Training for high risk diabetic patients

The Diabetes Fiji Inc. organises Young Diabetes Fiji peer group training for high risk diabetic patients to develop a sense of camaraderie and enhance sharing of knowledge among the patients.

Diabetes Fiji community program co-ordinator Marawa Kini said many believed diabetes was only in adults.

“So we avoid diagnosing teenagers, however, there are many teenagers who are at the high risk of this disease,” he said.

He said patients considered to be high risk were identified and encouraged to attend the training.

The day-long training was attended by 32 patients who were all below the age of 30. Mr Kini said there was a need for more awareness and support from communities to detect diabetes in teenagers.

“Even though we support them and create awareness, but lack of support from communities is affecting our process as we have seen that many diabetic youths are discriminated in schools, homes and communities.”

Health and Medical Services Ministry acting permanent secretary Dr James Fong said it was important for people and communities to take full ownership of their health and wellbeing.

“A person dies in every six seconds from diabetes all around the world, so people need to adhere to the ministry’s call for early diagnosis if there is to be national solidarity in the successful combat of diabetes.”

Dr Fong said diabetes prevention and management should be regarded as a family business in Fiji.

“We can start with the open advocacy of healthy eating, reducing starchy foods, avoiding sugary foods and drinks and by increasing vegetables and also by doing regular exercise.

“This workshop will not only help you, as people living with diabetes, but also your beloved family members as everything learned by you in this workshop will be shared with your loved ones.”

The training allows diabetic patients to showcase their achievements to their respective heads and learn from each other.

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