On 8 August 2020, to raise funds for needy patients, 5 physiotherapists from SingHealth Polyclinics went on a 55km hike around Singapore. The initiative, called ‘Move Against Diabetes (MAD)’, was joined by 3 other teams of healthcare staff consisting of doctors, dentists, nurses, and administrators to champion this worthy cause.
A total of 23 SingHealth Polyclinics staff participated in this event to help the many patients whose livelihood have been vastly affected by the global pandemic, especially those diagnosed with diabetes and other chronic conditions that require long-term treatment.
With the overwhelming interest and support from both staff and senior management of SingHealth Polyclinics, the amount raised from the MAD Hike initiative has way surpassed the original target of $5,000. To date, the initiative has raised a total of $12,940 from just over one hundred donors.
The hike had safety measures in place to ensure safe distancing. Each team was limited to 5 members and all the teams were flagged off at 5-minute intervals between each group.
As physiotherapists, Hanniel and his colleagues are always advocating physical activity and an active lifestyle for people of all ages, especially for those who are attempting to manage their chronic diseases.
In Singapore, diabetes has been found to be the fourth most common condition among polyclinic patients, with 1 in 9 Singaporeans aged 18 to 69 years being affected by the condition.
Walking is a good activity to get started on one’s journey to becoming fit. In fact, research has found that brisk walking continuously for 10 minutes or longer can boost one’s muscle endurance and even improve cardio-respiratory fitness.
As such, the hikers hope that their participation in the MAD Hike initiative can inspire many more patients to take up long distance walking to improve their overall health.
In addition to promoting an active lifestyle and better care management, the MAD hike also functions as a good initiative to help raise funds for the needy patients of SingHealth Polyclinics.
Patients who are financially less well-off, have been finding it particularly difficult to afford the essential medical treatment they require. The MAD Hike initiative was thus introduced to help raise funds for patients to tide through these tough times.
100% of the funds raised through the MAD Hike initiative will go towards supporting the Gift of Family Fund, a part of the SingHealth Fund (SHF).
SHF was incorporated in September 2016 to operate charity funds for SingHealth. Such funding programmes will help to support the cause of unleashing the potential of medicine to enable better health for future generations.
The amount raised through the MAD Hike programme will also aid to bridge the gaps between existing government grants and available support schemes for medical research, education and clinical care.
Additionally, this financial contribution will also empower the relevant staff to accelerate breakthroughs and fuel innovation within the medical field while also grooming future generations of healthcare leaders to bring about better health for both patients and the community, presently and in the future.
At the end of the day, although the hikers admitted to have experienced muscle aches, they felt a strong sense of achievement after completing the very meaningful walk.
They have expressed their interest to turn this initiative into an annual event so as to be able to continue raising funds to better support needy patients in the future. They also hope that this will inspire a spirit of giving and volunteerism among other staff, reminding everyone that it is indeed more blessed to give than to receive.
A donation of $10 can help with one week supply of syringes, needles and alcohol swabs for a diabetic patient for their insulin intake, while a donation of $500 can support medical consultation and medication for 10 diabetic patients.
Individuals who wish to support the MAD Hike can continue to do so up till 30 September 2020, by making a donation of any amount they would like to put forth.