TRAINING OF HEALTH PEERS FOR THE WAR ON DIABETES
Diabetes is a serious challenge to Singapore. It is estimated that nearly one million Singaporeans could be affected by diabetes by 2050.
In line with MOH’s nationwide effort in the War on Diabetes, CGH launched the Health Peers Programme, in partnership with community stakeholders (South East Community Development Council) and government agencies, such as the Health Promotion Board.
The programme is developed by CGH healthcare professionals, including SEM physician, dietitian and clinical psychologist. It equips volunteers, known as Health Peers, with skills and knowledge in communication, approach to physical activity, diet and nutrition in diabetes. The Health Peers will then reach out to residents to encourage them to lead healthier lives by creating awareness on diabetes prevention and management.
It has reached out to over 900 residents and trained more than 300 Health Peers. The Health Peers include grassroot leaders, volunteers, and students from ITE East, Temasek Polytechnic and Singapore Polytechnic.
Following its success, the programme has been expanded to more constituencies and residents in the east. CGH is also collaborating with National University Health System (NUHS), and has rolled-out the Health Peers Programme to the western part of Singapore.
Outside of clinical settings, the SEM department supports various community efforts to promote physical activity and healthy living. This is in line with the MOH ‘Beyond Healthcare 2020’ key thrust of moving ‘Beyond Healthcare to Health’, where sport and exercise medicine can play a vital role.
Dr Fadzil Hamzah, who is the Director (Community), SingHealth Duke-NUS Sport & Exercise Medicine Centre, is heavily involved in community health promotion outreach efforts for the eastern population.
E.g. M3 Network – Bringing community programmes to heartland and create opportunities for community members to volunteer and serve people in their own neighbourhoods.
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