Torres Strait, Cape York and Northern Peninsula Area residents have been reminded of the need to maintain healthy eating, drinking and lifestyle behaviours to avoid chronic diseases like diabetes.
Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service workers are reminding people to keep an eye on their health in the lead up to World Diabetes Day on 14 November.
Thursday Island Quality Lifestyle Program advanced health worker Olsen Sailor said diabetes numbers continue to climb across the Torres Strait and on Thursday Island.
“Diabetes is the name given to a group of different conditions in which the body cannot maintain healthy levels of a type of sugar called glucose in the blood,” she said.
“The amount of sugar in the blood is controlled by a hormone called insulin, manufactured in your pancreas – a gland behind your stomach.
“When your body cannot make enough insulin, or if the insulin is not working properly, it cannot break down glucose into energy.
“Glucose then builds up into high blood glucose levels which can then cause diabetes.’’
Primary Health Care Programs North Director Maleta Abednego said Thursday Island has the largest concentration of people with diabetes in the Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service region.
“Thursday Island is home to 381 people with diabetes – 336 of whom are Indigenous people – which is about 14.6 per cent of the total number of diabetics on our register in our health service,” she said.
“Across the health service as a whole we currently have about 2608 active diabetes clients on our register.
“Across our region we need to find ways to reduce both the overall rate of diabetes in our communities and the poor health people experience because of the complications of diabetes.”
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