‘Heads Up’ on diabetes hotspot western Sydney this National Diabetes Week 2022

Blacktown diabetes sugar cabinet. Left to right: Janine Dawson and Heloise Tolar.

Western Sydney is a diabetes hotspot with disease rates higher than the NSW average.

The team from Western Sydney Diabetes (WSD) will spend a week at Blacktown Workers Club next month promoting diabetes awareness and prevention for National Diabetes Week, 10 to 16 July.

From Monday 11 to Friday 15 July, WSD staff will be in the foyer of the Club to talk to members and their guests about diabetes and provide information on diabetes prevention and present Feltman, a diabetes education tool. 

From 9am to 4pm, the team will be joined by community groups to promote healthy living and eating, including Live Life Get Active, Blacktown Council and Hearing Australia.

At 11am each day, an expert will deliver a presentation on:

  • Monday, 11 July: How to manage and reduce your risk of developing diabetes with WSD director and senior endocrinologist Professor Glen Maberly
  • Tuesday, 12 July: The impact of diabetes on hearing with Donalee Rose from Hearing Australia
  • Wednesday, 13 July: Diabetes prevention and resources available with WSD primary preventions manager Janine Dawson
  • Thursday, 14 July: Diabetes prevention with WSD dietitian Victoria Silvestro
  • Friday, 15 July: Diabetes’ impact on sight with Blacktown optometrist Joe Nazarian and Lilly Psomadelis from Sight For All.

On Friday, 15 July, Blacktown Council will also be running a free yoga session for people with diabetes.

For the third year, National Diabetes Week’s ‘Heads Up on Diabetes’ campaign focuses on challenging diabetes-related stigma and in addition, WSD will focus on highlighting the high rates of type 2 diabetes in our region and how we can prevent it.

WSD staff will be encouraging adults visiting the Club to get a HbA1C blood test if they:

  • Have family history of diabetes;
  • Have an inactive lifestyle;
  • Are overweight or obese;
  • Had diabetes during a pregnancy;
  • Are 45 years old or older; and
  • Have a Pacific Island, Indian subcontinent, Asian, South Asian, Aboriginal or Torres Strait Island background.

“Once you know you have diabetes, you need to make sure you are getting regular HbA1c tests and working with your GP to ensure you are using the most up-to-date medications and keeping your blood sugars under control,” Professor Maberly said.

But you can prevent types of diabetes if you act early, simply through increased physical activity, a healthy diet and losing weight.”

WSD primary preventions manager Janine Dawson said WSD is delighted to partner with the club to highlight what the community can do to reduce their risk of developing diabetes.

“There are a great many local resources and programs that Blacktown residents can take advantage of to get fit and healthy,” Ms Dawson said.

“We’re looking forward to making more of the visitors to the club aware of these options, with the aim that everyone will find something that they will enjoy doing.”

WSD is a collaborative initiative led by Western Sydney Local Health District and Western Sydney Primary Health Network (WentWest), PwC, Diabetes NSW&ACT and Department of Planning and Environment to address the Western Sydney diabetes hotspot.

Visit www.diabetesaustralia.com.au/national-diabetes-week/ and www.westernsydneydiabetes.com.au for more information.