NWS has been working with the Asian community in Woking to provide education about the prevention and self-management of diabetes. Delivered by a multi-disciplinary team, the project required developing relationships with local religious leaders and the community. Its elements include a tailored education programme, specific to the needs of the Asian community and delivered in a variety of languages. The team also visited three mosques in the lead up to Ramadan to give talks about the management of diabetes during fasting and has been supporting the take-up of NHS Health Checks to ensure the community are aware of the opportunity to receive a free check and the benefits of doing so. The group has attended local community events and offered bilingual brief advice on health interventions.
Type 2 diabetes is up to six times more common in people of South Asian descent, and in the UK, people of South Asian origin (of Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi descent) are the largest ethnic minority who now comprise the majority ethnic group in several urban locations. Woking, a borough within North West Surrey, has a high Black Minority Ethnic (BME) community which makes up 8.7% of the total population. In NWS the X-PERT Diabetes Programme is offered to patients with diabetes and has been delivered to the Asian community in the past, where it has been found inappropriate, resulting in a high dropout rate and inconsistent attendance.
To improve engagement and education among this community, a patient diabetes education programme called Shifa Diabetes has been developed by a diabetes specialist nurse and a health link worker who works with BME communities and speaks seven languages. The aims are: to increase awareness and identification of diabetes, the risk factors, prevention and management of this condition among the Asian community in NWS; to improve the knowledge and understanding of diabetes management and the implications of fasting; to develop and appropriately deliver simple and clear messages, resources and education which are specific to the cultural needs of the Asian community.
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