Are we a country of diabetics?

Half of the diabetes patients from B40 group: Health director

KUCHING: Malaysia has the highest percentage of diabetics in the world at 18 percent of the population.

Sarawak Health director Dr Jamilah Hashim said studies have shown that more than half of the diabetes patients are from the B40 group.

“It is caused by high sugar intakes, unhealthy diet and lifestyle,” she said when officiating at a Juh PeKa B40 programme at Petra Jaya Health Clinic here, yesterday.

Dr Jamilah noted that about half of the sufferers were unaware of their condition. Hence the Health Department was creating awareness programmes such as through the ‘Juh PeKa B40’.

“For example, 22 out of 100 people with diabetes are in the B40 group compared to 17 in the M40 T20 group.

“Similarly, 36 out of 100 people with high blood pressure are among the B40 group compared to 16 in the M40 T20 group,” she said.

Dr Jamilah pointed out that the Ministry of Health Malaysia (MOH) was facing challenges in treating people with serious illnesses such as hypertension, diabetes and heart diseases
due to increasing cost of
treatment.

She disclosed that the MOH has been allocated RM100 million in the 2019 budget to
implement the B40 PeKa Programme to benefit 800,000 Malaysians including 85,000 in Sarawak.

“The B40 Health Care Scheme is very important because of the four benefits it provides namely; health screening, medical assistance, incentives for cancer treatment and transportation incentives.

“Members of the public can get the health screening at any government health clinic as well as private clinic under the programme with a B40 sticker free of charge,” she explained.

Dr Jamilah revealed that out of those 85,000 eligible in Sarawak, only 12,000 have undergone the health screenings todate.

“We need to look for the other 73,000 eligible Sarawakians to do health screenings. It is their ticket to a better health,” Jamilah quipped.