Thailand Ministry Of Public Health to Learn From Finland

According to Dr Pekka Puska, director-general of the Finnish National Public Health Institute, The Ministry of Public Health in Thailand should learn from Finland to reduce the prevalence of heart disease as A health ministry survey showed that the risk factor for heart disease was still high in Thailand, with residents in Bangkok having the highest risk rate  nearly 27 per cent.
“We have to change our risk behaviour such as smoking, drinking alcohol, or even eating snacks. We know it is hard to do, but we need more effort to achieve the goal,” Puska said. Unhealthy lifestyle was a risk factor for NCDs like coronary disease, stroke, peripheral vascular disease, cancer, he said.
The Finnish government also initiated labelling of products good for health with a heart symbol. “The government must have strong commitment to implement the plan and has to collaborate with other sectors as partners,” he said.
Dr Pradistchai Chaiseri, president of the Heart Association of Thailand under Royal Patronage, said the government should consider labelling healthy products, especially those good for the heart.
The association offered to allow food companies to use the heart symbol on products it deemed to be good for the heart but only 19 products from 12 companies have been registered since 2004.
“We need to urge the Big Brother-like snack-food companies to consider healthy products for people,” Pradistchai said. “Only 10 products have heart symbols on the label to show that they are good for health.”
Finland saw a rapid increase in cardiovascular and other noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) in the 1960s, which accounted for 508 deaths per 100,000 men and 102 deaths per 100,000 women aged between 35-64 years.
In 1972 the Finnish government in 1972 launched the “North Karelia Project” to change the unhealthy lifestyle of Finns and reduce the rate of heart disease, with great success. 
The National Public Health Institute of Finland created innovative activities to curb heart disease in North Karelia province as a pilot project and later implemented the plan at the national level.
The project promoted consumption of berries and vegetables, showed TV programmes on reducing risk, involved housewives, and even introduced village cholesterol-lowering competitions.

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