B40, M40 groups in Sabah to get free health screenings

KOTA KINABALU: The B40 and M40 groups in Sabah are eligible for free health screenings through a mobile programme implemented by the state government in collaboration with the Sabah Health Department beginning this year.

State Community Development and People's Wellbeing Minister Datuk James Ratib said the services which would be under the Sabah Maju Jaya (SMJ) initiative and monitored by the department aims to encourage residents to undergo health check-ups.

The programme, expected to commence in May, would be conducted by a government-appointed company in 10 districts covering the east, north, and central coastal areas.

"This is an excellent programme that provides free health screenings to all Sabah residents, regardless of ethnicity, nationality, religion, or residence.

"All health check-ups are free under the SMJ programme, initiated by my ministry with the guidance of Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor.

"The chief minister strongly supports this programme because, until now, the people in Sabah sometimes consider health screenings unimportant. However, in reality, if any disease can be detected early, we can find ways to treat it," he said during a media briefing after addressing his ministry's staff.

As part of the event, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the ministry and Borneo Sinarmas, the company overseeing the mobile health screening service.

Last week, Hajiji had announced the state cabinet's approval of the initiative for a phased implementation across all districts.

James said his ministry has prepared 10 mobile laboratories for health screenings in pioneer districts such as Kota Marudu, Ranau, Beluran, and coastal areas before expanding to all 28 districts in the state.

He said these health screenings would empower residents to take appropriate action if specific health issues are detected, including seeking assistance in obtaining treatment at clinics or hospitals.

"For example, if someone is found to have tuberculosis, we can report it to the nearby clinic or hospital regarding their health issues because it is with the Health Department.

"The screenings are open to all B40 and M40 whether they are young or elderly individuals. No appointments are required, but we will provide a schedule of movements for specific dates and locations," he added.

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