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Former president campaigns for diabetes patients

The China Post news staff--Former President Lee Teng-hui has revealed how he has managed to live a normal life despite being a diabetes patient for more than 30 years.

In a video clip made for a campaign to promote public health, the 92-year-old Lee says he has been able to keep the disease under control by having insulin shots, plus a healthy diet, every day for more than three decades.

“Don't be afraid; don't worry,” says the ex-president in the video, urging diabetes patients to face the disease and receive regular treatment.

The public did not know he was a patient of the chronic disease until a few months ago when he disclosed in a media interview that he was diagnosed with diabetes when he was still mayor of Taipei City more than 30 years ago.

He said that he started using insulin to control the disease, injecting the drug four times a day — after every meal and before sleep. The United Evening News said Lee has been doing the shots all by himself without others' help.

The former president says in the clip that people usually are frightened and worried by news that they have diabetes, but he cites himself as an example to show that such fears and worries are not necessary.

He says as long as patients follow doctors' instructions and advice, have insulin shots regularly, control their diets, exercise and check their blood sugar levels every day, they will be able to lead a normal and healthy life.

Wang Chao-hung, an official from the Taiwanese Association of Diabetes Educators (TADE), said good control of blood sugar levels is crucial to preventing complications arising from diabetes.

Wang noted that health authorities' statistics show that over 60 percent of diabetes patients have failed to keep their blood sugar levels under control.

TADE hopes the Lee-aided campaign will dispel patients' fears about using insulin, he said, adding that they must remember the ex-president's message about having four shots a day.

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Former President Lee Teng-hui is seen in this screen grab from a video clip. Lee said that he has kept his condition of diabetes under control for more than 30 years. The video is part of a campaign to raise awareness of diabetes. (CNA)

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