On the last day of National Reconciliation Week, 3 June, Diabetes WA stood by thousands of West Australians gathering to march from WA Museum Boola Bardip to Yagan Square for the Reconciliation Walk.
Standing alongside First Nations peoples and their allies, Diabetes WA recognises what a just, equitable and reconciled Australia will have in the future development and management of diabetes in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Diabetes WA’s General Manager of Growth and Innovation Sophie McGough said to address the devastating outcomes of diabetes in Aboriginal communities, Diabetes WA is committed to work under the leadership of Aboriginal Community Health Organisations to grow our Aboriginal Health Workforce of Diabetes Educators and Telehealth Aboriginal Support workers to provide culturally secure care.
“The statistics are overwhelming, Aboriginal people are three times more likely to have type 2 diabetes compared to other Australians and are almost seven times more likely to die from diabetes related complications than other Australians,” Sophie said.
Adding to the statistics, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people:
- have a prevalence of diabetes as high as 30% of the population in some Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities,
- develop type 2 diabetes at earlier ages than other Australians,
- living in remote areas are twice as likely to have diabetes as other Australians living in remote areas,
- have the highest rate of kidney failure in Australia,
- are 38 times more likely than other Australians to have lower limb amputations due to diabetes.
“And then there’s the children. There is evidence that Aboriginal children are impacted more aggressively and are eight times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than non-Aboriginal children,” Sophie shared.
“We recognise the history, inequity and racism that has contributed to the burden of diabetes that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples bear but to end the continuing cycle of diabetes throughout the generations of Aboriginal people, we have to begin somewhere, and we begin with providing personalised culturally safe diabetes care.”
Learn more about our Diabetes Education and Self-Management Yarning (DESY) program by contacting Aboriginal Health Coordinator Natalie Jetta firstname.lastname@example.org
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