PUTRAJAYA, April 24 — Nearly five million Malaysians are currently at risk of being pre-diabetic or diabetic, said Deputy Health Minister Datuk Lukanisman Awang Sauni.

He said diabetics do not show any symptoms, with most people not aware they are diabetic and possibly did not undergo early checks either.

“Awareness survey of 5,000 people found that 76 per cent of the respondents never got tested and we are certainly trying to reduce (the number of diabetics) through screening tests as that’s when we can treat and advise them so that (they) will change their lifestyles,” he said.

He told reporters this after the launch of the Pre-diabetes Screening, Diagnosis and Management Promotion Campaign to Prevent Onset of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus organised by the Stand Against Pre-diabetes (SAPd) programme.


Lukanisman also said that diabetes accounts for almost 50 per cent of the treatment cost, which is worth almost RM4 billion of the total treatment used by the ministry through the annual allocation of the Ministry of Health (MOH).

He said that the MOH will, this year, focus on carrying out various lifestyle activities, such as the Sihat Malaysia Month in September.

Themed “Check, Confirm, Consult and Change”, this campaign aims to educate and encourage the public to verify their risk status by undergoing screening tests and collaborating with healthcare experts to manage their pre-diabetic conditions for the sake of their health.


Meanwhile, SAPd chairman Professor Emeritus Chan Siew Pheng said by the end of May, SAPd will seek the cooperation of 700 community pharmacies nationwide to provide free capillary blood glucose testing, donated by Roche Diagnostics.

“Pricking your finger to test the blood glucose level will not confirm whether you are prediabetic or not. If the result shows a higher than normal level of blood glucose, you must undergo a proper blood test at the laboratory, clinic or hospital,” he said.

Chan added that with proper knowledge and support, individuals can take responsibility for their health and reduce the risk of becoming diabetic.

“Small changes in lifestyles can bring a significant change to one’s health. The SAPd encourages the public to use the online risk checker on the SAPd website,” he said. — Bernama