Tackling diabetes in the west


Hannah Hammoud

Across Victoria, diabetes is most prevalent among locals living in Melbourne’s west including in Melton, Brimbank and Wyndham.

Victoria University has partnered with the Wyndham Health Foundation to provide a series of free, health information sessions to educate the community in Melbourne’s west about the issues most affecting them.

The first of these series is a diabetes information session featuring a panel of health experts who will share their latest findings and practical tips on managing diabetes, including the role of exercise, nutrition, and other interventions in prevention or treating of the disease.

The Western Health Chronic Disease Alliance reports that 35 per cent of all inpatients at Western Health have diabetes, the highest in Melbourne.

Professor Vasso Apostolopoulos said the information session aims to educate the community and enhance their understanding of both type-1 and type-2 diabetes.

She said for many in the west who are living with type-2 diabetes, they are unaware of just how damaging the effects of unmanaged diabetes can be.

“People don’t think about the long-term effects of diabetes and what it will mean for them in the future. They tend not to think about that, but research shows that diabetes is linked to heart disease, kidney failure, increased risks of depression and a lot of other effects that can result long-term,” she said.

Professor Apostolopoulos said type-2 diabetes is widespread in the west due to a range of factors including the low socio-economic status of households, and lack of access to quality foods. Type-2 diabetes is also often concentrated in areas that are further away from access to recreational spaces such as ovals, parks and bike tracks.

She said it is important to understand that when diabetes is first diagnosed, it can be managed by small changes in lifestyle, exercise and diet which can make a significant difference to the impacts of diabetes.

The free information session will take place on September 12, from 6-7.10pm at Victoria University Lecture Theatre Werribee Campus. Registration is required.

Details: shorturl.at/DJPR8