National Diabetes Week carries theme of It's About Time

AWARENESS: National Diabetes Week will be held across the country from July 8-14 with the theme of It's About Time.

AWARENESS: National Diabetes Week will be held across the country from July 8-14 with the theme of It's About Time.

This year’s National Diabetes Week may carry the same theme as 2017, but a lot has changed in Northern Tasmania.

Launched on Sunday, the message of It’s About Time will again be used to raise awareness of the disease in communities. 

It’s an idea that resonates with staff at the John Morris Diabetes Centre in Launceston. 

Acting manager Sam Beattie said It’s About Time could easily be applied to diabetes services in the region.

“I feel like it’s our motto at the moment,” she said.

“The addition of two endocrinologists and a diabetes nurse practitioner at the start of the year has allowed us to co-design aspects of our services with our patients.

“These resources mean we are better able to deal with rapidly advancing technology in areas such as glucose monitoring and insulin pumps.

“There is a plethora of new drugs available to us.”

Of the two basic forms of diabetes, type 1 is most frequently diagnosed in childhood and accounts for about 5-10 per cent of all diabetes.

Type 2 is the more common form of diabetes, accounting for about 90-95 per cent of all cases.

According to the National Diabetes Service Scheme, Tasmania has a diabetes prevalence rate of 5.4 per cent, in comparison with the national prevalence rate of 5.2 per cent.

Regional areas such as George Town and Break O’Day have prevalence rates above 6 per cent.

The data is based on NDSS registrants and information from the Australian Bureau of Stastics.

Diabetes Tasmania chief executive Caroline Wells said there needed to be a cultural shift in the perception of diabetes.

“The fact that it can be managed once it has been diagnosed means a lot of people don’t take it seriously enough,” she said.

“It can be like a car crash in the way that people don’t think it will happen to them.

“People need to realise that early detection is really important and that there are a range of services they can take advantage of.”

National Diabetes Week runs from July 8-14.