KUALA LUMPUR: Those suffering from diabetes are more likely to develop a more severe form of Covid-19, says Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.
The Health director-general said Covid-19 does not discriminate anyone including those with non-communicable diseases.
“Uncontrolled diabetes compromises the body’s immune system.
“However, the risk of having a severe Covid-19 infection can be minimised if the diabetes is well controlled.
“The best strategy against Covid-19 is prevention, ” he said in his keynote address at the launch of the Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPG) “Management of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus” (sixth edition) during a webinar session yesterday.
Dr Noor Hisham said modern medicine has come a long way, along with the understanding of the disease.
“There has been a recent explosion of advances made in the management of diabetic complications.
“The use of new technology and findings from landmark trials have changed clinical pathways and recommendations in the way Type 2 diabetes mellitus is managed. “This has been reflected in the latest CPG, which also focuses on preventing and reducing diabetes-related complications, ’’ he said, adding that the CPG also forms a valuable resource for healthcare professionals by addressing management issues from primary up to tertiary care levels.
Dr Noor Hisham said in this network age, all parties should no longer be working in silos and reaffirmed the importance and recognition of a multidisciplinary approach in managing Type 2 diabetes mellitus.
“Besides its negative impact on the quality of life and healthcare cost, diabetes also increases the economic burden of individuals, families and communities and affects national productivity.
“So controlling diabetes and limiting its complications must be achieved with a holistic approach and active patients’ participation.
“This can be achieved with the support of appropriate diabetes education and lifestyle modification by the healthcare professional, as well as pharmacological treatment, ” he said.
Dr Noor Hisham added that the integration of care services to emphasise the patients at the very centre of care, in the chronic care model, would improve their motivation and journey living with diabetes.
“In this century, medical professionals should embrace technology and innovation.
“There is an emphasis on the potential to use mobile apps and other forms of technological advances and telemedicine to improve diabetes self-management, ” he said.
Dr Noor Hisham said such importance is even greater now in the context of the new norm forced on the people by the pandemic.
“The breadth and the depth of material covered reflects the commitment and dedication of the CPG committee despite the present difficulties, ” he said.
In congratulating the CPG committee, Dr Noor Hisham said the task force’s responsibility does not stop at the launching of the completed document.
He hoped that the rollout plan would help healthcare professionals to apply the new CPG to improve diabetes care in the country.