The usually quiet country town of Batu Kurau, near Taiping, turned into a hive of activity on Sunday, recently when a health fest was held for the first time at the town’s Arena Square. About 300 kampung folks turned up for free health programmes and screenings jointly organised by the Rotary Club of Taiping and Wanita Umno Larut.
They included breast cancer examinations, eye and dental checkups, blood tests for diabetes and blood pressure levels and general health screenings by specialists from both the government and private sector medical teams.
To add to the festivity was a vibrant senamrobic session, a novel health food and juice display competition, discounted sales of eyewear, promotion of herbal health supplements and an informative talk on breast cancer.
Deputy Foreign Minister, Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin, a local boy, was on hand to kick off the event. He said similar programmes should be organised more often in the Larut, Matang and Selama District as people in the countryside could benefit as well.
“More effort should be made to reach out to communities in rural areas who seldom get the opportunity for free health screenings due to the distance to health centres in the towns and Ipoh,” said Hamzah, who is also the MP for Larut.
Dr P. Suresh, from Apollo Medical Centre, Taiping, said due to shyness, women seldom come for free breast cancer screenings. He said they expected the examinations to be conducted by male doctors and this made them reluctant.
“They’ll only come in when it’s already too late,” he said, adding that from age 35 onwards, it was necessary to start having breasts checked, as the disease was quite prevalent nowadays. “And from 45 to 50, do it regularly, either at home or at the hospital,” he added.
Present at the event were Orang Kaya Menteri Paduka Wan Mohd Isa Dato Wan Mohd Razalli, Dato’ Dr Mohammad Amin Zakaria, state assemblyman for Batu Kurau and Executive Councillor for Education, Science, Environment and Technology and President of Rotary Club Taiping, Dato’ Mohd Zuhuri Ahmad.