Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus (T1DM) is an autoimmune disease that that has no cure. It disrupts insulin production in the pancreas, resulting in elevated blood sugar levels. Delayed diagnosis and treatment could lead to life-threatening conditions like Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA). Unfortunately, this condition was often misdiagnosed, especially in children, as common illnesses due to similar symptoms such as frequent urination (47.5% of patients), ongoing extreme thirst (43.5%), weight loss (32.6%), and vomiting (32.6%).
Recognising the urgency to raise awareness among families and communities, Alpro Pharmacy collaborated with Ascensia Diabetes Care, a global diabetes care company, to organize the impactful “Together as ONE” workshop. This workshop aimed to provide comprehensive support to children, teenagers, parents, and families by connecting them with healthcare professionals specializing in pediatric endocrinology, psychology, pharmacy, and dietetics.
During the workshop, Dr. Jeanne Wong Sze Lyn, a resident consultant Paediatrician and Paediatric Endocrinologist, emphasized the significant of early diagnosis, stating “Type 1 diabetes requires insulin treatment and regular glucose monitoring for effective management. Any delay in diagnosis can hinder children from receiving timely and appropriate care, potentially leading to life-threatening conditions.”
“T1DM children face various challenges, such as potential discrimination and feelings of isolation from peers, as well as the fear of drawing attention while using an insulin pen, which may result in delayed intervention and jeopardize their health. Hence, self-care, emotional, and psychological support for both the patient and family play crucial roles in ensuring their well-being. With proper diabetes control and support, children with diabetes can lead healthy and happy lives.” Dr Jeanne added.
To address these challenges, Alpro Pharmacy has established the Sugo 365 team to equip parents with comprehensive knowledge about T1DM, enabling them to effectively identify and manage the condition while providing crucial emotional support to their children.
Dt. Chua Kai Jia, Manager and Senior Dietitian of Alpro Pharmacy’s Sugo 365, explained, “Through Sugo 365, we empower families with comprehensive knowledge about Type 1 diabetes and foster a better understanding of the condition. Our team of healthcare professionals will provide support and help parents develop the necessary skills to nurture and care for their children.”
Eunice Lau, a SEED Connections Clinic Psychologist said “Together as ONE” provides a safe and supportive environment for Type 1 Diabetes patients to develop self-regulation skills. This platform equips parents, children, and family members to better cope with the challenges of Type 1 Diabetes. Caregiving for children with this condition can be difficult, so it is important for parents and family members to nurture their emotional and mental well-being to effectively supporting their loved ones.”
In conjunction with the “Together as ONE” workshop, Alpro Pharmacy also launched the ONE Warrior Glucometer Bag to be given to children with T1DM for free. Unlike the standard black glucometer bags commonly available in Malaysia, these specially designed vibrant blue and pink bags aim to instill a sense of courage and happiness during the injection process while addressing concerns related to discrimination.
Alpro Pharmacy firmly believes that with unwavering physical and emotional support from parents, as well as adherence to appropriate dietary guidelines, children with T1DM can confidently administer insulin injections and lead fulfilling lives, just like their peers, throughout their T1DM journey.