45-year old S. Aurel Prakash who has been suffering from diabetes since he was 18 years old with the support of RELA, 22 NGOs and several other companies from Johor Bahru will take his 4×4 vehicle together on a 14-day journey through Thailand, Burma, Laos, China, Vietnam and Kampuchea starting 30 November.
Through the rally which he would tackle alone, Aurel hopes to inform the public and the people he meets in the countries he will be driving through that “if a diabetic can control his diet, take his medication, is physically active and has a positive mind set, he will lead a healthy life.”
Along the journey, he would be sleeping in his vehicle and not in a hotel and he reckons his usual stop would be near a waterfall if he could find one.
When asked by the CJMY reporter to elaborate on the rally, S. Aruel said that through it, he wanted to give hope to diabetics.
He continued, “Your life is not limited just because you have diabetes.”
Following this, he urged that every diabetic should have his own glucometer also known as a glucose meter which is a medical device for determining the approximate concentration of glucose in the blood.
In conjunction with this rally, 1,000 glucometers will be distributed to selected diabetic patients in Malaysia who would be trained to use it and many more glucometers would be distributed along his journey through other countries, .
When asked how did RELA become involved, he explained that “RELA’s tagline is ‘With the people’, hence this cooperation.”
He is a volunteer with RELA with the rank of Lt Colonel and holding the position of Assistant Commissioner.
This is the fifth time he is going on such a rally but this time, the number of NGOs cooperating has risen to 22 and the countries involved has also increased to six.
Many organisations are commemorating World Diabetes Day with interesting activities such as joggerthon, fun run, exhibitions, etc to increase diabetes awareness and prevention.
Diabetes is a common and serious health problem and sadly in Malaysia, the National and Morbidity Health Survey showed an alarming trend in diabetes prevalence at 21% and half of them remain undiagnosed.
In 2011, the Ministry of Health revealed that one out of five people above the age of 30 suffer from diabetes. About 3 million Malaysians have diabetes. This is more than double the number within the last decade.
A video on diabetic awareness was also launched at the press conference and copies of this would be distributed to the public. The rally will be flagged off at 10.30am on 30 November at [email protected] Raya and Aruel is expected to be back on 14 December at 8.30pm at the same venue.