SUBANG JAYA: Diabetes is fast becoming another prevalent disease, as many Malaysians are not aware that they have the disease.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said some 3.6 million Malaysians suffer from this disease, which is the highest rate of incidence in Asia and one of the highest in the world.
“It is currently estimated that by year 2025, our diabetes prevalence will be about 31.3% for adults aged 18 years and above, with an estimated population of seven million adults with diabetes, diagnosed and undiagnosed,“ he said at the opening speech of the third Cambridge-Oxford-Sunway Biomedical Symposium on diabetes today.
He also said there was growing scientific evidence that the risk of developing non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases are set up early in life.
“Children born to obese or undernourished mothers have an increased risk of developing diabetes and other NCDs in adult life,“ he said.
Dzulkefly added that cases of children and teenagers with diabetes are increasing at a faster rate.
“What is more worrying is that the number of diabetics between the ages of 18 and 35 has increased 300% in the last 15 years,“ he added.
To counter this, the Health Ministry has encouraged a culture of active and healthy lifestyles through various programmes such as Komuniti Sihat Pembina Negara or Kospen, an intervention programme where the community will be trained to promote health.
“The programme aims to train health volunteers, who will function as ‘agents of change’ or health enablers, who will introduce and facilitate healthy living practises amongst their respective community,“ said Dzulkefly.
On another matter, Sunway Group Healthcare and Sunway Education has signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the University of Cambridge and the Royal College of Physicians, London to establish a series of jointly collaborated Continuous Medical Education (CME) seminars.
Cambridge-Sunway collaboration co-ordinator Professor Jarlath Ronayne said this also means that the preparatory course of the Membership of the Royal Colleges of Physicians (MRCP), a postgraduate medical diploma that enables medical officers to become general physicians, to be conducted at Sunway Medical Centre.
“We hope to see the preparatory course be conducted in September for those who are preparing for the MRCP exam. We are bringing the best of our trainers to Malaysia to train a new generation of doctors with good techniques,“ he said after the signing ceremony.