A group of health-conscious business and community leaders in Toongabbie is urging local residents to join them in the fight against type 2 diabetes, as part of National Diabetes Week (July 14-20).
Members of the not-for-profit group known as Healthy Living Toongabbie Incorporated (HLT Inc.), organise events including shopping centre visits and forums to raise awareness of type 2 diabetes and promote healthy lifestyles in their community.
The group will be at Portico Plaza, Toongabbie on Sunday July 21, 10am-2pm, to encourage conversations with locals about diabetes, said HLT Inc. president and Discount Drug Store owner, Monica Boules.
as a pharmacist in the heart of Toongabbie has opened my eyes to the amount of
people living with diabetes and not knowing how to manage it, as well as the
number of people who are undiagnosed and at risk of diabetes,” Monica said.
“A lot of the residents we speak to at the shopping centre are of the Sri Lankan or Indian descent and know they are at high risk. They are often surprised to learn that diabetes is easily managed and that, just by changing a few lifestyle factors, they can live a better life.
starts with education and getting tested for diabetes by your GP.”
Western Sydney is a diabetes hotspot with type 2 disease rates higher than the New South Wales (NSW) average. Routine testing of patients at Blacktown and Mount Druitt Emergency Departments revealed that 30 per cent have pre-diabetes, while 17 per cent have type 2 diabetes.
Western Sydney Diabetes (WSD) launched a place-based mobilisation initiative in 2017, to enlist trusted local businesses and identities in high-risk suburbs like Toongabbie, to help improve the health of their communities, WSD director, Professor Glen Maberly said.
“Health alone can’t fix the diabetes problem, so we are working closely with community leaders who can raise awareness of the condition and promote healthy choices,” Prof Maberly said.
“Place-Based Mobilisation is an exciting concept as it drives disease prevention by local champions who have the ears of their community and the passion to help them.”
HLT Inc. will also host a Health Living Toongabbie Community Forum at the Toongabbie Sports Club on Thursday 19 September, 2019.
WSLHD invests approximately $2 million annually on tackling obesity, and $1.5 million for the Western Sydney Diabetes initiative.
In 2018-19, the NSW Ministry of Health will allocate $38 million towards reducing the prevalence of obesity in NSW.