27 August 2014 

28 May 2014 marked the beginning of most Malaysian children’s favourite time of the year – school holidays! For a special group of children and adolescents, there was something extra to look forward to. It was time once again, for the Young Diabetic Support Group (YDSG) of PPUKM (Pusat Perubatan UKM) to organise their annual diabetes camp.

This year, the camp was held at Ancasa Beach Resort in Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan. A total of 35 children with type 1 diabetes mellitus aged between 6 and 19 years attended, accompanied by 33 adult facilitators including endocrinologists, paediatricians, nurses, educators, nutritionists, clinical psychologists and helpers from the medical industries. The excitement was heavy in the air as participants and their parents mingled with each other on registration morning.
The 3-day 2-night camp was kicked off with an ice-breaking session upon arrival at the resort. This gave the participants the opportunity to get to know each other through laughter and fun. After a mini clinic session where all participants had their blood glucose checked and recorded, they adjourned for lunch. There was a flurry of activity as the older participants confidently did their carbohydrate counting and tucked in after their insulin injections, while the facilitators went round helping the younger ones.
The participants were divided into groups according to age groups, for teaching sessions. These sessions focused on food groups, carbohydrate counting, hypoglycaemia management, sick day management, and diabetes ketoacidosis. Two clinical psychologists from PPUKM led the adolescents in sessions with a slightly different focus. They worked on psychological issues faced by these adolescents who are living with diabetes. There were also sessions facilitated by diabetes educators and nutritionists where participants fine-tuned their knowledge of carbohydrate counting and reading labels with hands-on activities.
Each meal time was preceded by a mini clinic and all blood glucose readings were recorded. The participants learnt to adjust their insulin doses according to their blood glucose readings and food portions.
It was not all teaching and learning for these children and adolescents. They had allocated time at the swimming pool, by far the favourite physical activity of the younger children.
Mornings began with exercise sessions. There was also a telematch session, and a treasure/scavenger hunt which brought out the competitive spirit in participants and facilitators alike.  The participants learn how their blood glucose changed with the different activities they took part in and most importantly how to manage them to prevent wide fluctuations in blood glucose levels and nocturnal hypoglycaemia. Needless to say, prizes were given out for these events and to individuals with the best glucose control throughout the duration of the camp.
The camp ended with the participants showing off their various talents during talentime. The audience were treated to 4 very creative performances, including parodies of the fairytale Hansel and Gretel, and the movie Frozen. There was also a Korean pop dance and a creative sketch showcasing some surprising acting talents. Being judged the best act, the youngest group comprising of 6 to 10-year-olds walked away with first prize.
It is always endearing to see how the children and adolescents interact during the camp, how the older ones would watch over the younger ones and cheer them on in various activities. Old friendships are renewed, and new friendships are formed. Everyone went home with invaluable experiences and priceless memories, already looking forward to the next camp.
The PPUKM Diabetes Camp 2014 was held with the support of Malaysian Paediatric Association (MPA), Malaysian Endocrine and Metabolic Society (MEMS), Persatuan Diabetes Malaysia (PDM), Rahmat Lim & Partners, The Association of Wives of Ministers and Deputy Ministers (Bakti), McDonald’s Malaysia, Abbott Diabetes Care (M) Sdn Bhd, Johnson & Johnson Medical Malaysia, Medtronic International Limited, Novo Nordisk Pharma (M) Sdn Bhd, and Sanofi (M) Sdn Bhd.
Written by Dr Joyce Hong Soo Synn/Professor Dr Wu Loo Ling
See the full photo gallery here.
Please download the report below…
  PPUKM-MEMS Diabetes Camp Report 2014.pdf (English – pdf – 359 Kb)