More government help to come for pre-diabetics to stave off diabetes onset

It is estimated that around 430,000 Singaporeans aged 18 to 69 have pre-diabetes.
It is estimated that around 430,000 Singaporeans aged 18 to 69 have pre-diabetes.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The Health Ministry (MOH) is working on ways to help pre-diabetics identify and manage their conditions, it said in a press statement on Tuesday (Nov 14).

This could include allowing them to use their Medisave under the Chronic Disease Management Programme, as well as tap the Community Health Assist Scheme. More details will be announced at a later date.

Nov 14 is World Diabetes Day.

It is estimated that around 430,000 Singaporeans aged 18 to 69 have pre-diabetes. This is when a person's blood sugar levels are higher than usual, but are not high enough to draw a diagnosis of diabetes. If nothing is done, one in three individuals with pre-diabetes is likely to develop Type 2 diabetes within eight years.

"Awareness and early intervention of pre-diabetes play a critical role in our fight against diabetes," said Health Minister Gan Kim Yong in the statement. "We hope that with greater support, pre-diabetic individuals will take more active steps to manage their condition, for better long-term health outcomes."

In September, MOH launched a Diabetes Risk Assessment tool to help adults aged 18 to 39 find out their diabetes risk. Around 44,000 people have used it so far, with around a fifth finding that they were at higher risk, said MOH in its statement.

 

In Tuesday's statement, the ministry also gave updates on various government schemes to get people to live healthier lifestyles. For example, more than 4,000 food and beverage outlets in hawker centres and food courts have joined its Healthier Dining Programme, which aims to get food sellers, including at hawker stalls, to sell healthier versions of dishes that are lower in calories.

A separate scheme to get local food companies to produce healthier versions of staple foods has also seen interest from six oil manufacturers and four wholegrain manufacturers so far.