New national diabetes resources launched today target some of the most vulnerable people and communities affected by diabetes.
Minister for Health, the Hon Peter Dutton, launched the resources today at Parliament House. The printed and web-based resources target key groups with a high prevalence of diabetes: older Australians, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples along with women and diabetes during pregnancy. The resources were developed for the National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS), and Australian Government initiative administered by Diabetes Australia with over 1.1 million Australians currently registered.
Meeting needs of multicultural peoples
Many migrant populations have a higher prevalence of diabetes and higher rates of diabetes-related hospitalisations and mortality rates than people born in Australia. A web portal has been developed to assist these groups. Currently 345,000 Australians are registered on the NDSS who speak languages other than English.
The increased risk of type 2 diabetes in people from these backgrounds is associated with genetic, cultural and lifestyle factors, including physical inactivity, poor nutrition, and overweight and obesity.
These resources are designed to educate people with diabetes and health professionals servicing these communities to have the best information available to manage their diabetes well and prevent ongoing complications of heart attack, stroke, kidney damage, blindness and amputations that are costly to our health budget.
Meeting needs of older people
A healthy eating guide has been developed for older people with diabetes.
Professor Greg Johnson Diabetes Australia CEO said, “there are more than 560,000 older Australians registered on the NDSS are aged over 65. Healthy eating remains a very important issue as we age and if we want older people to continue to be healthy and productive then we need more emphasis on support and resources specifically designed for them. And of course, these older Australians are very commonly living other chronic health conditions as well.”
Meeting needs of mothers with gestational diabetes
Over 25,000 women developed gestational diabetes and registered to the NDSS in the past year and they are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes within 10-20 years. Their children also have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
Thirty-one year old Kate Richards has experienced gestational diabetes during both of her pregnancies. She has used the new ‘Life After Gestational Diabetes’ booklet for women which was launched today in English and five languages – Arabic, Turkish, Vietnamese, Chinese Mandarin and Chinese Cantonese and says she sees the information as very useful for women from these cultural backgrounds.
Meeting needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders (ATSI Australians)
The prevalence of diabetes is three times higher in ATSI people and in some communities the prevalence of diabetes could be as high as 30%. ATSI people are diagnosed at younger ages with type 2 diabetes and life expectancy remains much lower than non-indigenous Australians. Grace Ward, from the ATSI community who was involved in the development of the resources said. “This new resource for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people will help them connect with the NDSS and hopefully better support them to maintain their health and avoid complications and early death.” Ms Ward said.
The resources launched are:
- Web portal for information about diabetes for people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
- Healthy Eating Guide for Older Australians with Diabetes
- New ‘Life After Gestational Diabetes’ booklet for women produced in 5 languages – Arabic, Turkish, Vietnamese, Chinese Mandarin and Chinese Cantonese
- New, culturally appropriate information resources about the NDSS for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and for people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
- Booklet for women with type 1 diabetes, about diabetes and pregnancy
(Source: Diabetes Australia)