Indian community rallies to beat diabetes together

Dr Katharine Gupta speaking at the seminar on Saturday.

When it comes to communicating important health messages to an at-risk community, who better to enlist than trusted local leaders and familiar faces within that community?

On Saturday the Lions Club of Sydney Indian welcomed more than 100 community members to the first diabetes awareness seminar in a series proudly organised and promoted by the Lions Club of Sydney Indian, with support from Lions Club International, AASHA Australia Foundation, Dr Sundar’s Medical Practice, Multicultural Professional Forum and Sri Om Care.

The free seminar was held at the Wentworthville Community Centre and included presentations by endocrine advanced trainee Dr Katherine Gupta from Western Sydney Diabetes (WSD) and endocrinologist Dr Ashis Gargya from Strathfield Private Hospital, followed by a light lunch and – here’s the fun bit – Bollywood entertainment.

Free Blood Glucose Level (BGL) testing was also available to help guests identify if they’re at risk of type 2 diabetes.

President of the Lions Club of Sydney Indian, Mr Padmanabhan Karamil, said the Club has joined the fight against diabetes.

“Diabetes is an epidemic in our community and we need as many organisations as possible to collaborate and spread the diabetes awareness message to our people who may be at risk,” Mr Karamil said.

“We are proud to work with Western Sydney Diabetes to lead our community towards a healthier future,” he said.

WSD director Professor Glen Maberly said for the past two years, WSD has been building relationships with trusted local businesses and identities in communities at risk of type 2 diabetes.

“Health alone can’t fix the diabetes problem, so we are working closely with community leaders who can raise awareness of the disease and promote healthy living options at a grassroots level,” Prof Maberly said.

“We are encouraged by the depth of commitment from local leaders who take the threat of diabetes, and all the related health issues and complications, so seriously that they have become advocates for awareness and champions of prevention.

“Place-Based Mobilisation is an exciting concept that aims to drive disease prevention by local influencers who have the ears of their community and the passion to help them beat type 2 diabetes,” Prof Maberly said.

For information about upcoming community seminars, please contact: President of the Lions Club Sydney Indian, Mr Padmanabhan Karamil via padmanabhan_karamil@hotmail.com or Western Sydney Diabetes Program Manager, Sumathy Ravi via sumathy.ravi@health.nsw.gov.au