NADI aims to improve the quality of diabetes care by practitioners through its NADI Advocate Programme
The rising prevalence of diabetes globally is an urgent indication that more needs to be done to combat this presently incurable disease.
At the healthcare level, the National Diabetes Institute (NADI) has been actively conducting programmes to further enhance the medical practice standards among healthcare professionals involved in the management of diabetes.
These include the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Series with annual Diabetes Asia Conference and the Diabetes Complications Conference & Grand Rounds.
ADVOCACY TOWARDS BETTER HEALTHCARE
This year, NADI will embark on ‘Nadi Advocate Programme’, a new programme for healthcare professionals comprising a series of Seminars (lecturers/workshops) that will be held regionally throughout the country.
Through the ‘Nadi Advocate Programme’, NADI hopes to help healthcare professionals specifically the general practitioners to further improve the quality of diabetes care and achieve conformity of standards in diabetes care in Malaysia.
Speaking to Emeritus Professor Dato Mustaffa Embong, Executive Chairman (Honorary) of NADI, he says: “The NADI advocate programme aims to accredit GPs who are committed to improve care for their patients with diabetes. The advocates are deemed to have the necessary knowledge, skills and the commitment to take good care of their patients with diabetes according to international standards.”
ASSURANCE FOR THE PUBLIC
What is the reason for NADI to organise the advocacy-focused programme aimed at the GPs? Dato Mustaffa says that it is for patient assurance.
“The public will be more assured of better care from their GPs when they are accredited as NADI Advocates.”
Diabetes is a condition not too difficult to manage, but requires high discipline from the patients. GPs who are NADI advocates can provide better motivation and guidance for diabetes patients to manage themselves better.
PUBLIC AWARENESS ON DIABETES
NADI’s initiative to create the NADI Advocate Programme is a sign that diabetes is still a prevalent condition in Malaysia, as with
in many countries around the world. It begs the question; how aware are we about diabetes?
“The awareness about diabetes is quite strong among the Malaysian public, however, many do not take the disease seriously. The nonchalant attitude leads to serious complications down the line.”
He does say however, that there has been improvement in the number of people diagnosed over the years. “Malaysians who have been identified to have diabetes has increased over the years, through the concerted effort by the government providing free community screening.”
Increase in diabetes diagnosis is not a bad connotation, as we might imagine reading the statement. It signifies that we are able to detect diabetes better, and implement treatment and management of the condition more efficiently.
STRIDES IN TREATMENT FOR DIABETES
The condition is far from a newly discovered one, and the treatment and management for diabetes has largely been the same for a long time. Having said that, Dato Mustaffa tells that there are two breakthroughs that are worth mentioning.
“The first breakthrough in terms of diabetes treatment concerns diabetes patients who are also obese. We now know that the condition can be ‘cured’ through weight loss.
“The other breakthrough comes in the form of medication. There are now drugs that not only reduce the patient’s blood glucose, but can also cause weight loss and protect the heart and kidneys as well.”
Biosimilars, an economically-beneficial solution?
We also asked Dato Mustaffa about the use of biosimilar insulin for diabetes patients, seeing as the benefits of a biologically similar insulin can ease patients’ monetary burden.
“Biosimilar insulin should help reduce the cost of insulin for the patients. However, the uptake by practitioners to recommend biosimilars to their patients may be slow. This is caused by worries about its efficacy (no large-scale controlled trials done) and side-effects relating to the immunogenicity.” — The Health