The newly trained Diabetes Community Champions in Newham are now raising awareness of diabetes in ethnic minority communities in the local area.
People of an African Caribbean background are up to three times more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes, and South Asian people are up to six times more likely.
Type 2 diabetes can go undetected for up to ten years, so 50 per cent of people already show signs of complications by the time they are diagnosed. Some of the complications include heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, blindness and amputation if the condition is not managed properly.
Diabetes UK has trained community leaders from ethnic minority backgrounds in Newham to learn about Type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Champions learn about the risk factors, symptoms, myths and misconceptions that are prevalent in some cultures. After their training they go out into their communities to raise local awareness by holding events, giving talks and encouraging people at high risk to visit their local GP or community pharmacist for a diabetes test.
This activity has been sponsored by MSD.
In Newham, more than 18,600 people have been diagnosed with diabetes, and it’s estimated that around 1,200 people in the borough are undiagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes UK North London Diverse Communities Officer, Juliet O’Brien, said: “Diabetes Community Champions regularly get out to minority ethnic communities, improving the understanding and awareness of diabetes and helping to identify people at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is a serious condition that has potentially devastating complications if not diagnosed early enough or if it is not managed effectively.”