Up to 600 lower-income diabetes patients in South West District who require daily insulin injections will receive care packs containing needles and other essentials for a year.
Global medical technology company Becton, Dickinson and Company (BD) and charity organisation Diabetes Singapore have launched a Community Outreach Programme to donate 2,400 BD Diabetes Care Packs worth $124,000 to beneficiaries in the district.
The programme, the first of its kind here for medical devices, aims to make it easier for diabetes patients to self-administer the insulin injections safely and more comfortably. Each pack includes 100 BD Ultra-Fine PRO 4mm pen needles, alcohol swabs and a container for safe disposal of the pen needles.
The ultra-fine needles penetrate the skin at an optimal depth when injecting insulin, thus reducing pain for patients.
The launch yesterday, held at Diabetes Singapore's Jurong West office to coincide with World Health Day, was officiated by South West District Mayor Low Yen Ling, who is also Minister of State for Trade and Industry as well as Culture, Community and Youth .
"The two partners worked closely together to develop a holistic and innovative programme that meets the key needs of those with diabetes," she said.
BD's executive vice-president and president of Greater Asia James Lim said smaller needles reduce patients' fear, helping them manage their condition better. This will also reduce the risk ofother health problems.
Diabetes Singapore executive director Satyaprakash Tiwari said: "This creates a positive domino effect. Their other health conditions are stabilised and they can go to work."
Diabetes can lead to death and disability through long-term complications including kidney failure, coronary heart disease and stroke.
About 640,000 Singaporeans have the disease, with about 75,000 needing daily insulin injections. The total number of patients here is expected to exceed a million by 2050.
BD and Diabetes Singapore are open to expanding the initiative beyond the South West District.
Said Mr Lim: "If the programme is successful and there are plans to expand it, we'd be more than willing to participate."