Seminar shines light on diabetes facts, prevention

Azlan Othman

The Lions Club of Bandar Seri Begawan on Friday organised a seminar at Laksamana College of Business (LCB) to raise awareness on diabetes among the 60 students that took part in the talk.

Speaker Dayangku Salawati binti Pengiran Haji Aji, a staff nurse at the Health Promotion Centre of the Ministry of Health (MoH), highlighted that diabetes is a non-communicable disease that directly affects millions of people globally.

“The complications that come with diabetes have a high cost on our healthcare system,” she said.

She shared facts on diabetes which included the statistics such as one in 10 people are living with diabetes and that every eight seconds, someone dies from diabetes.

She also cautioned that the non-communicable disease has been the third leading cause of death in Brunei Darussalam since 2012, and most importantly, 44 per cent of diabetics remain undiagnosed.

Sixty students from Laksamana College of Business attend a talk on diabetes at the college premises. PHOTO: AZLAN OTHMAN

Meanwhile, Lions Club of Bandar Seri Begawan President Sushell Kaur said the club organises a diabetes awareness campaign annually as part of the international effort to bring an end to the disease.

“Diabetes is the signature cause of Lions Clubs around the world,” she said. “This year, the Lions Club International has partnered with the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) to screen one million people for Type 2 Diabetes via an online risk assessment ahead of the World Diabetes Day on November 14.”

This year’s World Diabetes Day is themed ‘The Nurse and Diabetes’, which according to the World Health Organization (WHO), is aimed at raising awareness on the crucial role of nurses in supporting people living with diabetes.

Meanwhile, according to the IDF, diabetes is the leading cause of cardiovascular disease, blindness, kidney failure and lower limb amputation in most high-income countries; and it is expected to affect some 629 million adults by 2045.

Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when there is an increasing level of glucose in the blood due to the body’s inability to produce enough insulin.

There are two types of diabetes – Type 1 and Type 2.

Type 1 diabetes, which is more common in children, requires daily injection of insulin while Type 2, more common among adults, occurs when the pancreas makes insufficient amount of insulin or when the insulin produced does not work as intended, resulting in high glucose level in the blood.

The treatment for Type 2 Diabetes is medication or daily insulin injection.

Meanwhile, Dayangku Salawati said symptoms of diabetes are frequent urination, excessive thirst, excessive hunger, blurred vision, weight loss, numbness in the hands and feet, fatigue and slow healing wounds.

She suggested healthy eating and regular exercising as strategies to manage diabetes, with medication being the last resort.

The speaker also called on diabetics to adopt the habit of choosing plain water over sweetened beverages.

“Most importantly, avoid smoking as a cigarette contains more than 4,000 chemicals, out of which 60 are known to cause cancer,” she said.