The SingHealth Regional Health System (RHS) has launched STOP Diabetes – a free health screening programme.
The SingHealth Regional Health System (RHS) has launched STOP Diabetes – a free health screening programme for immediate family members of individuals with diabetes mellitus (Type 2 diabetes).
Currently there are 400,000 Singapore residents above 40 with diabetes, placing Singapore as the number two nation with most people with diabetes among developed nations. According to MOH, in 15 years’ time the number is projected increase to 600,000. With early detection and intervention, the condition can be kept under control.
“Studies have shown that Type 2 diabetes has strong genetic and family-related risk factors with immediate family members being two to six times more likely to have the disease.
"By partnering GPs to detect diabetes earlier, timely and active management can be administered to help those at risk to delay or even prevent complications,” said Dr Emily Ho, Director of SingHealth RHS and Consultant, Department of Endocrinology, SGH.
The cost of diabetes goes beyond the price of medication, as it leads to complications in different organs and increase the risk of dying prematurely. Even patients with pre-diabetes can suffer damage due to higher than normal blood glucose levels.
Dr Eugene Chan from My Family Clinic at Punggol is one of the first GPs to partner SingHealth to offer the targeted screening. He said, “We hope to encourage those at risk to undergo screening and take active steps to maintain a healthy lifestyle, so that they can prevent complications associated with Type 2 diabetes such as kidney failure, stroke and lower limb amputations later in life.”
STOP Diabetes aims to screen 500 parents, siblings and children of individuals with diabetes mellitus (Type 2 diabetes) by March 2017.
The programme is open to those aged 30 and above who have no known diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance. Eligible individuals will be screened by participating GPs for diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and obesity. Those found to be at-risk or suffering from diabetes will be referred for further tests and/or follow-up care by GPs.