Maintain a healthy body for a healthy mind

A State Executive Councillor made the appeal for individuals to safeguard their physical, emotional and mental health, and to make time for themselves, family and exercise.

YB Chong Eng, the Penang Exco for Social Development and Non-Islamic Religious Affairs, was speaking to over 100 people during the International Women’s Day event themed ‘Healthy and Active Women’ held at Gleneagles Hospital Penang on 4 March 2023 . It was jointly organised by WOU and the State Women and Family Development Committee (JPWK).

YB Chong hopes the event will promote health awareness among women.

In her officiating speech, she cited statistics that indicated breast cancer, cervical cancer and colorectal cancer to be the most common cancers in Malaysian women. “Awareness is important so that we know how to care for ourselves,” she stressed. She urged women to see the doctor regularly for early detection and a higher chance of recovery.

In calling women to safeguard their health, and their mental and emotional wellbeing, she advised, “Go for annual health checks; embrace a healthy diet. Exercise, spend time with your family, and practise self-care. Only then can women increase their energy levels and become more productive, being able to meet life’s challenges and succeeding. Let us practise a healthy lifestyle. A healthy body equals a healthy mind.”

Exhorting women to protect their health.

YB Chong said the government and health authorities can only do so much, while the rest is up to the individuals to take care of their health.  She reiterated, “Everyone must make time for themselves, for their family and for exercise.”

She highlighted that in June 2022, the state government had approved guidelines for post-partum maternal care centres to monitor and safeguard the wellbeing and safety of the mother and infant during confinement. She mentioned the increasing need for such care centres among new parents, explaining that they represent an important support system for new mothers who do not have close family members to help them during the confinement period. 

Other programmes provided by the state government, she added, are free health screening at government health clinics, free mammogram and pap smears for early detection of cancer, and healthcare talks.  

Free BMI screening offered in conjunction with the event.

Earlier in her welcoming remarks, Gleneagles Hospital Penang chief operating officer Yong Zi Ling quoted the National Cancer Registry that breast cancer and cervical cancer were among the leading causes of death for Malaysian women with cancer.

She said that 43% of breast cancer patients in this country are only detected at the late stages. She encouraged women to seek advice and go for regular screening tests. “Early diagnosis improves cancer outcome while providing care at the earliest possible stage,” she said.

Yong advises early diagnosis for better recovery from cancer diseases.

Others present at the event included Penang Women’s Development Corporation (PWDC) chief executive officer Ong Bee Leng, Padang Kota constituency JPWK chairperson Datin Anna Yeoh, along with the Head of WOU’s Centre for Foundation Studies, Jasmine Emmanuel, and Dean of WOU’s School of Business and Administration, Prakash V Arumugam.

YB Chong with Yong, academics from WOU, and the other guests and attendees.
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