Mile End hospital will hold a workshop to raise awareness of diabetes among the local community on June 11, 2013.
So far 145,000 people in the borough have been diagnosed with type one diabetes. The Diabetes Centre in the hospital is concerned that many people in Tower Hamlets have undetected symptoms of diabetes.
The workshop will focus on Asian communities who account for 50 per cent of all the borough’s residents. During the workshop patients will get advise on healthy eating, exercise, and fasting during Ramadan.
People of Asian origin are six times more likely to be diagnosed diabetic than white Europeans, according to research by Diabetes UK in 2009. Alison Powling, Mile End Diabetes Centre manager said: “The Bangladeshi community is at particular risk.”
South Asian cuisine has a high fat and sugar content as food is often fried. Such cooking methods can cause weight gain and type 2 diabetes.
Tower Hamlets public health department is also concerned that access to healthcare within the Muslim community is below desirable levels, having resulted in poor diabetes management. As a result, the department has commissioned the organisation Maslaha to raise awareness on diabetes.
Maslaha offers outreach support to such communities through the combination of faith and medical narratives delivered by respected Imams.
Both Mile End Diabetes Clinic and Maslaha are proactively engaging with Asian groups to encourage patients to lead healthier life styles.
The public health department offers resources to assist diabetes patients in making the right decision on fasting during the holy month of Ramadan which falls in August.
The project organiser for Maslaha, Lucy Hobbs said: “If your health is impaired by diabetes, you should ideally not fast.”
“Diabetes is a growing problem particularly in Tower Hamlets. We want to raise awareness among everyone about what they can do to prevent the condition, as well as help those living with it to manage it more effectively” said Powling.
For further advice and information on the Diabetes Centre at Mile End Hospital contact 020 8223 8836, or for further information on Maslaha, visit their website at: http://www.diabetesintowerhamlets.org/