A worrying trend of diabetes in Malaysia
Posted on June 23, 2012, Saturday
KUALA LUMPUR: This is no sweet news, but 2.6 million Malaysians were found to be suffering from diabetes last year, according to findings by the National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS).
Health director-general Datuk Seri Dr Hasan Abdul Rahman described the findings as alarming and worrying, despite concerted efforts by the health ministry over the years.
“The NHMS figures showed that (the number of) diabetic patients in Malaysia had increased to 31.0 per cent in just five years, as compared to a 11.6 per cent increase in 2006, for every adult Malaysian aged 18 and above,” he said.
He was speaking to reporters after opening the 3rd National Diabetes Conference 2012 themed, ‘Towards Better Diabetes Prevention and Control’ here today.
Dr Hasan noted that among factors contributing to the rise of diabetics among Malaysians were overweight, genetic, unhealthy lifestyle and diet, consuming alchohol, smoking and no regular medical check-up.
“The best way to prevent diabetes is to take healthy food, exercise at least twice a week, have health screening on a regular and periodic basis.
“Those who have diabetes must get proper treatment and care, such as strict control of blood sugar levels, get treatment for raised blood pressure, foot care and eye care,” he said.
Dr Hasan said the preventive measures were cost-saving interventions which could substantially reduce the progression of the disease and its complications.
He urged non-governmental organisations, civil society and the private sector to help the ministry in its National Strategic Plan for Non-Communicable Diseases by promoting a healthy lifestyle campaign.
Meanwhile, Malaysian Diabetes Association president Prof Datuk Ikram Shah Ismail said diabetes should be considered a social and economic issue, and not health issue.
He hoped medical practitioners and relevant parties would continue to promote awareness on diabetes to decrease occurences of the disease among Malaysians. — Bernama