Singapore Challenges : Diabetes


Fraser Clarke

Awareness of diabetes in Singapore has increased over the past year, but more must be done to lower rates amongst women according to senior health officials in the country.

Last year the country’s Ministry of Health declared a ‘War on Diabetes’ as rates began to soar, and the burden on healthcare began to take its toll. Now, however, the future is looking far brighter, with senior Minister of State for Health, Amy Khor, telling the Straits Times: “One in three diabetic patients were unaware that they had diabetes, and among those who were aware, one in three had poor management of their condition. Having recognised this, Singapore declared a war on diabetes.

“Increasingly now, we can see that a lot more people are aware, but we must continue to put in the effort to get the public to take action.”

With World Diabetes Day being marked on November 14th, this year’s theme has been set as ‘Women and Diabetes - Act Today, Change Tomorrow’. Gestational diabetes is often overlooked by those studying the condition, whilst women who juggle family life with work often found their time too limited to exercise on a regular basis. Developing gestational diabetes meanwhile vastly increases a child’s chance of developing the condition in later life.

Khor is therefore specifically targeting women under the age of 40 to take part in the MOH’s Diabetes Risk Assessment Tool - a quick online survey introduced last year, with those at a higher risk offered guidance on how to avoid developing the condition in later life.

According to shock recent statistics, almost one in every three Singaporeans are at risk of developing Diabetes at some point in their life, with 400,000 people already battling the condition.

Whilst Singapore faces the same 21st century health challenges as anywhere else, it does so with the knowledge that few locations on earth are as well placed to deal with them. The world’s only island-city state is home to a healthcare sector that is considered the world’s most efficient, whilst it can also boast some of the most modern facilities on the planet.

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