Following the success of the Diabetes Awareness Forum in Blacktown earlier this month, a second forum is being held on Saturday 18 June in Castle Hill to help raise community awareness.
The event is a collaboration between WSD (an initiative of Western Sydney Local Health District and WentWest (Western Sydney Primary Health Network), The Hills Shire Council, and the Lions clubs of District 201N5 Zone 11, which includes Blacktown Ponds, Castle Hill, Kellyville, Kings Langley and Sydney Sri Lankan and guest speakers include an endocrinologist, GP, dietitian and an exercise physiologist.
Western Sydney is a diabetes hotspot with disease rates higher than the NSW average.
Event guest speaker, endocrinologist Dr Mani Manoharan, said it is estimated that 12 per cent of western Sydney residents have diabetes and 38 per cent of the local population are at ‘high risk’ of type 2 diabetes with pre-diabetes or early undiagnosed diabetes.
“Unless we act, the problems will continue to worsen,” said Dr Manoharan.
Diabetes screening at the Blacktown and Mount Druitt hospital Emergency Departments (ED) in 2017 showed alarming rates of 17 per cent of people with diabetes and 29 per cent with pre-diabetes.
WSD is encouraging anyone who is at high risk to go to their GP and get tested for a free HbA1c test.
This includes adults in western Sydney who has more than one of the following risk factors:
- A family history of diabetes;
- An inactive lifestyle;
- Is overweight or obese;
- Had diabetes during a pregnancy;
- Is 45 years old or older; and
- Have a Pacific Island, Indian subcontinent, Chinese, South East Asian, Aboriginal or Torres Strait Island background.
Mayor of The Hills Shire, Dr Peter Gangemi thanked the Lions clubs for putting on the free educational forum to help tackle the diabetes epidemic in western Sydney.
“It’s so important information is freely available on how to prevent and manage diabetes, as well as how to live a healthy life with this disease which can cause a number of health problems if not treated appropriately,” he said.