Although it was registered only on 19th March 1987, the Sabah Branch of the Malaysian Diabetes Association was formed on 11th June 1983 soon after the formation of the National Association. It was initiated by two former physician specialists of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Datuk Dr. Alexander S. F. Lo and Dr Khoo Kay Keng. Among the founder members are Mary Lee, Biochemist and Stella Kwan, Dietician of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital together with diabetes patients such as Mariam Lim, Claire Mumping, Mrs Florence Wong, Jackson Ting, Chua Thiam Huat, and the late Leong Ming Tat and Lim Kian Sam. Datuk Dr Alexander Lo served as its first Chairman to be followed by Dr. Khoo Kay Keng. Mr Chua Thiam Huat was the non medical profession Chairman.
In the early years, the office of Surcom Sdn Bhd, a company owned by Chua Thiam Huat was used as a meeting place. Initial funding was raised through the organisation of a walkathon, which raised a sum of RM20,000 to cover the activities of the Branch.
After receiving an annual grant from the Sabah Welfare Council, a premises was rented at Taman Layang Layang in June 1990. With the premises, the Association was able to start a counselling service to advise members and the general public on problems related to diabetes n Tuesday through Friday from 9a.m. to 2p.m. The service is being continued in our present temporary premises at Taman Soon Kiong. In 1995, the Association embarked on a project to purchase its own premises. One shophouse floor at Damai Plaza was booked. The location was chosen because of ease of access to members and the general public. The Association has received tremendous support from its members and the general public and to date we have been able to raise about half of the cost towards the purchase of this premises. It is anticipated that the Association should be able to move into its own premises by early 1998.
Today, the Association has a membership of some 800. Efforts are being made to recruit more members as it is believed that some 6-8% of the population in the State, or the equivalent of no less than 120,000 individuals are diabetics.
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