A report published by the South Asian Health Foundation (SAHF) finds education programs have improved awareness of diabetes in the South Asian community.
Prior to this report, 228 South Asian people were questioned and asked to identify levels of diabetes awareness, with 35.7 per cent believing that diabetes only occurred in the elderly.
Improving diabetes awareness
There were 11 events hosted by the SAHF at GP practises, among other organisations, which featured debates and short films. The SAHF subsequently found a general increase in knowledge of the risks of diabetes and its complications.
10.3 per cent of attendees also demonstrated awareness that people of South Asian origin are more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes.
This is because people of South Asian origin are three to six times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than white Europeans with cultural factors also known to impact the management of diabetes.
Professor Wasim Hanif, Consultant Physician in Diabetes and Endocrinology, and Chair Diabetes Working Group, SAHF, concluded: “Our report sets out a number of recommendations that will help transform the lives of people living with diabetes and their close families”.
Who are the South Asian Health Foundation?
The SAHF, founded in 1999, is a charity that aims to raise awareness of ethnic health issues, including type 2 diabetes, and promote a fair health service for the South Asian popularity.
Their report aimed to enhance knowledge of diabetes and information specifically relating to South Asian culture, which was achieved through:
Commissioning more education – addressing specific needs of the South Asian community
Targeting younger people – explaining the risks in diet and lifestyle
Targeting gestational diabetes – this affects women during pregnancy
Tailoring dietary messaging – looking at the role of sugar in the diet
Their events focused on “at risk” populations of the South Asian communities in the United Kingdom and were funded and supported by Novo Nordisk, a global leader in diabetes care.

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