Diabetes Seminar for Punjabi community

Anoop Johar, Bilingual Community Education Program Officer, Katie Allison, Diabetes NSW and ACT CALD Project Officer,                                                                  Aruni Ratnayake, Western Sydney Diabetes Prevention Officer, and Credentialed Diabetes Educator, Parvinder Kaur RN.

The National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS) is hosting the seminar for the Punjabi speaking community on Wednesday, May 26 and targets those who are living with, at risk of or supporting someone living with diabetes.

Western Sydney has a large multicultural population with a high proportion of people from a South Asian or Indian background. This community has a higher risk of developing both type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes.

The event will be delivered in the Punjabi language. It is funded by the NDSS, initiated through Diabetes NSW & ACT, and supported by Western Sydney Diabetes, Western Sydney Local Health District’s Multicultural Health’s Bilingual Community Education (BCE) Program, Diabetes Education Centre, Blacktown Hospital and Glenwood Medical Centre.  

Punjabi speakers will be Anoop Johar, BCE Program Officer, Dr Jasvinder Kheray, Director of Glenwood Medical Centre, and Parvinder Kaur, a Credentialed Diabetes Educator at the Diabetes Education Centre, Blacktown Hospital.

They will discuss the topics ‘Understanding Diabetes’, ‘Healthy Eating’, ‘Physical Activity’ and ‘The Annual Cycle of Care’.

Ms Kaur said Indians have a greater degree of insulin resistance and a stronger genetic predisposition to diabetes.

“There is also a significant burden of undiagnosed cases of diabetes in the Punjabi community, most of them poorly controlled,” Ms Kaur said.

“There is a need to identify the large pool of undiagnosed cases of diabetes and offer early treatment in order to avoid complications.”

Katie Allison, Diabetes NSW and ACT’s Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Project Officer, said it was “exciting” to have an event tailored to the Punjabi community in their language, as it will help reduce access barriers and link residents in with other groups.

Ms Johar said the BCE programs enable CALD communities to be more proactive in making health decisions for themselves and their families.

“These programs are designed to target individuals from a CALD background who, in some cases, may be illiterate in their own language,” she said.

Dr Kheray said the Punjabi community often “doesn’t understand” how to manage their lifestyle to prevent developing type 2 diabetes.

“They need more education about the condition and what’s available to them, as they don’t know, or they tell me to just give them what they need,” he said.

Aruni Ratnayake, Diabetes Prevention Officer with Western Sydney Diabetes, said the best approach to lowering the high diabetes rates in the Punjabi population is to engage the community to have a discussion to understand the condition and how to prevent or delay it.

Details: 2pm-4.30pm, Wednesday, May 26, Glenwood Community Hub, 72 Glenwood Park Drive, Glenwood.

Bookings essential here.

Inquiries: Aruni Ratnayake, Aruni.Ratnayake@health.nsw.gov.au, 

languages@diabetesnsw.com.au or call the NDSS helpline on 1800 637 700.

Dr Jasvinder Kheray, Director of Glenwood Medical Centre is encouraging the Punjabi community to attend the free Diabetes Seminar.

Media inquiries: eEngagement and Education Manager, Heloise Tolar, Heloise.Tolar@health.nsw.gov.au or 0417 872 245