The anticipation is over!!! Just a week or so to see if our exam (Transition Phase) is a success or do we need to scale down on opening up. Definitely much different from the first wave when we re-opened then. The feelings are still mixed. But sooner or later, we will have to face the music and trust the process that the Brunei Government is doing their best they can for the country with a balanced act. We simply cannot just stay still in the pandemic/recovery phase for months and months as this alone will hurt Brunei in a longer run.
My DMs are suddenly on the rise, thinking I have reached a plateau for those seeking for responses. I was wrong. The transition phase is perhaps the “game changer” in our pandemic journey. To me, this could be the deal breaker if Brunei is able to handle the next stage and of course, this boils down to the cooperation from the people.
If I were to rewind back, the second wave felt like a huge test. It seemed like a long time ago even though it was just a matter of three months. Even with words of wisdom from our leaders in Brunei, it was not enough to slow down the infection rate. Clusters became a new trend especially home clusters. The Ministers had enough and implemented “Operasi Pulih”, two months after the second wave.
So with the re-opening of the economy, can we trust the people around us to adhere to the Standard of Procedures (SOPs)? Will we be more discipline than ever before? This, I believe, will be a huge test for Brunei after what we have learnt from the second wave. It’s never easy to change a mindset or habits but we just have to constantly remind people around us not to be “too complacent”.
If you ask me personally, I would practice restrain on certain things such as dining out or have social gatherings. Even with my favourite past time – catching movies – I won’t be rushing myself, playing catch up with the awesome line-up of movies at the cinemas. The only thing I would actually do is getting back to my routine which is tennis since it’s outdoor and not being in a confined space. Furthermore, tennis is a non-contact sport to begin with.
So here are some of the things we have learnt for the upcoming Transition Phase
- Businesses such as restaurants, cafes, gyms, salons to implement Business Continuity Plan, conducting Anti-Gen Rapid Test every two weeks and to practice controlled capacity (50%). Only those who are fully vaccinated (2 doses) will be able to enter.
- Restaurants can accept diners up to 50% of patronage. Maintained social distance gap of 1.5 metres. I believe if it’s from the same address then no social distancing required. However, let me double confirm on this matter. No buffet or dome setting allowed during your patronage.
- Green and yellow codes on your BruHealth app will be allowed to enter public places
- Only double vaccination individuals will be allowed to enter public places
- No need masks while eating/drinking in cafes/restaurants and no buffets allowed.
- Limitation of people in a premise – 50% or 200 pax whichever is lesser
- Staying home period will be from 10pm to 4am. We have an extra two hours in the evening during the Transition Phase. This will be from 19th November to 30th November.
- Weddings can be held at home from 10 pax to 30 pax, depending on the size of your house. No buffet to be served for sure. Suggest for packed food catering.
- For the Masjids/Suraus, only those 18 and above are allowed to enter. Need BruHealth and double vaccination. No need for identification but do make sure Wudhu from home. Cleaning and sanitizing will be done by every “waktu fardhu”. You are required to bring your own prayer mats. The quotas for masjid and suraus will be similar to that of the first wave.
- Daycare center are not allowed to be operating yet even during the Transition Phase. It is set to open during “Endemic Phase”, estimated sometime in December. However, the guidelines have already been given.
- Sports will be allowed but only for training purposes. The Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports will be handling out the guidelines for respective sports and leisure centres.
- There is no specific or indication on the numbers when the hospitalization rate hits a warning sign for the health care system.
- Unvaccinated civil servants will work from home during the Transition Phase. It’s still being discussed with these individuals will have to borne the usage of the ART kits if they return back to work in their unvaccinated condition.
- There are discussions where Quarantine Order will be revised for the Transition Phase. There is a possibility that the QO won’t be longer than the usual (14 days).
- Governmental dental services might not be in operation just yet as some of the government dentists are still helping out at the frontline.
- Temporary suspension on cross-border activities has been extended to 30th November except for those who have been granted approval from the Brunei Government.
- Vaccination hours have changed from 8am to 5pm at the Indoor Stadium Vaccination Centre.
- Construction workers with single dose of vaccine can still work in isolation such as road works or outside works. The same applies to those handling landscaping jobs. Those with one dose of vaccine are not allowed to conduct renovations at residences.
- Those caught outside the hours of Ops Peralihan will pay a fine of BND 500.
- Owners or Manager of the Premise or Event Organizer, should they exceed the human capacity of the given space, they will pay a fine of BND 5,000.
- Premises that allowed any individual to enter with only one vaccine then the owner or the manager of the space or the event organizer will have to pay a fine of BND 2,000.
- Those who haven’t completed their vaccination will pay BND 100 should they enter any premises.
- Employees or workers who are caught not wearing their masks will be fined BND 100.
The list will just get longer and longer but if you want to study more in depth, you can check out JPM’s website for updates and I am pretty sure it will be refined from time to time for the convenience and safety of the public.
Third week coming. Cases are still quite high considering our population. Even though in a 100 region cases, it’s considered high because of the high infection rate and it also has been confirmed that we already have the Delta variant which is a very infectious virus than the original variant.
The control measures are to continue up until early October. There are still people who have no regards for the control measures as we speak. Some would appear in public places when they should have been isolated at their own homes. I just hope that one day Ministry of Health will share information on those who has been compound or prosecuted for breaking the Quarantine Act. So it will be a great example so they can take such law seriously. I am even shocked when James Kon of Borneo Bulletin shared how he came across a +ve person, trying to enter the fish market recently because he had a purple code on his BruHealth app.
Yang Berhormat Dato Minister of Health also shared that if any government officer who broke the Quarantine Act Order will also be terminated from his or her employment. Hence this is regarded as a serious offence. So let’s play our part to fight and flatten the curve.
The virus is definitely here to stay and will be part of our daily lives. Only once we manage to get pass the mitigation stage and contain the virus, then only we can loosen up the restrictions and help restart the slow activity especially in Brunei economy’s status.
Vaccination program update. A huge blow to those who are supposedly booked for the 1st dose starting September due to the shortage of the Moderna vaccines. This was publicly announced yesterday by the Minster of Health during the press conference. Yang Berhormat reassures the public that the other supply of vaccines will be coming to Brunei soon and Brunei will reach 70% by the end of 2021. Yang Berhormat also apologizes to the disruption in the vaccination program
However, the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine will still and only be provided to the elderly, differently-abled, and pregnant women where they can get the first dose injections from any vaccination centres on a walk-in basis. However, it should be noted that the supply of vaccines for this group is limited. This doesn’t apply to breastfeeding mothers for now.
Those who already had their first doses, your bookings remain as scheduled and there will be adequate supply for those receiving the second dose.
As I have shared before on my IG live recap, we are supposed to receive 300,000 doses of Pfizer in the final quarter. It’s still not known what is the situation with the order. Yang Berhormat did highlight that it’s the accessibility to these vaccines that are delaying the vaccination program. With Brunei’s good relations with other countries, let’s hope we can expedite the process of receiving these vaccines. I like the idea how the Australia government have a swap initiative where they secured 500,000 doses of Pfizer from Singapore and they will send back to Singapore the same amount once they have the orders later in December. Who knows the Brunei government can work a similar deal. Then again, every country has their priorities to protect their citizens.
As of now, we are only at 22% for those who are fully immunised (with two doses). The rate percentage per day is averaging at 0.6 and if you do that Maths, it will be less than 90 days to hit the 70% mark. That, of course, if we have access to the Pfizer vaccine as well. So let’s hope for the best and once we reach herd immunity, we shall see what plans the Brunei Government has in store for us.
Extension of vaccination centers. Some suggested to have more vaccination centres within the district but Yang Berhormat said it will be near impossible should the government were to execute this. There are many things to consider – the paramedics, the specialized cold storage for Moderna, the man power, space and a few more. These are not easily accessible with our current resources. Hence having it at dedicated vaccination centre, it will be a better in the economy scale of things for Brunei.
The 2nd wave impact. Definitely a much more devastating impact that the first one. To date, we have recorded an additional 8 deaths in a span of 3 weeks as compared to the 3 deaths in the 15-month period. Furthermore, it was confirmed that the variant is Delta which is much more infectious than the original variant. In just a span of three weeks, cases have broke the 2,000 mark which is considered high for our population.
The good news is that the majority of the cases are in Category 1 and Category 2 where they are mostly asymptomatic or having just mild symptoms. More than half in Category 1 have been isolating themselves at the confinement of their own rooms due to logistics and centers being overwhelmed. As we speak, newer isolation centers have been identified with the latest being at Mahad, Tutong which can accommodate up to 338 patients.
As for the number cases where it’s on a downward trend, it is still early to say as the results of the swab tests are still not a true reflection as 94 positive cases from the 146 cases reported recently was based on the second swab during their 12th day of isolation whereas the 50+ cases are results from 24 hours ago. Let’s we come to a stage where numbers won’t be multiplying and Yang Berhormat Dato keeps emphasizing those on Quarantine Order to stay put at home “Teranah di Rumah” because there are those who still snuck out of their homes and this will simply disrupt the plans for us to move forward by reducing control measures phase by phase.
Insurance. Speaking of vaccines, I want tot share the Great Eastern Brunei has an insurance product that covers that vaccination. Basically once you are vaccinated, you can get special coverage. I did ask about insurance during the press conference where should one who are vaccinated get better and reasonable premium fees for their insurance since they are considered low risk to those who are unvaccinated. It’s a pretty new ball game and I know Delta Airlines will charge their unvaccinated employees an extra $200 per month. So this could be a game changer but it’s still early days to know how the insurance company in Brunei sees about this or even business entities.
Singapore will be introducing the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) and guess what… Brunei is part of Singapore’s VTL which means we can fly to Singapore with certain conditions and criteria. Travel insurance is one of their criteria and should cover a minimum of BND 30,000 for Covid-19 related medical treatment and hospitalization cost before they travel to Singapore. Speaking of travel, yea, the first country for me to visit, once everything has settle down, is definitely Singapore.
Oyen the celebrity. Despite the second wave, there’s always a silver lining and that is Oyen. The orange adorable cat made its debut on social media on August 10 and the responses have been overwhelming and welcoming. It has taken Brunei by storm and kudos to the Ministry of Health for creating such an iconic mascot.
However, there have been a public backlash for those who have been in a way, profiting from selling merchandise with Oyen’s image without the consent of the Ministry. When being confronted, some of the vendors would go to an extent to redesign Oyen which again can be considered plagiarism as the redesign is still an inspiration from the original artist.
It then came to the attention of the Ministry and they were kind enough for those who are interested to use Oyen in their merchandise, they can simply contact through email email@example.com
On that note, Ministry of Health, Brunei is collaborating with Ophthalmology Society and Edy Aswandi (the original creator of Oyen) in selling the official Oyen face masks at 7pm on the 3 September. Just visit https://bruneieyesociety.com/ to pre-order your Oyen mask. The proceeds will go to the Covid-19 relief funds.
Less support the students. Another device donation campaign is being carried out by the Ministry of Education in collaboration with Ministry of Transport and Infocommunications (MTIC) and the Authority for Info-communications Technology Industry of Brunei Darussalam (AITI). The campaign aims to support online learning and to help students in need as an effort in addressing the impact of the second wave in Brunei Darussalam.
The Device Donation Campaign will take place until 30 September 2021 from 8:30am to 11:30am except for Friday, Sunday and public holiday. Check out the posters for more details on how to donate. Their target is to reach 5,000 devices to the students and last year they managed to raise almost 1,700 devices. Your contribution is much appreciated.
Mental health. Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD) is collaborating with Health Promotion Centre (HPC) to promote and raise awareness about mental health among the people of Brunei amidst the local Covid-19 situation and as a long-term plan as part of its partnership to promote health and well-being. T
he collaboration will help promote awareness and education on mental health issues which will be uploaded on BIBD’s and HPC’s Mind Your Mind social media channels. “The re-emergence of the Covid-19 situation in Brunei has caused a huge impact on all of us, in which a number of changes had to be made in order to curb the spread of Covid-19,” said Nor Syahmun binti Hj Matassan, Clinical Psychologist and Mental Health Strategy Lead at the Health Promotion Centre.
“These changes and uncertainty unfortunately can lead to stress, anxiety, fear, and lack of motivation for many of us. Although this is a common and normal reaction during a pandemic situation, it must be addressed. It is more important now than ever, for us and the whole Bruneian community, to mind our mind and maintain good mental health and well-being,” she added.
“We, the Ministry of Health through the Mind your Mind Brunei Team at Health Promotion Centre is grateful to have this opportunity to work and collaborate together with BIBD and Community for Brunei to share series of tips and strategies that can hopefully help everyone maintain good mental health and well-being especially during these challenging times.”
The Ministry of Health would like to highlight and remind the public to not hesitate to ask for professional help if anyone is feeling stressed and overwhelmed by the current situation. They may contact the mental health professionals at Talian Harapan 145 for support, every day from 8.00am to 11.00pm
My view: This is a great outlet especially for those who are experiencing this. During the first wave, it hit me really hard – mentally, emotionally and physically because the fear and anxiety of the virus. I was worried about my well-being and also my family members. I can relate also to a few of my friends who under went quarantine at the National Isolation Centre and they probably had it worst due to the restrictions in place and also being confined to a smaller area than usual for a minimum of two weeks.
So, do reach out the number 145 and hopefully they can assist you. Let’s not take mental health for granted.
It feels surreal. That’s the only word to describe. I have always remained optimistic on the situation in Brunei Darussalam. So many praises (and some envies) from my neighbouring friends on how we are living our lives on a normal basis – no masks, little attention to social distancing, mass gatherings, crowded malls etc. Basically we are enjoying in our own majestic bubble. It came to a point that I sometimes feel that we are invincible to the pandemic.
After more than 15 months of being free from local transmission, 7 new local cases were reported yesterday. The first five, Case 340 to Case 344, were linked to a hotel used for quarantine purposes. It was known that the 5 cases had no travel history in recent months and there is a likelihood this particular cluster has been exposed to one of the imported case recently.
Now here is where it got me curious. The other cases (case 345 & case 346) are isolated local cases and the source of the infection has yet to be identified and still under investigation. One is believed to be from a school and the other one from a district. Once the Ministry of Health have the correct information, they will definitely share accordingly.
According to Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dj Hj Mohd Isham bin Hj Jaafar, there is a possibility that there was a breach of standard operating procedures (SOPs) which led to the new local transmissions.
With the new local transmissions and 3 new clusters, with the consent of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, there will be control measures for the next two weeks to combat the local transmissions. These measures are something we were already accustomed to back in 2020.
Here are the following control measures :
- Mass gatherings are capped at 30 pax.
- Mosques, suraus, and places of worship to be closed.
- Online learning will commenced for schools, other educational institutions, tuition classes, music classes and special needs classes
- Restaurants will be limited to takeaway and delivery, with no dine-in allowed.
- Recreational centres including gyms, cinemas, internet cafés, playgrounds, leisure centres, museums and galleries to be closed.
- Beauty salons and barber shops to be closed.
- Businesses have been urged to implement a work-from-home policy (business continuity plan), allowing only essential workers on physical premises.
- Masks are now mandatory and to be worn indoor at public places and also outdoor
Attending the press conference yesterday was already surreal. It was like waiting to sit for my final exams and not knowing which questions will popped up. I was running numbers in my head. Will it be 2 new cases, 5 new cases? I was just feeling anxious as everyone else. Even the false information of the poster was circulated around to stir more unnecessary drama.
All I can say is I just felt overwhelmed with the unverified and verified information yesterday. Last time, it took a toll on me and I wasn’t in a good shape, mentally, emotionally and physically. The new wave have taught me something and this time, I feel that I am able to handle the pressure once again as a source of information to the public.
It’s beyond our control that the re-instated control measures have already disrupted wedding functions, running/sporting events, expos and many more. Even my upcoming B3 Doubles Tennis Invitational Charity Cup 2021 is put on hold until further notice. With all these setbacks, the highest priority is the safety and health of our nation and nothing is bigger than this. I do hope those affected can understand the latest development and we should be very blessed and appreciative on how the Brunei Government especially the Ministry of Health have been championing this cause to combat the spread since Day 1.
I have been getting reports from witnesses that the people are still visible at crowded places and some are not even wearing masks or adhering to the SOPs. Then again, this latest development was just less than a day old so let’s hope the business retailers step up their game and enforce the SOPs accordingly for the safety of the public. I believe the Ministry of Health will carry out “Operasi Merati” on business premises and take stern actions to those who don’t comply to the SOPs set by the Ministry of Health. It’s also being shared that the Royal Brunei Police Force are also monitoring in public places and setting up road blocks to remind people to wear masks.
I urged all my friends and families to stay home for now or if you do go out to adhere to the SOPs from the Ministry of Health. I alone cannot fight this but with all of us, with the same vision, we can fight the spread and save the nation.
Devin Edwards, Chief Marketing Officer of Progresif with Wu Chun, Managing Director of Fitness Zone, during the exchange of documents as Progresif being the title sponsor for “Fitness Zone New Me Transformation Challenge 2019”
I remember the days of B.Fit organized by b•mobile (defunct) and Fitness Zone back in 2012. Whoaa. That’s like 7 years ago. Now there is a different and better version known as the “Fitness Zone New Me Transformation Challenge 2019”, an initiative by Fitness Zone Managing Director, Wu Chun.
FZ is always looking ways to create and faster an environment that will make Bruneians fitter and healthier by changing their habits and lifestyle. Wu Chun has seen how social media has been distracting many of us in our daily habits.
“Internet and social media seems to get out of control and that what makes people get lazy sometimes. Spending 30 minutes on just scrolling down on our feeds, we could use it more productively by working out, “ said Wu Chun.
Doing exercise is a good initiative and it could be a life decision benefit and also allow one to be prioritize his or her life on what is more important that could reap you in a long run.
This time, Fitness Zone, has engaged Progresif as the Title Sponsor for the “Fitness Zone New Me Transformation Challenge 2019”.
The transformation challenge is set to fun from April to October 2019, limiting to 300 participants for each category. Each month, an elimination process will be undertaken after the Weigh-In session.
Venue: Fitness Zone Kiulap.
Registration Period: 8th March to 31st March 2019
Challenge period: 1 April to 12 October 2019
There will be a $50 fee to join this competition and do see the poster to see what is inclusive in the $50 registration fee.
The old bFit competition back in 2012. The winner was Azim and now he is a successful spinning instructor.
The good old days when bFit was very popular.
Mr. Santosh Kumar Sahoo, General Manager of Yashoda Hospital, Dr. (Prof) Balachandran Menon, Director of Liver Transplant of Yashoda Institute of Liver Transplant & Hepatobiliary Diseases, Dr. Kabeer Meera Saheeb, Medical Director of Jerudong Park Medical Centre and Mr. Varghese Paulose, Chief Operating Officer of Jerudong Park Medical Centre during the press conference on establishing organ transplant around in Borneo region
It is a great movement to announce, living donor liver transplantation facility is soon made available in Brunei Darussalam through Jerudong Park Medical Centre (JPMC) and Yashoda Hospitals, India.
As we all know Yashoda Hospitals is with one of best track record for best organ transplant program and since three decades, Yashoda Group of Hospitals has evolved as a centre of excellence in medicine providing the highest quality standards of medical treatment to patients.
“This partnership will further improve the quality and effectiveness of health care for all Bruneians and make Brunei Darussalam among one of the medical tourism destination for quality patient care, we are committed to provide an optimal treatment and to ensure that all our patients have the most pleasant stay possible at JPMC.” said Mr. Varghese Paulose, Chief Operating Officer of JPMC. “JPMC provides the most effective health care services, as well as individual attention and personal dedication from doctors and staff who foster patient’s confidence and hope.” he added.
“This joint medical partnership will bring a team of highly trained specialists with many decades of combined experience and continues a tradition of excellence with leading-edge health care capabilities, a team of experienced professionals, a team approach to patient care designed for your comfort, hope and most important of all, healing.” said Dr. Kabeer Meera Saheeb, Medical Director of JPMC. “This joint venture involves local medical and nursing personals. There will be technology transfer over 5 years for the advancements of surgical intensive care, radiological and laboratory services.” added Dr. Kabeer.
The Liver Transplant facility at JPMC, the clinical pathway jointly offers by Yashoda Group of Hospitals, India and JPMC.
Ministry of Health, Brunei Darussalam will be involved actively in pre-operative evaluation and screening for liver transplants and post-operative management to improve health for successful liver transplant outcomes.
The doctors from Yashoda Hospital, Jerudong Park Medical Centre and RIPAS hospital coordinates the care for optimal pre and post-operative treatment.
To support the transplant care, JPMC will have a transplant coordinator who will work closely with doctors, patients, relative and donor throughout transplant care.
“Adult patients with end-stage liver diseases such as liver cirrhosis, liver cancer and acute fulminant hepatic failures and pediatric patients with congenital liver cirrhosis, biliary atresia, and metabolic liver diseases are all indications for liver transplantation. Whether or not recipients are good candidates for liver transplantation is determined by examining and analyzing each patient’s medical condition and characteristics.” said Dr. (Prof) Balachandran Menon, Director of Liver Transplant of Yashoda Institute of Liver Transplant & Hepatobiliary Diseases.
Dr Balachandran highlighted, “The liver is an organ that can be transplanted in part or in whole. Patients can receive a portion of the liver from family members. The donor’s remaining liver regenerates, allowing for the donor to lead a normal healthy life without risks. A donor and recipient must be of similar build and should have compatible blood types, and possibility for donation is determined after thorough examinations. A donor whose liver functions are normal and healthy is qualified as a donor candidate as long as the liver is without illness, infection and cancer.”
How long the patient’s need to be hospitalized
Patients will stay in the hospital for around three to five weeks after liver transplantation and will have regular outpatient visits after discharge. To prevent complications of organ transplantation, all patients must take an immunosuppressant drug every day.
It’s pretty cool to see JPMC offering such services which will kick off hopefully in the first quarter of 2019. The specalists from Yashoda Group of Hospitals saw the opportunity to collaborate with JPMC and this will also help to bring international patients to Brunei waters which provides a great environment especially for recovery. It was also mentioned that the liver donor is ideally between the age of 18 to 50.
Did you know that our liver even cut in half can still grow in a whole liver overtime? Interesting. So it makes sense why liver can be transplanted to another person just as long as the liver has no complications.
Mingling with the doctors
Wu Chun, Managing Director of FitnessZonem, Ken Han of OMNI Sports International, Deon Ong of Yippy Tunes and Jo Jo Yim from Yippy Tunes with the kids who participated in the Fitness Zone Summer Camp
Ken Han giving his closing remarks and thanking the wonderful kids from the successful summer camp
A total of 46 children aged between 5 to 10 years old participated in The Fitness Zone Summer Camp, a 3-in-1 holiday camp which took place from 9th July to 11th August 2018. In this unique holiday camp, participants had the opportunity to explore different types of art, music and sports. The end of the programme was marked by a showcase event held on 3rd September 2018, where the skills, talents and works of the campers were shared with the public.
Gaby Chin, Fitness Zone Summer Camp Director said, “As a camp coordinator, watching the children come back day after day with excitement and running to show me the work they’ve created has been one of the most impactful results of the camp. Our FZ Summer camp showcases a promising hand full of upcoming talented stars!”
The Fitness Zone Summer Camp 2018 was a collaboration between Fitness Zone, OMNI Sports International, Jo Art Gallery and Yippy Tunes. It was designed to allow campers to explore new skills, uncover special talents and nurture the entire potential of the child.
Fitness Zone provided dance and exercise sessions to help nurture an active lifestyle. Wu Chun, Managing Director of the health club said in a statement that “This is a well rounded camp where children learned, creativity, fitness and being part of a community. Sports help girls and boys build patience and confidence. They learn that they can practice, improve until achieve goals” he concluded.
Similarly, OMNI sports developed knowledge and skills for basketball and other sports that build confidence and encourage teamwork. Yippy Tune, a multi-award winning music school, provided voice and keyboard lessons whereas Jo Art Gallery, an arts and crafts academy taught campers creative skills such as brush lettering and watercolour painting. The programme was also supported by The Energy Kitchen, Progresif Pay and Beza Creative.
“Being part of the summer camp was really fun for me as one of the teachers,” said Deon Ong from Yippy Tune. “Music activity helps the kid’s mind and body work together. Exposing them to summer camp helps them to cultivate social skills and boost their self-esteem. Singing and music movement to music helps children build motor skills while allowing them to practice self-awareness and confidence,” she added.
The diversity of the participants also created an interesting experience for the coordinators. Jo Jo Yim, from Jo Art Gallery, said, “(The kids were from) various ages and nationalities. We taught them art but got to learn about them as well…the camp served as an eye opener for most of our teachers.”
Gaby Chin believes the camp has played an important role in the participants’ character-building, giving them the opportunity to explore their potential in different disciplines and form many friendships.
During the five-week summer camp, participants were able to join for any number of days, from just one day to the entire camp duration. The next multi-disciplinary holiday camp is planned to take place at the end of the year.
The parents and kids attending the certificate ceremony at Energy Kitchen last weekend
One of the participants of the Fitness Zone Summer Camp
One of the participants of the Fitness Zone Summer Camp
All smiles from the kids
The kids showcasing their artwork to their parents at Jo Art Gallery
During the summer camp session at Yippy Tunes
The basketball session during the Fitness Zone Summer Camp
The kids displaying their masterpieces at Jo Art Gallery
Dr Dk Siti Nur’Ashikin Pg DP Hj Tengah, Director of Brunei Neuroscience Stroke & Rehabilitation Centre and a Consultant Neurologist speaking to the media during the press conference last Friday at Pantai Jerudong Special Centre
The 13th July 2018 marks the historic occasion of the first mechanical thrombectomy (clot removal) for stroke to be successfully executed in Brunei. The procedure was carried out on a 33-year-old male patient, Mr Hii Hin Chung, in a collaborative effort between the Brunei Neuroscience Stroke & Rehabilitation Centre (BNSRC) and the Radiology Department of the Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha Hospital, Ministry of Health.
Stroke occurs as a result of lack of blood flow to an area of the brain either due to a blockage from a clot (ischaemic stroke) or through bleeding into the brain (haemorrhagic stroke). The main risk factors for stroke are high blood pressure (hypertension), high cholesterol, diabetes mellitus, smoking and family history.
Stroke (or cerebrovascular diseases) has been recorded as the 4th leading cause of death in Brunei Darussalam (after cancer, heart disease and diabetes mellitus) from 2012-2016 according to national health statistics published by the Ministry of Health. In 2016, stroke accounted for 7.5% of all deaths in the country. However perhaps of even greater significance is the impact caused by disability as a result of the stroke. This could include weakness of limbs, loss or impairment of speech. The resultant disability is evident in the burden of care as well as loss of employment/income either through having the stoke or being the stroke carer.
According to the Director of BNSRC, Dr Dk Siti Nur’Ashikin Pg DP Hj Tengah who is also a Consultant Neurologist, “… the impact of stroke not just on the individual but also the community should be taken very seriously …. Whilst we always advocate for stroke prevention, once a stroke has happened, I urge patients to attend hospital Emergency Department as soon as possible because the faster we are able to treat a stroke the more likely our treatment will be effective ….. Treatment decisions do depend on stroke type but thrombectomy offers an exciting, new option for stroke treatment that can significantly reduce not just death but also disability.”
Mr Hii Hin Chung (3rd from left) went through a clot removal procedure
Image of the blood clot of the patient that was removed
Mr Hii, a car parts salesman, was discovered at 2.30pm on 13th July 2018 by work colleagues and found to have left-sided weakness. He was brought to the Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha Hospital by ambulance and was subsequently transferred to BNSRC where scans confirmed a stroke on the right side of his brain. Clot-busting treatment (thrombolysis) was given with good effect initially however there was concern that his brain scan showed a blockage to blood flow. The patient was escorted to RIPAS Hospital by Dr Chan Guan Choon, Neurology Medical Officer at BNSRC who reported that Mr Hii’s speech was slurred and his left arm and leg were both weak.
At the Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha Hospital Mr Hii underwent angiography carried out by Dr Sankarakumar Sambandamurthy, Consultant Radiologist, assisted by Dr Lim Kian Chai, Consultant Radiologist and Head of the Department of Radiology. They identified a long clot which they were able to extract using a special suction device.
Mr Hii was then transferred back to BNSRC where he was monitored initially on the Neuro-Intensive Care Unit before being moved to the Neurology Ward for further treatment and rehabilitation. Mr Hii made a good recovery and on discharge he was able to manipulate objects with his left hand well and was able to walk independently. He continues to have outpatient rehabilitation and will be followed up in the Neurology Clinic.
The Director of BNSRC, Dr Dk Siti Nur’Ashikin Pg DP Hj Tengah went on to say “This is a great example of successful stroke treatment through early action, skilled workforce and good cooperation between healthcare institutions in Brunei Darussalam …. we are extremely grateful to the Government of His Majesty, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan Negara Brunei Darussalam for supporting such endeavours that directly benefit patients needing treatment for stroke”.
BNSRC and the Ministry of Health continue to work closely together in efforts to combat stroke and later this year plan to launch a campaign targeted at stroke prevention as well as treating stroke early.
1. You can reduce your risk of stroke by stopping smoking and by having your blood pressure, sugar and cholesterol checked and treated if the levels are high.
2. Stroke is largely treatable — but you have to get help fast. If you spot F(ace drooping), A(rm weakness) or S(peech difﬁculty), it’s T(ime to call 991). To learn more about the warning signs of stroke, visit StrokeAssociation.org
Dato Seri Laila Jasa Dr Babu Sukumaran, Medical Director of Pantai Jerudong Specialist Centre (PJSC) cum Director of The Brunei Cancer Centre, Dr Mazrul Adimin bin Hj Awg Besar, Executive Director of PJSC and Dr Jamsari bin Khalid, Consultant Radiation Oncologist and Head of Radiotherapy Department during the press conference for surgical advancement and radiotherapy service at PJSC
Pantai Jerudong Specialist Centre (PJSC) opened its doors to the media representatives across Brunei to speak on the latest surgical advancement in the field of radiotherapy this morning.
Chaired by the Executive Director of PJSC, Dr Mazrul Adimin bin Hj Awg Besar, the other members of the panel were Dato Seri Laila Jasa Dr Babu Sukumaran, Medical Director of PJSC cum Director of The Brunei Cancer Centre and Dr Jamsari bin Khalid, Consultant Radiation Oncologist and Head of Radiotherapy Department.
Also in attendance were Mr Varghese Paulose, the Chief Operating Officer of PJSC and Ms Vivian Tie, Hospital Administrator of PJSC and other staff members.
During the press conference, members of panel highlighted on the latest development and services provided by the Radiotherapy Department. Under the purview of The Brunei Cancer Centre (TBCC) at PJSC, they expressed their pride in making headway in the field of Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS) and Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy (SBRT). In brief, both the SRS and SBRT treatment are non-surgical ablative radiation used to treat tumours of the brain that is not accessible when conducting open surgery. In comparison to traditional radiation therapy, it delivers precisely-targeted radiation in fewer high-dose treatments than traditional therapy without affecting the surrounding healthy tissue.
Invited guests and media during the press conference
The new advanced Varian Edge which conducts radio surgical treatment that is frameless, non-invasive, fast and accurate
The radiotherapy department started functioning in 2016, where highly skilled clinical team have utilised highly advanced equipment and tailor-made techniques to treat specific cancer diseases. To date, they have treated more than 600 cases ever since it opened.
Armed with two new state-of-art linear accelerators namely the Varian Trubeam and Varian Edge, brachytherapy equipment, a CT-simulator and 3D treatment planning system, the department also conducts radio surgical treatment that is frameless, non-invasive, fast and accurate. In the past, it would have taken more than 2 hours to deliver treatment to the patient, however with the new technology provided at PJSC, treatment normally 5-10 mins.
The panel also elaborated on the recent referral case conducted by the radiotherapy clinical team as the team now embarks on handling their first few paediatric cases.
Amongst others, TBCC’sradiotherapy servicesincludesthe Image Guided Radiotherapy (IGRT), Volumetric Intensity Modulated Arc Therapy (Rapid Arc) and Conventional and 3-D conformal radiotherapy. Due to these advancement, number of patient cases sent overseas to get treatment has tremendously dropped. PJSC prides in providing a facility fully equipped to provide the best cancer care to the citizens of Brunei Darussalam. This is also in line with the vision and mission of the centre in working together to lead a specialized medical centre that provides the highest standard of healthcare practices.
Pantai Jerudong Specialist Centre (PJSC) is a specialized medical centre situated in Jerudong. It consists primarily of three centres of excellence namely The Brunei Cancer Centre (TBCC), Brunei Neuroscience Stroke and Rehabilitation Centre (BNSRC) and Maxillofacial, Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Centre (MFPRSC).
Mr Brian Koo, CEO of CUCKOO Korea and Mr. K.C. Hoe, CEO of CUCKOO Malaysia doing the honours for the Cuckoo’s 40th anniversary celebration at Seoul Dragon City, Korea last Wednesday.
CUCKOO unveiled the new ambassador for CUCKOO, Lee Seung Gi, who sang two numbers to delight of the attendees
2017 was an excellent year for CUCKOO Brunei. The year in which Cuckoo International Brunei reached many milestones, including the successful introduction of a flexible dual package plan, known as CUCKOO’s UP PLAN, which was launched in January 2018.
These plans were thoughtfully designed to allow Bruneian families from all walks of life to effortlessly own CUCKOO appliances – and enjoy the higher standard of life that comes with them – without overburdening themselves financially. The market’s response was positive beyond expectations, allowing CUCKOO Brunei to achieve results that were Beyond Standards:
“We wouldn’t have been able to achieve such results without the efforts of my highly supportive team, who believed in our vision,” said Mr Wong Kim Guan, Managing Director of Cuckoo Brunei. Within 18 months, CUCKOO Brunei has already opened 9 brand stores, and Garnered over 3,500 households, generating a revenue of 2 million Brunei dollars.
“Greater plans are coming ahead in 2018 for Cuckoo Brunei, where we aim to provide better plans and services to meet greater expectations,” Said Wong Hui Ting, Marketing Director of Cuckoo Brunei.
The priceless selfie taken by the Korean celebrity
Mr Wong Kim Guan, Managing Director of CUCKOO Brunei receiving award for the Country Arising Sales Award. I’m quite proud to see Brunei on the map.
CUCKOO Brunei team witnessing the 40th anniversary
Members of the media from Brunei 😀
I made great connections with these bunch 😀
I’m proud of Guan and Hui Ting for your efforts in making CUCKOO a household name in Brunei Darussalam
In 2016, CUCKOO has penetrated into the south east Asian markets like Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, and Indonesia. “Our sights are set on expanding the CUCKOO brand to Vietnam, India and Indonesia in 2018. We estimate that our overseas ventures will bring in an annual revenue of USD150 million in 2018, and a total of USD1 billion in the next 5 years. So, we will continue to increase our presence in overseas markets and focus our efforts on the global expansion of the CUCKOO brand,” revealed Mr Brian Koo, CEO of CUCKOO Korea, at CUCKOO’s 40th anniversary celebration.
Held at Seoul Dragon City, CUCKOO’s 40th anniversary celebration was attended by over 500 CUCKOO employees and media personnel from Korea, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore and Indonesia on 7 March 2018.
CUCKOO is a well-known home appliance brand from South Korea. In South Korea, a CUCKOO water purifier is sold every minute and a CUCKOO rice cooker is sold every 10 seconds. Today, CUCKOO has successfully extended its operations to 30 countries across 5 continents. In 2017, CUCKOO’s global turnover hit a record of USD $760 million.
In August 2016, CUCKOO Brunei joined the CUCKOO family. Within 18 months, CUCKOO Brunei has sold countless water purifiers to Bruneians through a revolutionary ownership plan, and also introduced multi-cookers and air purifiers to the Bruneian audience. In 2017, CUCKOO Brunei accumulated 3,500 Bruneian customers and thus, opened over 9 brand stores nationwide.
For more information about CUCKOO, please call the CUCKOO Careline at +673 2333330 or visit www.cuckoobrunei.com or CUCKOO BRUNEI’s official Facebook page.
Unveiling three new markets for CUCKOO – India, Indonesia and Vietnam
Hello Seung Gi
Does this count as a selfie? haha
He is the new ambassador and I can’t believe loads of Bruneians are crazy for him
I’m impressed with the JS Drummers on the opening segment
His Majesty the Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam delivered his titah last evening. Image courtesy of Hakim Hayat of Borneo Bulletin.
His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam in a titah reminds those entrusted with rank or authority not to use them to oppress others.
The Monarch says oppression or tyranny will never be allowed in Brunei Darussalam because it an enemy of the country and there will be no compromise in dealing with it. His Majesty emphasises the matter in a Titah in conjunction with Prophet Muhammad’s Sallallahu ‘Alaihi Wasallam birthday celebration which was broadcast by Radio Television Brunei earlier this evening. In the titah, His Majesty also reminds that any effort to dispute or belittle the Maulid Ar-Rasul Shallallahu ‘alaihi Wasallam will face legal action not simply advise or religious propagation. Source: RTB News
By command of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, it is hereby announces that His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam has consented to the appointment of Yang Mulia Dato Paduka Dr Haji Md Isham bin Jaafar, Executive Director, Medical Director and Member of the Board of Jerudong Park Medical Centre, Jerudong, as Minister of Health to replace Yang Mulia Dato Seri Setia Doctor Awang Haji Zulkarnain bin Haji Hanafi.
I know of Dato Paduka Dr Haji Md Isham through his work at Jerudong Park Medical Centre as I have covered a few of JPMC events with his presence. He is a very dedicated worker and many have commended him of his leadership for JPMC.
Dato Dr Isham graduated from Dundee University, Scotland in 1995. Following his housemanship in Dundee, he worked at Glasgow University as a lecturer, teaching Anatomy. Then, he proceeded to do his surgical rotation in England before returning to Brunei. From his vast experience in General Surgery, he later specialized in Cardiothoracic Surgery in the biggest cardiac hospital in region, Institute Jantung Negara (IJN). Following that he did his Fellowship at Papworth Hospital Cambridge, United Kingdom. He has been a consultant in Brunei since 2005.
In his spare time, he enjoys playing golf and most of the racquet sports (badminton, tennis and table tennis).
Yang Mulia Dato Seri Setia Doctor Awang Haji Zulkarnain bin Haji Hanafi was sworn in as the Minister of Health on the 22nd October 2015. That meant he would only have served two years as a Minister for the Brunei Government. It’s perhaps the shortest duration for a ministerial post that I have came across. I knew him during his UBD Vice-Chancellor’s days. He was promoted to Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Education before being appointed as the Minister of Health in 2015.
The replacement has come to a shock to myself and many others as the usual reshuffling of the cabinet ministers happens every 5 years which is supposedly in 2020. With the sudden replacement, it’s an indication for better things in moving forward. I believe Dato Dr Isham will do a great job in his new role and level up with the rest of the ministries.
Yang Mulia Dato Paduka Dr Haji Md Isham bin Jaafar is the newly appointed Minister of Health. Image courtesy of Danial Norjidi of Borneo Bulletin.
By command of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, His Majesty has also consented to the appointment and transfer of the following senior officers:
Yang Mulia Awang Haji Abdul Manap bin Othman, Director General of Public Service Department, Public Service Department as Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Health to replace Yang Mulia Awang Haji Zakaria bin Haji Serudin, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Health who has been transferred to the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports as Senior Special Duties Officer. Yang Mulia Dr. Awang Hazri bin Haji Kifle, Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Health has been transferred to the Ministry of Education as Director of Planning, Development and Research: and
Yang Mulia Datin Paduka Dr. Dayang Hajah Maslina binti Haji Mohsin, Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Health has been transferred to the Ministry of Religious Affairs as Senior Special Duties Officer. The appointment of the Minister of Health as well as the appointment and transfer of the said officers are effective from Friday, 1st of December 2017.
This meant that all the higher positions in the Ministry of Health have been replaced.