Webinar: Living with COVID when you have diabetes

Healthy Living Toongabbie President Dr Shanthini Seelan with member Dr Lumina Titus, both from Bridgeview Medical Centre, Toongabbie.

People with diabetes are more likely to suffer serious complications from COVID-19, so what can you do in a world ‘living with COVID’?

In collaboration with Western Sydney Diabetes, community group Healthy Living Toongabbie (HLT) is holding an online forum to address concerns in the community of living with diabetes and COVID.

The forum, called ‘We Are Livin’ in a COVID World: How to live with COVID when you have diabetes’ is on Thursday, February 24 at 6.30pm on Zoom and Facebook Live.

See the video here.

HLT is a community-based organisation dedicated to educating the community about diabetes, pre-diabetes and healthier food options.

It was formed four years ago by a group of passionate Toongabbie health practitioners, business people and residents concerned at the high number of residents in their community with type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes. 

HLT President Shanthini Seelan, a GP at Bridgeview Medical Centre in Toongabbie, said the COVID pandemic has impacted the diabetes epidemic negatively in her community.

“There are concerns with both poorly controlled diabetes and the rate of type 2 diabetes increasing due to people putting on weight and carrying out less physical activity during COVID,” Dr Seelan said.

“I have many questions from my patients about COVID and diabetes, including ‘Are the vaccines helping and are there more to come?’, ‘Why am I getting infected after being vaccinated?’, ‘What are post COVID/long COVID symptoms and how can I manage them?’ and ‘What financial help is available during the pandemic?’.”

Panellists include:

  • Dr Manimegalai Manoharan, Staff Specialist, Diabetes and Endocrinologist, Liverpool and Fairfield hospitals and Conjoint Senior Lecturer in Western Sydney University and UNSW, will discuss Omicron and diabetes management;
  • Professor Sanjay Swaminathan, Clinical Dean at Blacktown Clinical School, Western Sydney University, will discuss Long COVID Syndrome;
  • Dr Shopna K Bag, Acting Director, Population Health, Centre for Population Health, Western Sydney Local Health District, will discuss booster rollout and the confusion around PCRs and RATs;
  • Angela Blair, NDSS Awareness Manager, Diabetes NSW & ACT and Credentialed Diabetes Educator (CDE), will discuss how the NDSS has been supporting people with diabetes during COVID; and
  • Ram Ramamurthy, Hills Business Accountants, FCPA and Registered Tax agent, will discuss COVID financial support for individuals, households and businesses.


Professor Sanjay Swaminathan said ‘Long COVID Syndrome’ is the long-term complications from having the COVID-19 infection and a result of the acute effects of the disease that persist (such as lung damage).

“But there is a constellation of symptoms that can occur,” he said. “I imagine we will see more referrals in the future.”

Dr Seelan said people should take the chance to tune in and ask their own questions of the panellists.

“This forum is a great way to help answer all those questions and educate our community,’ she said.

Details: 6.30pm-8pm, Thursday, February 24, 2022. Join live on Facebook Live or Zoom.

Click the Zoom link below to join the webinar:


Passcode: 008405

Or join on Facebook Live: www.facebook.com/healthylivingtoongabbie/

For more information, visit www.healthylivingtoongabbie.org