National Diabetes Week 2022 a success

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National Diabetes Week 2022 a success

National Diabetes Week 2022 the start of a "wonderful partnership"

WSD Prevention Manager Janine Dawson, Diabetes Educator Sian Bramwell and Primary Prevention Officer Aruni Ratnayake.

Western Sydney Diabetes’ National Diabetes Week 2022, held for the first time at Blacktown Workers Club, was a huge success and a wonderful start to what will hopefully be an ongoing partnership.

From July 11 to 15, WSD staff were in the foyer of the club to talk to members and their guests about diabetes and provide information on diabetes prevention, and present Feltman, a diabetes education tool. 

WSD Prevention Program Manager Janine Dawson said it was a great opportunity to meet large numbers of people who are at risk and discuss how they could reduce their risk factors by a few simple lifestyle changes.

“They were eager to discuss their own health and share their own or their family’s experience with diabetes,” she said.

“Members were very engaged with the displays and often staggered by the sugar content of some popular foods.

“We encouraged a large number of people to consider having their HbA1c tested, so hopefully they will follow up with their GPs.”

The team was joined by
community groups which promote healthy living and eating, including Hearing
Australia and Blacktown Council in addition to expert talks from a dietitian, Hearing Australia and Sight For All.

Marilena Cruz of Marsden Park attended the talk by WSD Director Prof Glen Maberly on diabetes and its management.

Ms Cruz said she has been told by her GP she has pre-diabetes, which is a condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal, although not high enough to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is a condition where a person becomes resistant to insulin or their pancreas is no longer able to produce enough insulin to counteract the food eaten.

“I am Filipino and on the ‘borderline’ of getting diabetes and nowadays you are so conscious of it,” she said. “I know I need more self-control, and that is very hard, but I must, to stop it getting worse.”

Brenda Simms of Marayong told the team she worked hard to get herself off insulin to manage her type 2 diabetes. 

Mrs Simms said she attended a diabetes information session hosted at the Blacktown Workers Club.

“I decided then I wanted to do something about it and a group of friends and I joined the gym, I lost 30 kilograms and then my doctor told me I no longer needed to be on insulin anymore,” Mrs Simms said.

WSD Primary Prevention Officer Aruni Ratnayake said the team reached a section of the community who were regular members, with some returning at the end of the week with more questions.

“Most of the people were keen to speak about diabetes management and it was good to have WSD diabetes educators present for a few hours for general advice,” Ms Ratnayake said.

“NDSS information fact sheets were valuable as a resource to take away, with the popular ones being healthy eating.

“Feltman was a good visual aid to explain the process of developing diabetes. Having a dinner plate was also a good engaging tool with members to explain portion sizes.”

Ms Dawson said the team was fortunate to meet inspiring members of all ages who had taken steps to get healthy and had achieved such positive results for both their health and happiness.

“We are grateful to the Club for giving us this opportunity to connect with so many community members and provide some education and encouragement to reduce the impact of diabetes on their lives,” she said. 

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

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