4 December 2012

THE World Diabetes Day 5km walkathon and 10km fun run kicked off recently with over 2,800 running enthusiasts of all ages turning up for the event held at Dataran Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur.

The event was organised by the Malaysian Endocrine and Metabolic Society (MEMS) as part of its efforts to raise awareness about diabetes.

The run was flagged off by Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek following an early morning exercise warm-up routine led by instructors.

According to MEMS, the world is currently facing a diabetes epidemic with more than 366 million people living with the disease.

In Malaysia, 20.8% of the population aged over 30 years have diabetes and about 50% of them are undiagnosed.

“I hope the enhanced awareness among the public about diabetes through this walkathon and fun run will enable early detection of the disease and its complications.

“Late diagnosis or poor management of diabetes can result in disabling and life-threatening complications such as heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, blindness and amputations,” said MEMS president Professor Dr Nor Azmi Kamaruddin, who also urged the public to maintain a healthy diet and active lifestyle.

Dr Nor Azmi said the World Diabetes Day activities were part of MEMS’ constant efforts to improve the health and wellbeing of the public.

As part of MEMS’ initiatives for World Diabetes Day, the iconic Menara KL was lit in blue, the colour of the blue circle for diabetes, between Nov 11 and 14.

The World Diabetes Day 5km Walkathon and 10km Fun Run saw the top three winners of each category receiving cash prizes while the first 100 finishers walked away with a specially designed medal.

There were various booths providing free glucose tests, diabetes risk analysis and free diabetes education counselling carried out by healthcare professionals and these booths proved to be particularly popular with the public.

This article was published in www.thestar.com.my on 30 November 2012.