28 September 2013

Over 1,000 people turned up at Putrajaya Wetland for the Putrajaya Global Diabetes Walk, which aimed at raising awareness on the disease.

The 5km walkathon was organised by Putrajaya Hospital, Perbadanan Putrajaya and Novo Nordisk Pharma (M) Sdn Bhd in conjunction with World Diabetes Day on Nov 14, each year.

Putrajaya Hospital consultant endocrinologist Dr Zanariah Hussein said: “With the risk of diabetes increasing among Malaysians, we view World Diabetes Day as an opportunity to educate the public on the importance of maintaining a balanced and healthy lifestyle.

“This is just one of the many ways Malaysians can take the initiative to keep this disease at bay,” said Dr Zanariah.

After an aerobic warm-up session, the 5km morning walk was flagged off at 8am by Ministry of Health director-general Datuk Seri Dr Hasan Abdul Rahman.

Hasan reminded the people that prevention is better than cure.

“Diabetes can be prevented by eating a healthy diet and leading an active lifestyle.

“Walking is an easy way to increase one’s physical activity. Adults should walk at least 10,000 steps a day  to maintain an ideal weight and a healthy heart,” said Dr Hasan.

He also encouraged those aged 30 and above to take the screening tests for non-communicable diseases (NCD)  every year.

These include the blood pressure, and cholesterol and blood sugar tests, and the body mass index (BMI), and waist measurements.

“Those who have a family history of diabetes or obesity, however, should take these screening tests earlier,” added Dr Hasan.

The participants included those  without diabetes and foreigners.

Diabetic Faizal Abdul Ghani, 36, who came with his wife and three children, said he and his family have been participating in numerous runs and walkathons since he was diagnosed with diabetes three years ago.

“Since then, I have been controlling my diet.

“I rarely have rice for dinner,” he said, adding that he might have inherited  the disease from his father who is a diabetic, although he was active in various sports in school.

Zainal Mohd Ali, another diabetic, also came with his wife and children.

“This is the third time we’re participating in a walkathon.

“It is a fun way to exercise, and at the same time, strengthen the family bond,” said the 48-year-old.

Nik Zatiayunni Mad Zaid, 23, came with her group of friends who are all nurses at Putrajaya Hospital.

“It’s an event I look forward to each year,” she said, adding that she  had been participating in various runs and walkathons since her school days.


This article was first published in www.nst.com.my on 18th November 2011.