One-stop centre to help fight diabetes launched

Retired nurse Amy Goh, 71, yesterday helping Nee Soon resident Alice Lau, 72, take her blood pressure at the new centre.
Retired nurse Amy Goh, 71, yesterday helping Nee Soon resident Alice Lau, 72, take her blood pressure at the new centre.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

A new one-stop centre to help fight diabetes was launched in Nee Soon South yesterday, in line with a national effort to tackle the growing problem.

The Diabetes Resource Centre at Block 839, Yishun Street 81, will allow residents to do their own health screening, such as checking their eyesight and taking their blood pressure. It will be open every day, except on public holidays.

On Tuesdays and Saturdays, a nurse will be stationed there to check the blood sugar levels of residents from 9am to noon. Those found to have the chronic condition may be referred to general practitioners or polyclinics for further checks.

The centre, which will also host regular health talks, will have a range of resources available on diabetes prevention and healthy eating.

The centre was launched at the constituency's annual active ageing carnival by Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam.

More than 400,000 people in Singapore have diabetes, which can lead to complications such as stroke or blindness. Of this group, one in three does not even know he has the disease.

If nothing is done, it is estimated there will be one million residents here with diabetes by 2050, according to Health Minister Gan Kim Yong, who declared in April that his ministry is waging war on diabetes.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the event, MP for Nee Soon GRC Lee Bee Wah said more will be done to increase awareness among younger residents.

"A lot of residents think that diabetes is only for those who are more senior," she said. "In fact, in order to prevent (diabetes), we have to target younger residents, those 40 years old and below and especially those who are at a higher risk. These are those who are slightly obese or have family members with a history of diabetes."

Nee Soon South Active Ageing Committee chairman Ng Kian Swan said a database of Nee Soon residents with diabetes is in the works to allow grassroots leaders to better assist them.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 28, 2016, with the headline 'One-stop centre to help fight diabetes launched'. Print Edition | Subscribe