22 July 2018

Pfizer Malaysia together with Diabetes Malaysia, Malaysian Endocrine & Metabolic Society and Pantai Hospital Kuala Lumpur launched the Blue Socks campaign, a disease awareness campaign designed to build understanding of painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) for patients, healthcare professionals, families, and public to improve awareness and effective communication driven by diabetic patients and healthcare professionals.

The creation of Blue Socks campaign is built on the compelling survey results released last year on the perception of patients and doctors on pDPN in Southeast Asia, which found that the top three reasons why patients in Malaysia waited for an average duration of 1.7 years after their first pain symptom before discussing it with their doctor were: unaware that diabetes can cause pDPN, fearful of the additional cost of treatment, and limited consultation time with doctors prevented them from addressing their chronic pain issue .

The concept of the Blue Socks campaign builds around the correlation between diabetes and pDPN, and the collaboration of communities to combat the disease. As the first symptoms of pDPN usually start at the feet, the “sock” icon is used to emphasize the importance of foot care. The
blue circle is the universal symbol of diabetes and the colour has been incorporated in all the collaterals to represent the association between diabetes and pDPN. Lastly, the circle mosaic is utilized to form the “sock” to highlight the necessity of partnership with various communities in order to effectively combat against diabetes and pDPN.

During the launch, Diabetes Malaysia hosted an educational workshop as the first part of the campaign’s ongoing efforts to further educate the public on how to identify pDPN. The educational workshop included ways in which to identify pDPN, a self-assessment demonstration, case studies of diabetes patients in Malaysia affected by the complication, as well as foot care management tips to help diabetes patients prevent further complications from pDPN.

The Blue Socks campaign will run for six months, during which Diabetes Malaysia will work with healthcare professionals and societies to conduct public forums across Malaysia in various hospitals to educate the public on diabetes complications and empower diabetic patients via educational materials to proactively screen for pDPN.

Campaign materials will also be made available to partners so public and patients can access to them easily at different healthcare facilities, and learn more about the risk and danger of this nerve damage complication.

Painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy (pDPN) is a serious complication of diabetes that usually affects the feet first, before spreading to other parts of the body. About 60% to 70% of diabetic patients will eventually develop peripheral neuropathy, although not all suffer pain. The pain of DPN can be spontaneous or stimulus induced, severe or intractable. Painful DPN is typically worse at night and can be described as burning, pins and needles, stabbing pain, tingling, electric shocks, burning, numbness or a prickling pain. But because these painful symptoms are under-recognized, many patients leave their DPN untreated for a long time.

The partnership with various communities in the Blue Socks campaign is necessary in order to effectively combat against diabetes and pDPN. Through the Blue Socks campaign, the societies should help improve diabetic patients’ quality of life through early prevention and detection of pDPN and encourage all to proactively screen for pDPN to prevent further complications.

Please download the full Report here