KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 10 — The Health Ministry (MOH) has called on Malaysians to continue to pay attention to personal health relating to diabetes, even though the country is still battling the Covid-19 pandemic.

Health director-general, Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, said that one in five individuals in the country, aged 18 and above, were reported to have diabetes in 2019, without their knowledge, based on the findings in the National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS) 2019.

“The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that approximately 463 million adults worldwide have diabetes in 2019.

“Those suffering from diabetes are also at higher risk of serious complications if infected with Covid-19,” he said in a statement posted on Facebook today.

In conjunction with the 2021 National World Diabetes Day celebration, themed “Access to Diabetes Care: If Not Now, When?” today, he urged Malaysians to look after their health, so that early prevention of diabetes can be achieved.

“Therefore, it is the responsibility of we Malaysians to look after our health, because our health belongs to us and is our shared responsibility. Know and understand the risk factors, signs and symptoms of diabetes so that early prevention and treatment can be done.

“Do regular health check-ups especially as you get older and have a family history of diabetes. Usually, people don’t realise they have diabetes until they undergo a health check-up or show early signs of diabetes,” he said.

Also shared are basic components of diabetes care that include access to medication and insulin treatment, self-monitoring, education and psychosocial and healthy eating, as well as physical activity.

This year’s theme also coincides with 100 years of the discovery of insulin to treat diabetes.

MOH also called on all health personnel, statutory bodies, voluntary organisations, universities and all parties to play their respective roles to reduce the risks and complications of diabetes. — Bernama