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The Minister of Health, the Honourable Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohammad Isham bin Haji Jaafar, headed a delegation from Brunei Darussalam in attending The High-Level Meetings on the Fight Against Tuberculosis and the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases which were held on 26 September 2018 and 27 September 2018 respectively. Both High-Level Meetings, where the focus were on health, was convened during the 73rd Session of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, United States of America.


The High-Level Meetings were attended by head of states, health ministers and representatives from 193 member states of the United Nations (UN) as well as related international NGOs. The High-Level Meeting on the Fight Against Tuberculosis, the first ever to be convened, focused on the theme "United To End Tuberculosis: An Urgent Global Response To A Global Epidemic"; whilst The Third High-Level Meeting on the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases focused on the theme "Scaling-up multi-stakeholder and multisectoral responses for the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development".


In The Honorable Minister of Health's statement at the High Level Meeting on the Fight Against Tuberculosis, he acknowledged that TB continues to be the leading cause of death worldwide from a single infectious agent despite the considerable progress made in the past decade to reduce the burden of Tuberculosis (TB) across the globe. In Brunei Darussalam, the high numbers of people with chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and an ageing population who are more vulnerable to TB infection and reactivation, contribute to Brunei Darussalam's ongoing TB incidence even though much investments have been made in TB care and control. Therefore, an integrated approach that takes into account social issues as well as other diseases that increase the risk of acquiring TB must be undertaken if a decrease in TB incidence to be seen. The High Level Meeting on Tuberculosis unanimously adopted the Political Declaration on the Fight Against Tuberculosis titled "United to End Tuberculosis: An Urgent Global Response to a Global Epidemic".

In his statement for the Third High Level Meeting on Non Communicable Diseases, The Honorable Minister of Health outlines that challenges to curb the NCD epidemic remains for all countries and although some progress has been made since the First High Level Meeting on NCDs in 2011, a collective significant difference to the current global figures has yet to be achieved. With regards to this, Brunei Darussalam has undertaken several actions to address NCDs, including the formulation of the Brunei Darussalam Multisectoral Action Plan on the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases, BruMAP-NCD, 2013-2018. However, although the recent 10 NCD progress monitoring indicators showed that Brunei Darussalam is on track with surveillance and governance indicators, much still needs to be undertaken to address NCD risk reduction measures.  With the formation of the Multisectoral Task Force for Health, Brunei Darussalam is now focusing its efforts not only on addressing NCD risk factors but also on a more holistic, integrated life-course approach to address NCDs including ending childhood obesity and promoting mental health. The Political Declaration of the 3rd High Level Meeting of the General Assembly on the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases titled "Time to Deliver: Accelerating Our Response to Address NCDs for the Health and Well Being of Present and Future Generations" was also adopted by the Meeting.


The Honorable Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohamad Isham bin Haji Jaafar, while in New York also had bilateral discussions with His Excellency Katsunobu Kato, Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare, Japan and exchanging views as well as and exploring potential areas of cooperation on health between the two countries.



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Date                : 18 Muharram 1440  / 28 September 2018

Reference       : KK/JDP/IA/UN/11/01