Petition for National Diabetes Strategy urges action in the fight against diabetes

Strategy includes recommendations to support high-risk communities

TORONTO, Ont. (September 10, 2019) – In 2018, Diabetes Canada released a report on how implementing a diabetes strategy could help governments take action to help manage and reduce the risk of diabetes, including recommendations for ethnic groups who are at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Although there has been strong momentum, it hasn’t been enough to persuade government to implement the strategy which is why the Diabetes 360° Petition has been launched to help showcase the support of Canadians and get the attention of all parties and candidates running in the upcoming federal election.

“Diabetes is a complex and challenging disease that brings with it many serious health challenges and that disproportionately affects certain groups of Canadians,” says Charlene Lavergne, Indigenous diabetes advocate and person living with type 2 diabetes. “People of certain ethnic backgrounds are at greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes, specifically people of African, Arab, Asian, Hispanic, Indigenous and South Asian descent.”

Diabetes 3600 is an evidence-based, community-developed strategy that has the potential to reduce the human burden of this rapidly escalating disease and the unsustainable pressure on the health-care system.

Recommendations that have special relevance for people at risk of diabetes due to ethnicity:

  1. Healthy Eating Strategy measures like making the Canada Food Guide inclusive of all cultural dietary patterns and available in 26 languages will make it easier for people to eat a healthy, culturally appropriate diet and prevent diabetes and its complications.
  2. Culturally appropriate tools will be developed in collaboration with ethnic communities at higher risk of diabetes to support them in preventing diabetes and its complications.
  3. Greater adherence to the Clinical Practice Guidelines for screening will mean that people of African, Arab, Asian, Hispanic, Indigenous or South Asian descent are screened regularly for diabetes. Improvements in treatment will ensure that everyone gets culturally relevant care when and where they need it.
  4. A patient portal will help Canadians access community-based supports for diabetes self-management in their language, in their culture and in their community.

Diabetes 360° is a framework that is intended to be implemented differently in each province and territory, and possibly in each community, based on their unique priorities and needs. This is to ensure the requirements of each group at higher risk of diabetes due to ethnicity are well met.

About Diabetes

Diabetes is a chronic disease in which the body either cannot produce insulin or cannot properly use the insulin it produces. Insulin is a hormone that controls the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood. Diabetes leads to high blood sugar levels, which can damage organs, blood vessels and nerves. The body needs insulin to use sugar as an energy source.

 About Diabetes Canada

Diabetes Canada is the registered national charitable organization that is making the invisible epidemic of diabetes visible and urgent. Diabetes Canada partners with Canadians to End Diabetes through:

  • Resources for health care professionals on best practices to care for people with diabetes;
  • Advocacy to governments, schools and workplaces; and
  • Funding world-leading Canadian research to improve treatments and find a cure.

For more information, visit diabetes.ca or call 1-800-BANTING (226-8464).

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