KUALA LUMPUR: Diabetes cases are on the rise in the country with 3.6 million Malaysians suffering from the non-communicable disease.
Health Minister Dr S Subramaniam said about another 1.8 million Malaysians might be having diabetes but were unaware they have it because they never went for health screening.
With regular screening, diabetes can be detected at an early stage and optimum treatment given, he said in a statement in conjunction with World Diabetes Day 2017 yesterday.
“This will reduce risks attributed to diabetes and allow patients to lead normal lives,” he said.
He said with increased awareness by the public on diabetes, its risks and the importance of health screening, it was hoped it would change Malaysians’ behaviour on prevention and control of diabetes.
“This will lead to a reduced risk of premature death as a result of diabetes complications,” he said.
In a separate statement, health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said of the 3.8 million figure, 1.78 million were women.
He added that the ministry ensured extra care for women diabetes patients, especially pregnant women to minimise risks to them and their unborn children.
As for diabetic women who wanted to get pregnant, they were required to undergo pre-pregnancy counselling, he said.