Going bananas to beat diabetes

Health workers will get fruity on World Diabetes Day – November 14th - to raise awareness of the disease.

They will swap their usual attire to dress up in fruit and vegetable costumes to highlight the importance of a healthy diet in managing or avoiding diabetes.

Lister Park, Bradford, will be the venue for a joint event, organised by award-winning charity, HALE (Health Action Local Engagement) with support from Bradford City Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which will launch its own Bradford Beating Diabetes campaign on the day.

The event, from 9am to 12.30pm, is being funded by Diabetes UK, who will have a representative in attendance.

Visitors will be able to tuck into delicious healthy snacks, cooked up on the specially-converted HALE MOV (mobile outreach venue) bus and learn about how a healthy diet, including fruit and vegetables, can help prevent and control diabetes, as well as being able to chat to Bradford City GPs, offering health advice.

A special guest will be the Lord Mayor of Bradford, Coun Khadim Hussain, who will be making an appearance at Lister Park, from 11 to 11.30am.

Coun Hussain said: “I am delighted that the HALE project and Bradford City CCG are raising awareness of diabetes across our community. I would encourage people to find out about the warning signs because this is a manageable condition if it is diagnosed early, so it is vital that people find out whether they or family members are at risk.”

Dr Adeel Iqbal, GP lead for long-term conditions at Bradford City CCG said: “We hope as many people as possible come along to support the events because we want to prevent as many City patients as we can from developing diabetes, as well as providing excellent care and advice to those who have the condition.

“Attending these events really could make a difference to their future health.”

HALE dietitian, Tahira Amin said: “We’re delighted to be hosting this event in partnership with Diabetes UK and Bradford City CCG. We hope that plenty of people will come along, have a chat, and take this opportunity to gain practical knowledge of how to prevent and manage diabetes through a healthy balanced diet.”

The event is one of two being staged in the city to mark World Diabetes Day. In Bradford’s busy Kirkgate Shopping Centre shoppers will be able to talk to GPs about the risks of diabetes and complete a questionnaire, as well as a fun quiz to work out which foods are good for helping to control diabetes and which aren’t. The stand will be on the lower mall from 10am to 3pm.

The message behind the two fun events is a serious one: There are over 7,500 diabetic patients, aged 17 and over, in the City area and an additional 7,200 people at moderate or high risk of developing the most common form of diabetes (Type 2).

The South Asian population, defined as those people whose ancestry is in the countries of the Indian subcontinent, including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, are at increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
The CCG’s Bradford Beating Diabetes campaign is aimed at identifying anyone in the City who may be at risk of becoming diabetic in the future and making sure they receive the most appropriate advice, care and support to prevent or delay the onset of the condition.

It will also support those who are currently being treated for diabetes, ensuring they receive the correct health care in order to manage their symptoms and prevent any related, serious conditions from developing.

Kirkgate Centre manager, Catherine Riley said: “This is something personal to me because my husband has Type 2 diabetes, so it’s great that this event is being held at the Kirkgate Shopping Centre. Anything that raises awareness of the risk factors leading to diabetes and which hopefully can help people avoid it can only be a good thing.“

In the first phase of the campaign, those already identified in the past 12 months at being at moderate or high risk, will receive a letter asking them to book in with their GP for a blood test. Then, depending on the results, they will be offered a tailor-made package of treatment and advice.

The second phase, to be rolled out in 2014, will enable people to know how likely they are to develop diabetes in the future and raise awareness about healthy lifestyles. The campaign will run until at least March 2015.

Diabetes reduces life expectancy by 10 years and is the commonest cause in the UK of blindness, kidney failure and non-traumatic lower limb amputation.

For further information please contact the CCG communications team on: 01274 237719 or email communications@wsybcsu.nhs.uk

Or contact Katy Whitham at HALE on: 01274 271088 or email katy@haleproject.org.uk . Information about the event is also on the HALE website, http://www.haleproject.org.uk/news/index.htm, as well as facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HALEproject and twitter: @HALEProject