Learn more about what you eat at the Diabetes Food Camp
By Jude Toyat
Studies show that one in five Malaysians has diabetes and roughly one in six Sarawakians has it.
Out of the 2.4 million Sarawakians, an approximate 400,000 people in Sarawak are diabetic, said Diabetes Malaysia Sarawak Branch chairman Dr William Voon.
“We know that half or all diabetics are not aware that they have diabetes. If we assume that half of all our known diabetics are properly trained to eat right, three quarters of all our diabetics are not.
“This brings us to the reason behind the Diabetes Food Camp,” he said in a press conference held at Diabetes Malaysia Sarawak Branch office near Jalan Maxwell on March 30.
The Diabetes Food Camp organised by Diabetes Malaysia Sarawak Branch will take place at their Diabetes Resource Centre near Jalan Maxwell here on April 9 from 9am onwards.
Voon revealed that there should still be about 300, 000 diabetics in Sarawak who need training in such Diabetes Food Camp that is designed to cover the missing gap in management of diabetes.
“With the abundance of delicious food everywhere, especially in Sarawak, we know that it is difficult to keep a tight rein on our appetite. Sadly, except in our bigger hospitals, advice on diet is very skimpy. In the end, most diabetics even after many years of life as diabetics are still not certain about how to eat properly.
“Hence, during the inaugural camp, participants will be given a hands-on session where they are actually served breakfast, morning tea and lunch. They even get to choose their food themselves, but there will be very senior dietitians on hand to correct them if their choice of food or portion size is wrong. By the time a participant leaves the camp, he or she should have acquired a reasonable skill in diabetes training,” he explained.
He also added that they are looking for about 40 participants for the camp and hopes that the diabetics will not shy away as they often do from learning this much-needed living skill because if diabetes were to be properly managed, complications will not occur.
“Diabetes mellitus is a condition often taken lightly. It is a seeming innocent condition which when neglected or poorly managed surely and slowly leads to devastating complications. These include blindness, kidney failure, heart attack, stroke, leg ulcers and amputation, impotence, skin infections, ovarian anomalies and more. Many consider diabetes as the mother of all illnesses.
“It is important to know that though diabetes cannot be cured at the present moment, it can be easily treated and the dreaded complications avoided. The key to success is knowledge of the condition and commitment to treatment and management. Well controlled, a diabetic can live a perfectly healthy life to old age,” he added.
To further enhance the awareness of diabetes, the Diabetes Malaysia Sarawak Branch has also visited a total of 13 shopping malls in Sarawak to conduct free health screening last year.
“This include measuring the BMI, blood pressure and blood sugar for all who are willing to be checked. Our free screening program helped participants to identify many new diabetics from our community.
“We are very satisfied with the encouraging response received towards this project,” Voon said of the event held twice a month that had successfully attracted a total of 2, 000 participants in 2015.
This year, the diabetes screening project will be held at Viva City and CityONE Megamall followed by Boulevard Shopping Mall on April 23 from 1pm to 5pm.
“Our screening campaign is absolutely free of charge and we would like to urge all who live nearby to take full advantage of the opportunity to be screened.
“It doesn’t mean that if you have been screened before and found to be free of diabetes that you still are now. The older we get, the weaker is our pancreas and the more likely that we get diabetes, especially if at least one of your parents has diabetes,” he added.
On April 28, the association will also organise a special film premiere of ‘Captain America: Civil War’ to be held at MBO, tHe Spring at 7pm.
“The film premiere aims to raise funds for the Diabetes Malaysia Sarawak Branch to organise more activities in the near future,” he added.
The registration fee for the Diabetes Food Camp is RM40. For more information or to register for the camp, contact their office at 082-239483 that opens from 9am to 4pm, Mondays to Fridays.