Diabetes patients to get access to coaching and sport facilities

SportsSG and Diabetes Singapore signed an agreement enabling patients to get coaching from coaches and to use ActiveSG's facilities. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG
Second Minister for Health Masagos Zulkifli said that one in three Singaporeans is at risk of developing diabetes in his lifetime. ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

SINGAPORE - Diabetic patients will soon get access to personalised health coaching, sports facilities and programmes that will help them lead healthier lives and better manage their condition.

SportsSG and Diabetes Singapore signed an agreement on Sunday (Nov 15) enabling patients to get coaching from health coaches and to use ActiveSG's facilities.

Announcing this move as he spoke at the World Diabetes Day 2020 event held in Singapore General Hospital's Academia Auditorium, Second Minister for Health Masagos Zulkifli said: "We must not lose sight of our war against diabetes. It continues to be a major public health concern even amidst the pandemic."

Mr Masagos, who is also Minister for Social and Family Development, added that one in three Singaporeans is at risk of developing diabetes in his lifetime, and that "obesity and sedentary lifestyles place us at an even greater risk of developing Type 2 diabetes".

He encouraged individuals to adopt healthy habits and lifestyles even as the Government leverages technology to combat the disease.

This includes the Health Promotion Board's partnership with Apple to roll out LumiHealth last month, a free app that encourages users to adopt healthy habits through personalised reminders, programmes, activity coaching and incentives.

Those with diabetes should continue to attend regular follow-ups with their healthcare practitioners and undergo screenings to reduce the risk of developing complications, said Mr Masagos.

They can also access a wealth of information on diabetes management on the HealthHub website's Diabetes Hub, and learn how to best care for themselves.

Members of the public were also urged to undergo screening. Those above 40 should go for regular screening for chronic diseases once every three years, while those between 18 to 39 can use the Diabetes Risk Assessment on the HealthHub to assess their risk of developing diabetes.

Since the online test was launched in September 2017, about 18 per cent were found to be at higher risk. About one in 10 who went for health screening was diagnosed with pre-diabetes or diabetes.

In line of the theme for World Diabetes Day, "The Nurse and Diabetes", Mr Masagos addressed how healthcare workers are better equipped to handle diabetes cases.

Through an online portal introduced earlier this year, these workers are able to provide patients and their caregivers with customised information on diabetes prevention and control.

They also have access to the necessary training that in turn helps them empower and motivate patients with diabetes better manage their condition themselves.

During the Covid-19 outbreak, care team members were also able to provide healthcare services for patients with chronic illnesses, including diabetes, through video consultations.

Medication for patients was also delivered to patients, or could be collected on their behalf, without in-person consultations to ensure safe distancing.

Until the end of the month, diabetic members of Diabetes Singapore can get free flu vaccinations from the organisation's offices in Jurong West and Boon Keng.

"The war on diabetes is not over. It requires our entire nation to work together to triumph, just as we did to stem the spread of Covid-19. All of us have a role to play in looking after our health, and that of our loved ones," said Mr Masagos.

Join ST's WhatsApp Channel and get the latest news and must-reads.