World Diabetes Day: Singapore kicks off crowdsourcing project to address looming crisis

Singapore has the second-highest proportion of diabetics among developed nations; million patients likely by 2050

Picture for representation Reuters

Singapore is all geared up to fight diabetes this World Diabetes Day, with people pitching in ideas on how to fight the disease as part of the Ministry of Health's (MOH) six- month long crowdsourcing exercise.

According to the exercise that was launched in September, a majority of Singaporeans wants the government to make healthy food and drink options more easily available, increase diabetes screening provisions at workplaces and expand fitness programmes.

A study by International Diabetes Federation (IDF) in 2015 revealed that Singapore has the second-highest proportion of diabetics among developed nations.

Doctors blame the American culture that is prevalent in Singapore for this trend. "Singaporeans today are more sedentary and consume diets high in calories, just like the Americans," said Dr Stanley Liew, an endocrinologist at the Raffles Diabetes and Endocrine Centre, as reported by The Straits Times.

Today, studies reveal that more than 400,000 Singaporeans have diabetes and face the risk of having a stroke or becoming blind.

As an effort to know what people in the nation think of this increasing risk of the disease, Diabetes Prevention and Care Taskforce came up with this crowdsourcing session.

"I am heartened to know that many participants recognised that health is ultimately a personal responsibility and that managing one's health is the first step to fight diabetes," said Health Minister Gan Kim Yong who heads the task force during his speech at the opening of a World Diabetes Day event at Suntec convention centre on 13 November, reported the news agency.

Gan also said they are working towards providing better treatment for diabetic patients and help them to avoid developing complications.

Meanwhile, the health ministry said that the ideas given by the public will be studied and the best ones will be made parts of the diabetes action plan which is scheduled to be launched next year.

It was reported that the government also expressed concern about the fact that there will be one million patients by 2050 if no action is taken.

This year, the Worlds Diabetes Day coincided with the birthday of Frederick Banting who was among the three scientists responsible for the discovery of insulin. Also, this year's theme was decided as "Eyes on Diabetes and it will focus on spreading awareness about type 2 diabetes.

Related topics : Diabetes