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Aboriginal DESMOND sessions in the pilbaraUnderstanding diabetes, being confident in self-management and knowing support is available were among the positive outcomes our teams have delivered to people with diabetes throughout the Pilbara.

With funding from WA Primary Health Alliance, Diabetes WA’s Pilbara Diabetes Management Strategy enabled people in the Pilbara with type 2 diabetes to attend structured diabetes self-management education for the first time.

One of the greatest outcomes of the project included the successful delivery of eleven Aboriginal DESMOND programs across the Pilbara, over the two-year project. With funding from WAPHA and Mawarnkarra Health Service, programs were delivered to

121 Aboriginal people with type 2 diabetes and 19 support people in the region from July 2017 through to June 2019. Moreover, interest and attendance steadily increased throughout the project.

In 2019, programs delivered in Roebourne and Karratha were the result of collaboration between multiple service providers and organisations in the region including Mawarnkarra Health Service, Karratha Central Healthcare, and IBN Aboriginal Corporation, which was a relationship facilitated and leveraged through WACHS Population Health South Hedland.

Programs in Roebourne and Karratha were a huge success with 10 and 16 participants (respectively) attending the Aboriginal DESMOND program. Both participants and observing health professionals recognised the importance of the program being delivered and working together to support participation.

“Your organisation, working in collaboration with others, offers a wonderful program for community members and residents and IBN was very pleased to have been involved,” said Debbie Allcott, Community Partnerships Officer for IBN in Karratha.

Participants described the program as “amazing” and “very educational” and discussed goals around food choices, exercise and medications.

People who took part also said that they would recommend the program to others in that they “gained knowledge and awareness,” they liked how diabetes was explained “with locks and keys in the body” and added that the program “caused no harm and everyone in the room was all good”.

Diabetes WA is working with all of these organisations and providers to explore funding and support for further Aboriginal DESMOND deliveries in the future.

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