CSR, KPJ on diabetes awareness mission

Most Malaysians still unaware of the risks leading to diabetes and its complications 

by FAREZZA HANUM RASHID 

CENTRAL Sugars Refinery Sdn Bhd (CSR) and KPJ Healthcare Bhd launched the #SamaSamaSihat campaign on Saturday in conjunction with World Diabetes Day, which fell on Nov 14. 

Held at the Damansara Specialist Hospital 2, the Let’s Stay Healthy Together event was aimed at raising awareness on the importance of healthy living and preventive care. 

CSR CEO Mohamad Zuki Wan Abdullah said as a socially responsible company, it believes in the importance of educating consumers on healthy consumption habits. “At CSR, we promote responsible sugar consumption. Sugar, like any other food or beverages, should be taken in moderation.

“We are grateful to gain the support of KPJ and other strategic partners in helping us deliver this important message,” he said at the launch. 

Meanwhile, Damansara Specialist Hospital 1 and CEO Dr Ahmad Syukri Jamaludin, in welcoming the initiative, said they are always on the lookout for more opportunities to push for greater awareness in having good health. 

Chef Wan Rathnor demonstrating a healthy dish to Marsha and the audience

“This is key in improving our lives and daily routines. Diabetes is one of the major causes leading to numerous health complications, which is why it is important for us to educate the public in practising an overall healthy lifestyle and preventive care through health screenings. 

“If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is that we must consciously take better care of our health and that of our loved ones,” he said. 

According to the National Health and Morbidity Survey 2019, about 3.9 million Malaysian adults are affected by diabetes. 

Prevalence rates have been on the rise since 2011, and with lifestyle changes brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, many healthcare professionals worry that the number may rise even further. 

The Malaysian Diabetes Index survey conducted last year, supported by AstraZeneca plc in partnership with the Malaysian 

Endocrine and Metabolic Society, found that most Malaysians are still unaware of the risks leading to diabetes and its subsequent health complications. 

Over 52% of respondents were unaware that diabetes could not be cured, while 51% of respondents were of the opinion that it can be easily managed. In fact, 37% of respondents did not understand abnormal blood sugar readings. 

During the one-day event on Saturday, attendees were given complimentary health screenings by KPJ Healthcare, while participating brands took the time to educate consumers on healthier options available from their product range.

These included Better Brown by CSR, PusaCream Parboiled Basmathi Rice by Jasmine, Breakthru Wholemeal with Canadian Purple Wheat by Gardenia, Instant Oatmeal by Captain Oats and locally grown fruits by Ladang’57.

The event also featured a special appearance by local celebrity Marsha Milan London, a healthy cooking demonstration by Chef Wan Rathnor Wan Mohd Rathi, health talks by KPJ Healthcare’s head of dietetics and dietary services Gan Wan Jing and consultant endocrinologist Dr Sharifah Faradila Wan Muhamad Hatta, as well as other interactive activities. During her talk, Gan gave some insights on how to tackle diabetes.

She told the audience that they are in total control of their health because it depends on their lifestyle, such as the food they choose to eat as well as their daily activities.

She then shared a few recommended alternatives to our beloved roti canai, nasi lemak and teh tarik.

“If you are above the age of 30, I advise you to go for annual health screenings, just because of our eating habits and sedentary lifestyle,” she said, while recommending just 30 minutes of exercise every day.