#HEALTH: Improving management and care of type 1 diabetes

TYPE 1 diabetes is the most common form of childhood diabetes in Malaysia, accounting for 73–77 per cent of all childhood diabetes cases.

The International Diabetes Federation reported 955 cases of type 1 diabetes in Malaysian children aged 0–19 years in 2021.

However, misdiagnosis remains a problem, with a misdiagnosis rate for children at 38.7 per cent, highlighting the need for improving both awareness and access to care for childhood type 1 diabetes.

The misdiagnosis rate of Malaysian children with type 1 diabetes is alarmingly high as children and young adults are often diagnosed with alternative conditions like respiratory or gastrointestinal illnesses, says Malaysian Endocrine and Metabolic Society (MEMS) president Dr Nurain Mohd Noor.

To address this, Novo Nordisk, MEMS and Roche have launched the Changing Diabetes in Children (CDiC) project in Malaysia – a long-term initiative with a dedicated focus on improving the quality of care for children and young adults with type 1 diabetes.

The CDiC project aims to bridge critical gaps in diagnosis, support self-monitoring of blood glucose, and enhance patient knowledge.

Specific components in CDiC in Malaysia include educational workshops for patients and caregivers, training healthcare professionals in the diagnosis and management of the disease, establishing or refurbishing diabetes resource centres, developing a national registry of the disease, supporting research on type 1 diabetes management, as well as raising public awareness of the condition.

"Our purpose is to drive change to defeat chronic diseases such as diabetes by pioneering scientific breakthroughs and improving the lives of patients," says Novo Nordisk corporate vice president, business area South East Asia Anand Shetty.

The goal is to improve the lives of vulnerable type 1 diabetes patients by building a holistic system of care for children and young adults under the age of 25 living with type 1 diabetes.

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