The Ministry of Information and the World Health Organisation (WHO) are joining forces to raise awareness about non-communicable diseases (NCDs), with the aim of reducing the incidence of NCDs across the country.

The ministry and WHO recently conducted a meeting focused on “raising awareness through the media on healthy food and reducing salt intake”. This collaboration highlights an urgent need to educate the public on habits that can help prevent chronic diseases.

NCDs are chronic illnesses that can lead to disability, loss of labour, poverty and high healthcare costs. They often arise from factors such as tobacco use, alcohol consumption, unhealthy eating and a lack of exercise.

Pang Nath, an adviser to the information ministry and deputy director-general of National Television of Cambodia (TVK), emphasised the importance of this initiative.

“This initiative marks the first of many collaborations between TVK and WHO, along with the Ministry of Health, aimed at using the media to enhance and promote the health of the people,” he said.

“We hope that from now on, the information ministry will utilise the media to provide training on health skills. This will aid in the fight against NCDs and help to continuously raise awareness to those most at risk, contributing to the prevention of these diseases,” he added.

Khim Sam Ath, a representative of the WHO, also underscored the significance of the issue.

“It’s important because NCDs are not often a focus for people, yet they are a concern for both Cambodia and the world,” he said.

Nuth Sambath, president of the Institute of Medicine, Biology and Agriculture at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, praised the collaborative effort.

He said it is good that the information ministry and WHO have come together to use the media to raise awareness about NCDs.

He noted that although NCDs might not seem serious, they still pose a risk.

“We must take action. Even though the health ministry has already implemented measures, both national and local levels must be involved,” he told The Post on August 13.

“Each family, in particular, needs to actively participate in prevention and spread awareness of the effects of excessive smoking and drinking that lead to NCDs,” he added.

Sambath believes that if all media outlets consistently inform people about healthy living, it will lead to a more effective reduction in NCDs.