Diabetes is a chronic health condition that can lead to adverse outcomes such as blindness, lower limb loss, or heart attacks and stroke which can impact have a big impact on a person’s life.
Thankfully, there are many things one can do that can avoid or minimise the impact of the disease if they are armed with the right information.
Recently, in our Mt Druitt site, our Skills for Education and Employment students were visited by a Multicultural Health Program Officer and a Diabetes Prevention Officer to educate the class about the disease.
There are currently 120 thousand people newly diagnosed in Australia every year and in areas like Western Sydney a staggering 50% either live with Diabetes or are in danger of becoming diabetic.
The prevalence of the disease is so high that anyone that is admitted to a Western Sydney hospital emergency department is automatically screened for diabetes.
There are students in the class who either live with Diabetes or have extended family that do so. Applying language skills to practical and useful information is key to the program’s success, which regularly engages students on subjects that are important to their wellbeing as a vehicle for improving language and literacy.
There was discussion about the symptoms and causes of Diabetes as well as easily actionable tips like portion control and physical activity guidelines.
Many were shocked to find that ½ cup of cooked rice is a portion!
The class was armed with a new-found confidence in how to handle the disease or avoid it altogether and many seem determined to share the tools for a healthier lifestyle with the rest of their community.
The Skills for Education and Employment (SEE) program is funded by the Australian Government Department of Education and Workplace Relations.