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92.9fm Regional News

  • Writer's pictureAlayna Fong

Diabetes program visits Moree

All this week, Hunter New England Health has been delivering their Diabetes Alliance Program (DAP+) in Moree to raise awareness about the disease.

Around seven per cent of people in Moree Plains Shire Council are living with diabetes and it is the third leading potentially preventable hospitalisation condition for the region.

HNELHD wants to reduce these figures and believe that prevention is the key.

DAP+ Director Associate Professor Shamasunder Acharya emphasised it doesn’t matter why somebody gets diabetes, it’s the diagnosis that matters.

“Lifestyle is a significant contributing factor for type two diabetes, but not everything is because of lifestyle,” Mr Acharya said.

“There are many other reasons why people get diabetes, particularly it’s the genetics, family history, ethnicity, certain medications, and certain underlying conditions that can all predispose someone to developing diabetes.

“It doesn’t matter why someone gets diabetes, as long as they get diagnosed in time and be optimally managed so we can reduce complications or prevent complications arising.”

On average, diabetes wipes away around 10 years off someone’s lifespan and if left untreated, the complications can be fatal.

If diabetes is not well managed, vital organs start failing early leaving people on dialysis or requiring a kidney transplant.

It can also put people at risk of neuropathy, a painful condition that affects the nerves, predisposing them to diabetic foot ulcers which in some cases leads to amputation.

In fact, diabetes affects almost every single organ in the body said Mr Acharya.

Despite the serious and preventable complications that can arise from untreated diabetes, there is still stigma attached to seeking treatment.

“People think that if they developed diabetes from their lifestyle, they aren’t welcome to come and talk about their diabetes. People may feel embarrassed to talk about their diagnosis as well, but it shouldn’t be that way,” Mr Acharya said.

“Whatever reason people get diabetes doesn’t really matter. If they come forward, get tested, get treated, get sorted, the outcomes can match those without diabetes and that’s what we want to do.

“Destigmatisation is the absolute need at this point of time.”

The DAP+ program included events like yarn bombing, Park Run, and a Consumer Day which featured displays, demonstrations, and guest speakers, giving the community the chance to understand the importance of a diabetes diagnosis.

As an event first for Moree, it is hoped to be held again in the future.

Moree residents participating in the yarn bombing event.


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