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Maori, Pacific Islander and Arabic clients to be helped with tailored diabetes program

Maori _Pacific Islander _Arabic

 

If you can't understand or adapt diabetes advice from health professionals to suit your lifestyle, you probably won't follow it.

 

Diabetes Queensland has recently partnered with Brisbane South PHN to identify culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities to help address this issue.

 

For the past three months, Diabetes Queensland has been working with local Maori and Pacific Islander, and Arabic-speaking communities to make the DESMOND program (Diabetes Education Self Management Ongoing and Newly Diagnosed) more culturally appropriate for these groups.

 

These communities experience both increased rates of avoidable diabetes-related hospitalisations and preventable diabetes complications.

 

These statistics, along with a strong desire and motivation from the communities to see positive change, helped Diabetes Queensland to find out whether the DESMOND program would be effective and suitable for these CALD groups.

 

Elham Monsef, from Brisbane South PHN, said: "This partnership is important as it's responding to the need identified by primary care providers and the community. Having a culturally adapted DESMOND program for people with newly diagnosed diabetes to attend supports quality care and better health outcomes."

 

Two community 'expert reference groups' were formed, including people living with diabetes, their families, health professionals and other interested community members. Participants advised on how to adapt DESMOND to incorporate culturally appropriate foods, religious practices and beliefs, and family structures to make the program more effective for people from their communities.

 

From this feedback, Diabetes Queensland and the Brisbane South PHN can pilot an adapted program and tailor resources for each group, then refine it further after feedback from the expert reference groups.

 

Manal Aqrawe, from the expert reference group for the Arabic community, said:, "I have worked as a medical doctor for more than 20 years in my original country Iraq, and we can do more for our community to control this progressive and chronic condition by attending, collaborating and creating through the DESMOND program."

 

The best people to facilitate diabetes education for diverse cultural groups are people from the community, so Diabetes Queensland will be training people from each community to become DESMOND facilitators.

 

This was key feedback from consultation with the Maori and Pacific Islander community: We need to build on the strengths of the community, rather than just try to fix the "problems".

 

We'll share further updates later in the year as we pilot the adapted programs and our new educators start to plan their sessions for next year.

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