PM Lee Hsien Loong's message for the launch of World Health Organisation's Global Diabetes Compact on 14 April 2021.
Friends and colleagues,
Tackling diabetes is a major priority for Singapore. One in three Singaporeans can expect to develop diabetes in their lifetimes, impairing their quality of life in later years. Diabetes is an invisible disease. It does not appear as a top cause of death, but many heart attacks, strokes, and kidney failures in fact trace back to diabetes. Diabetes also complicates the treatment of many other diseases, including COVID-19.
Singapore declared a ‘War on Diabetes’ five years ago. This is a whole-of-nation effort. Believing that prevention is better than cure, we strongly encourage Singaporeans to adopt healthy diets and lifestyles.
We are mandating the grading and labelling of ready-to-drink beverages, and banning advertising of beverages with high sugar and saturated fat content.
We promote regular physical activity, to maintain fitness and reduce obesity. We have built parks and fitness corners all over our island, and are happy to see them well used by joggers, cyclists and exercise groups old and young.
A national health screening programme encourages Singaporeans to go for regular health check-ups, in order to detect early the onset of disease.
For those living with diabetes, we strive to optimise disease management, emphasising prevention of complications. We have set up a Diabetes Centre to bring together different specialists and allied health professionals. The Centre organises care around the needs of diabetic patients, and aims to raise standards of care, education and research.
Singapore therefore strongly supports the World Health Organisation’s Global Diabetes Compact. Singapore did something similar on a more modest scale two years ago, when we hosted an international Ministerial Conference on Diabetes. Let us continue to work together to share experiences in preventing and managing this disease, and make our peoples happier and healthier.
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