The most important thing is to take the momentum for World Diabetes Day. Let us carry out regular blood sugar screening in health services
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Director of non-communicable diseases prevention at the Ministry of Health, Cut Putri Ariane, urged Indonesians to get their vitals checked regularly, and particularly blood sugar levels, to screen for diabetes on World Diabetes Day 2020.

"The most important thing is to take the momentum for World Diabetes Day. Let us carry out regular blood sugar screening in health services," she said at an online press conference originating from Jakarta on Tuesday.

The prevalence of diabetes in Indonesia has continued to increase from year to year, she noted. Based on the 2007 Basic Health Research data, the prevalence of diabetes in Indonesia was at 5.7 percent of the population. This number continued to increase to reach 6.9 percent in 2013, and rose again to 8.5 percent in 2018.

Only a third of people with diabetes mellitus in Indonesia are aware that they have the disease, Ariane noted. Meanwhile, the other two-thirds are not aware they have the disease, she added.

"Of this prevalence, people with diabetes who used their access to health services, who went to treatment were only 1.5 percent in 2013, and in 2018 only 2 percent," she pointed out.

She said the reason for the lack of awareness among those suffering from diabetes, which leads to their not seeking treatment, is the absence of symptoms. Even if there are symptoms, if they do not interfere with daily life, people tend to ignore the signs, she added.

People with diabetes usually start accessing health services when the symptoms begin to show or when the disability starts to affect them.

Diabetes, she said, is the fourth major cause of death in the world and the number of lives it claims is increasing. In addition, mortality is high in COVID-19 patients who have diabetes as a comorbidity, she noted.

“Therefore, I urge people who have a habit of consuming sugar, salt, and fatty food, that find it hard to change the habit, and are reluctant to move, [or are] obese, [or] smoke, to carry out regular screening," she said.

She reiterated that non-communicable diseases such as diabetes cannot be treated, but can be controlled.

However, people who have risk factors and are still in good health can prevent the onset of disease with a healthy lifestyle and regular health checks, said Ariane. (INE)

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Translator: Aditya Ramadhan/Aria Cindyara
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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