Friday, 27 February 2015 11:25

Western Sydney unites to tackle diabetes

Overweight person measuring waistline. Overweight person measuring waistline. Source: iStock

The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has been working alongside Western Sydney Local Health District and Medicare Local as part of the Western Sydney Diabetes Prevention and Management Initiative.

Western Sydney is a hotspot for diabetes, with rates almost triple that of suburbs to the East of Sydney.

There are over 100,000 registered cases of diabetes in the WSROC region, and it is widely acknowledged that around half of cases remain undiagnosed. This equates to health cost of around $400 million per year for diabetes treatment in Western Sydney.

WSROC President Tony Hadchiti said “Type 2 diabetes is a major problem for our residents. It is a regional issue and requires a regional approach.”

“The costs of chronic disease is much greater than health care bills alone. Sufferers are statistically less likely to participate in the labour force, less likely to be employed full time, and more likely to be long-term unemployed due to health reasons.”

“The good news is 70% of lifestyle disease is preventable through healthy lifestyle choices.”

The Western Sydney Diabetes Prevention and Management Initiative Alliance brings together professionals from a range of backgrounds including GPs, hospitals, Government, universities, town planners, and educators, to develop a whole of region response to diabetes prevention and management.

“The steps to prevention are simple, but require cooperation from many sectors of the community. We want our residents to live happier, healthier lives, and reduce the burden on our public health system,” said Cllr Hadchiti.

The first step is mapping the programs and facilities currently available in our region.

“WSROC Councils already sponsor a number of healthy living programs including: free and low-cost boot camps, healthy cooking classes, free health screening, and bicycle loan programs,” said Cllr Hadchiti.

“Taking a regional approach will improve our ability to share information on successful programs, and where possible expand opportunities for funding and collaboration,” he said.



Source: Reprinted from Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, 106/3, Astell-Burt et al, Understanding geographical inequities in diabetes: Multilevel evidence from 114,755 adults in Sydney, Australia, Pages No, e68-e73, Copyright (2014), with permission from Elsevier.


Last modified on Wednesday, 18 March 2015 10:09