SUNWAY Medical Centre (SunMed) hosted a series of events to raise awareness about diabetes in conjunction with World Diabetes Day, celebrated globally on Nov 14. The events gave members of the public an opportunity to learn more about the disease by attending an exhibition of various diabetes-related products, registering for free counselling sessions, as well as getting free blood glucose screenings among other activities.
Around the globe, World Diabetes Day aims to educate and raise awareness about the disease as the rate of diabetes escalates around the world.
Today, the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that more than 220 million people worldwide have diabetes, and without the implementation of proper measures, this number is likely to more than double by 2030.
The day also marks the birthday of Frederick Banting who, along with Charles Best, was instrumental in the discovery of insulin in 1922, a life-saving treatment for diabetes patients.
In Malaysia, approximately 3.4 million people suffer from diabetes and according to the Second National Health and Morbidity survey, this figure has increased from 8.3% in 1996, to 14.9% in 2006 for Malaysian adults aged 30 years and above.
This increase of over 80% in just 10 years is worrying, but perhaps more alarming is that a third (or 36%) of the diabetic population are undiagnosed.
“Studies have shown that there is an upsurge of diabetes-related health issues among Malaysians. In line with World Diabetes Day, SunMed has and will continue to take a pro-active approach to educate and raise awareness about the disease.
“We want to emphasise the importance of a balanced and healthy lifestyle because we believe that prevention is always better than cure,” said Sunway Medical Centre chief executive officer Lau Beng Long.
In support of World Diabetes Day, SunMed organised a number of events that was held between Nov 12 and 19.