Tackling diabetes head on. Here’s how Western Sydney Diabetes is trying to address our ‘hotspot’ problem

WSD Director Prof Glen Maberly with (l-r) Prof Germaine Wong, Prof Clara Chow and Dr Rona Francisco at the Masterclass face to face session. They led the session on ‘Are you preventing hearts and kidneys complications?’.

Western Sydney Local Health District’s Western Sydney Diabetes (WSD) program has run its Masterclass Series for another successful round, with the event embracing the theme for World Diabetes Day: Access to Diabetes Education.

“Diabetes has become the largest burden of disease and western Sydney is a hotspot,” WSD Director, Professor Glen Maberly said.

“WSD is working hard to build the capacity of GPs and healthcare providers to better manage diabetes in the community.”

WSD recently partnered with a prestigious faculty of 50 health professionals from across NSW to help tackle the diabetes epidemic in NSW.

This series was facilitated by WSD, Agency for Clinical Innovation (ACI), Blacktown Metabolic and Weight Loss Clinic, Diabetes, Obesity Metabolism Translational Research Unit (DOMTRU), Western Sydney LHD/PHN, Hunter New England LHD/PHN, Nepean Blue Mountains LHD/PHN, and South Western Sydney LHD/PHN.

The event targeted GPs, pharmacists, diabetes educators, nurses, endocrinologists, dietitians, exercise physiologists, psychologists and podiatrists to better equip them with the skills to better manage type 2 diabetes.

WSD delivered a comprehensive and engaging program with a seven-week virtual program featuring a range of expert guest speakers, interactive case studies and panel discussions.

More than 870 health practitioners from across Australia registered for this event to hear talks on topics related to diabetes such as screening for dementia; obesity; mental health; eye health; pregnancy; and aged care.

After a two-year hiatus, a full face-to-face session was held where more than 260 people registered.

“Each year the Masterclass series delivers a wealth of information and hot topics to keep health professionals updated on diabetes,” Prof Maberly said.

“The significantly large number of registrations and predominantly positive feedback highlights the success of this series and face-to-face session.”

Senior diabetes dietitian Katrina Tran, GP Dr Shanthini Seelan, Endocrinologist Dr Mani Manoharan and nurse practitioner at the diabetes education centre, Blacktown Hospital, Marlene Payk, led the session on ‘Are you managing type 1 diabetes in your GP practice?’

The series has been recorded and is available as an educational resource tool. Anyone can access it online through myINTERACT at https://rego.interact.technology/wsdmasterclass2022

Prof Maberly is reminding people who could be at high risk of type 2 diabetes to go and get a HbA1C blood 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
  • Has a Pacific Island, Indian subcontinent, Chinese, South East Asian, Aboriginal or Torres Strait Island background

WSD is a collaborative initiative led by Western Sydney Local Health District and Western Sydney Primary Health Network (WentWest) to address Western Sydney diabetes.