A unique project to identify South Asians in Glasgow who are at risk of developing diabetes and related complications is paying real dividends for this group of patients.
Six practices across the South Side and West End of the City are piloting a diabetes screening programme for South Asians between the ages of 35 – 64 years old.
Since the introduction of the pilot in April 2011 more than 900 health checks have
already been delivered to patients in this at risk group.
As a result many patients who were on the cusp of developing diabetes have been picked up early and treated before their condition worsened whilst other previously undiagnosed patients have also been identified and are now in effective treatment programmes.
Dr Linda de Caestecker, NHSGGC Director of Public Health, said: “South Asians in the UK are up to six times more likely to get diabetes, develop it earlier, suffer from more severe complications and die prematurely when compared to indigenous Scots.
“As such it is vital we identify those at risk as soon as possible and where possible prevent the development of chronic health problems or at the very least pick up undiagnosed patients and get them into treatment.”
To ensure maximum reach local pharmacies and outreach workers are also involved so that that as many patients in the target group benefit from the health checks.
One patient who has benefited is 43 year old mum-of-four Shellah Tariq from Pollockshields. Shellah was invited to her local GP practice for the health check. Shellah was overweight at risk of developing diabetes and was encouraged and supported to lose weight and take up exercise. Shellah was referred to weekly exercise classes and attended weekly health cookery classes. After only six week Shellah had lost a stone and what is more she had great fun at the exercise classes and has already put her name down to join a new session.
She said: “I am so pleased I took up the offer of the heath assessment. I knew I was overweight and this gave me the encouragement and help I needed to do something about it and will hopefully prevent me developing diabetes in the future.
“I had a full health check at my local GP practice and I was so impressed by how much time they spent assessing my health and discussing things with me. There was absolutely no sense of being rushed at all and I felt very confident about the advice that was being given to me.
“I would very seriously recommend that anyone who is invited for this health check takes up the offer as it could change their life.”
For further information either telephone 0141 201 4429 or email [email protected] .