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New wealth brings new health problems, ASEAN Secretary-General tells Phuket meeting

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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New wealth brings new health problems, ASEAN Secretary-General tells Phuket meeting | The Thaiger

PHUKET: Surin Pitsuwan, Secretary-General of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), yesterday warned that the rise in wealth throughout the ASEAN member states will bring a new wave of health issues to the region.

“The formation of the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015 will make some people richer. With their new lifestyle will come new health issues; non-communicable diseases such as high blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes,” said Mr Surin.

Citing a report focusing on ASEAN countries, he said that 4 million people died from such “lifestyle” diseases each year. The report revealed that of the causes of death of people in ASEAN countries, about 2.5 million people – or 60 per cent – died due to non-communicable disease.

“The causes may include lack of exercise, consuming too much alcohol or smoking too much. ASEAN must pay more attention to this issue, because the integration of the economies of each country may cause serious health problems,” he warned.

“Consideration should be given to any free trade marketing agreement that covers the import or export of alcohol, cigarettes or food,” Mr Surin added.

The ASEAN Secretary-General’s warning was delivered at the 11th ASEAN Health Ministers’ Meeting (AHMM), which began in Phuket on Monday and concluded today.

Thai Public Health Minister Witthaya Buranasiri announced that it had been productive with a number of important issues discussed by the 10 ASEAN Public Health Ministers attending.

Held at the Mövenpick Hotel & Resort in Karon, the agenda focused on solving the main health problems and developing an ASEAN Public Health system.

Among the top items on the agenda were combating the rising incidence of HIV/AIDS and laying the foundation for a common public healthcare platform across ASEAN.

Although it was agreed that to include the ASEAN+3 group (China, Japan and Korea), any memorandum to adopt a common ruling that would allow foreign citizens to be treated free of charge in a fellow ASEAN country, would have to be ratified at the annual ASEAN Summit Meeting and the UN General Assembly.

The ministerial meeting also set “Triple Zero Targets” to reduce the incidence of HIV/AIDS. The “three zeros” were: no exclusion of HIV/AIDS infected patients; no new infected patients; and no deaths from HIV/AIDS.

Other aspects targeted by the Health Ministers were forming a coordinated response to a United Nations agreement concerning the spread of disease, including non-communicable diseases, by adopting the indicators and criteria laid down by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Also, the ministers discussed putting a stop to the tobacco and liquor industries promoting themselves under the guise of ‘corporate social responsibility’ strategies, such as community projects and similar.

Measures to combat tobacco and alcohol abuse, and the subsequent health problems, also included examining taxes levied against those products and their exclusion from ASEAN Free Trade Agreements.

The Health Ministers of the 10 member countries also discussed the creation of a framework to encourage the coordination among the epidemiology fieldwork network.

This would include establishing measures to prevent and manage emerging-reemerging infectious diseases, especially dengue fever and drug-resistant Malaria, using a network of epidemiologists in the field.

Mr Wittaya believes that Thailand could provide the backbone of an epidemiology expert network for ASEAN.

The meeting also focused on the impact of public health after entering the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015.

“It will mean that within ASEAN countries, people, goods and finances will be able to travel freely,” said Mr Wittaya.

“Each country will have to develop a healthcare system for their own country capable of treating other ASEAN countries’ citizens. It is better to work together than do it alone,” he said.

— Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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Crime

Mystery surrounds security guard found dead in his Phuket room

The Thaiger

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Mystery surrounds security guard found dead in his Phuket room | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Phuket Hot News

The security guard of a hotel in Nai Yang, northern Phuket, 52 year old Yingyot Butsabong, from Maha Sarakham province, was found dead yesterday (October 16) in his room. Police remain mystified how the man came to grief.

A woman named Supattra received a call from the hotel he worked at and was informed that he didn’t show up at work yesterday, so she went to his apartment to check on him.

She saw that his room was locked from the inside, so used the key she had in her possession to open the room and found Yingyot laying on the floor, face down. She thought he was just sleeping so she tried to wake him up but once she flipped him, she found that he already passed away.

She immediately called Saku police, and once on the scene, police found that there was some blood on the floor. The man had a 2 centimetre wound on his left eyebrow which was deep into his skull. There was also a wound on his chin about 1 centimetre long and about a centimetre deep. His left eye had a bruise which looked like he was attacked by a hard object.

Police report that he had been dead for around four hours in the room.

The room was not ransacked and there was no sign of fighting or theft. His body has been sent to Thalang Hospital for a detailed autopsy and to look into the cause of death.

SOURCE: Phuket Hot News

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People

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people

Nattha Thepbamrung

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‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | The Thaiger

On October 18, the ‘Always Smile Journey’ group and its partners will host an exhibition with plenty of fun activities at the Yak Yai Market, near Chalong Circle, in Phuket. This event was designed to raise funds to provide free English classes for underprivileged people on the island of Phuket on Saturdays and Sundays. The group does not accept donations but aims to raise money through the sales of the products available at the event.

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | News by The Thaiger

From 2 pm to 8 pm, there will be a number of artists, musicians and performers who will keep the attendees entertained along the way. There will be a short film about His Majesty King Rama 9 as well as fun activities and games for kids and families, which are all free of charge.

The big bike crew is also a part of this event. They will ride a parade from Rawai Beach heading to the market and showcase their gorgeous two-wheel buddies.

One of the highlights of the Always Smile Journey exhibition is the ‘Happening’ artists group, who will draw and paint a picture of the His Majesty King Rama 9 under the name ‘Street Art King Bhumibol’ on a 4×10 meter sign live at the event so the guests will experience this large-scale art in action. The Happening will also offer portrait sketching for the participants.

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | News by The Thaiger

One of the works created by the Happening team; a painting of HM the King Rama 9 on a huge wall (Photo credit: Chawat Chumpasan)

There will also be some western menus available at the event which will be donated to underprivileged children.

This free English class project has over seven years of experience through its cooperation working with individuals and other charity organizations. Throughout the years, the group visited several areas such as Ban Laem Hoy School, Ban Bopud School and Ban Angthong School in Samui, Surat Thani province, Ban Bueng Ao Oun School and Ban Kakoh Rayong, in Surin province, Jalae Village of Lahu (Muser) in Chiang Rai province, as well as community education centers in Siem Reap, Cambodia and in Luang Prabang, in Laos.

This event is a cooperation between several groups, including Happening, Yak Yai Market and Arrow Media, Tattoo artist group, Thonburi Art School Alumni, International School of Tourism, Suratthani Rajabhat University, big bike group from Phuket, artists/performers/musicians from many provinces as well as several businesses across Phuket.

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Bangkok

The world’s fastest growing tourist destinations

The Thaiger

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The world’s fastest growing tourist destinations | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Hello Phuket – destined for huge tourist growth in the next six years – fodors.com

In 2018, international tourist arrival traffic grew by 6% to reach a total of 1.4 billion world tourists, according to research by UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. And there’s a lot more to come with international travel predicted to increase by a massive 35% over the next six years to 2025.

But where is all that extra traffic going to go? Which destinations are quiet now that might be swarming with tourists in the years to come? Two destinations in Thailand are set for a prosperous future, according to the data. Whilst almost all the growth is excepted to be to Asian destinations, an under-visited resource for world tourism so far.

Euromonitor data has been used to simulate tourist growth models and reveal the fastest growing projected visitor arrivals in major cities and destinations around the world for 2025, compared to arrival figures in 2018.

In Thailand, Phuket’s tourist traffic is poised to increase up to 85% in the next six years, from nearly 12 million arrivals in 2018 to over 22 million in 2025. Bangkok is predicted to see the 8th most prolific rise in tourist traffic, with arrivals in Bangkok set to swell an additional 68% during the same period. Doha, the capital of Qatar, is set to explode with 104% increase in traffic over the next six years.

The data also predicts that both Bangkok and Phuket will rebound big time in 2020, Phuket in particular with a growth of around 20% for the next year, accord to the data from TravelSupermarket.com.

By 2025 the data predicts that Bangkok will be the world’s #1 tourist destination, a position it’s held before in recent years. The Thai capital will be followed by Singapore, Dubai, Phuket and Kuala Lumpur, making South East Asia the world’s emerging tourism hotspot.

Some of the world’s favourites – New York, Paris, London – will continue to grow their tourist numbers but not at the rate of most Asian destinations.

You can read the full list HERE.

The world's fastest growing tourist destinations | News by The Thaiger

Stats compiled by travelsupermarket.com

The world's fastest growing tourist destinations | News by The Thaiger

Stats compiled by travelsupermarket.com

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