MIRI: Fresh and more urgent approaches are needed to check the surge in diabetes cases in Miri as the number of those with kidney failures, blindness and other health woes caused by the disease have shot up.
Diabetes Association of Malaysia Miri branch advisor Datuk Sebastian Ting said the association planned to set up a one-stop centre for diabetes prevention and counselling in Miri.
“We are eyeing a special centre to deal with all issues concerning education aimed towards prevention of diabetes.
“Failure of kidney failure as well as blindness due to diabetes is rising sharply every month.
“Greater efforts must be made to prevent diabetes and prevent it from escalating to kidney failure or blindness.
“The centre being planned in Miri will serve as a place where doctors and nurses and volunteers can give comprehensive education and counselling to the public to prevent diabetes.
“It will also be the place where intensive efforts will be put to also help patients cope with diabetes with the hope they can be given primary care,” he said.
Speaking at a press conference here, Ting, who is also Piasau state assemblyman, said a specialist doctor well-versed in diabetes, Datuk Dr Fam Tem Lom, would be looking into the building project.
A public fundraising would be carried out soon to kickstart the project, he said.
Yesterday, Ting and Miri Fire Chief Supt Law Poh Kiong applied to be life members of the association.
Ting said statistics on diabetes cases in Miri were still being gathered.
He said last year, 12,582 patients sought treatment for diabetes at polyclinics and hospital, a surge of 16% from the year before.
There were at least 400 diabetics in Miri with end-stage kidney failure and needing to go for kidney dialysis every week.
“This is only the tip of the iceberg. There are many more who are not aware they have diabetes until it is too late,” he noted.
Dr Fam said that once the association had its own building in Miri, it would have consultation rooms, treatment rooms, and daycare facilities to cater to aged diabetics.
Ting said he will seek the assistance of the state government to get a piece of land in Miri to build the centre soon.