Minister for Public Health, Housing and Local Government, thus urged the general public in both urban and rural areas to take care of their hearts because prevention is always better than cure.

On whether Sarawak has enough cardiologists, he said cardiologists are never enough because the number of patients are ever-increasing, be they young or old.

“How do we know it also affects the young as well? From heart transplant programmes. When those involved in car accidents donated their organs and hearts, we often found blocked arteries in teenagers.

“So, heart diseases affect all races and religions, as long as you’re human. Prevention is very important,” he said in his speech when launching the World Heart Day 2022 event at Swinburne University of Technology, Sarawak Campus here today.

Among those present were Sarawak Heart Foundation trustees Datuk Amar Jamilah Anu and Dato Sri JC Fong, Swinburne Interim Executive Dean (Academic) Prof Sim Kwan Yong and World Heart Day 2022 organising chairwoman Elizabeth Voong. — Dayakdaily