Harper Government Announces Funding to Help Prevent and Manage Diabetes in British Columbia

VANCOUVER, Aug. 13, 2012 /CNW/ - On behalf of the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, the Honourable Tim Uppal, Minister of State (Democratic Reform), announced today funding to the University of British Columbia's Faculty of Medicine for a project to address the need for diabetes management and prevention programs in rural and high-risk communities in the province.

"Diabetes is on the rise in Canada and worldwide," said Minister Uppal. "Our government is working with key organizations to help prevent Type 2 diabetes, and to improve the lives of those who have or may develop all types of diabetes."

The Inter-Cultural Online Health Network project will establish a peer-support diabetes program in BC's multicultural rural communities, specifically targeting Punjabi and Chinese-speaking communities. This project will educate community members and patients about diabetes using live and virtual peer support groups.

"The rates of diabetes are higher in Punjabi and Chinese-speaking communities than the rest of the general population," said Dr. Kendall Ho, Director of the eHealth Strategy Office of the Faculty of Medicine. "We are very pleased to receive the support of the Government of Canada to pursue this e-health project that will provide practical and current information using the Web and social media to help multicultural communities at high risk prevent or delay the onset of Type 2 diabetes."

Diabetes affects approximately two and a half million Canadians. Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90 to 95 per cent of diabetes cases in Canada. It can often be prevented or delayed with regular physical activity, healthy eating and by maintaining a healthy weight. If not managed properly, diabetes can lead to serious complications like heart disease, stroke, blindness, chronic kidney disease, nervous system damage, and amputation.

Through the Public Health Agency of Canada's Canadian Diabetes Strategy, the Government of Canada supports projects developed to enhance prevention initiatives in high-risk populations, to provide information on early detection, and to help people living with diabetes avoid serious complications.

The Agency is also collaborating with the provinces and territories to explore new innovative approaches to detect undiagnosed diabetes and pre-diabetes. The CANRISK questionnaire can help Canadians understand the risk factors for Type 2 diabetes, including body weight, ethnicity, physical activity and family history. CANRISK is available on the Agency website, through Service Canada and in all Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmasave stores across Canada.

The Agency is committed to promoting and protecting the health of Canadians. For more information on diabetes or healthy living, please visit www.publichealth.gc.ca. A backgrounder with more information on the funded projects is attached.


FACT SHEET  August 2012


DIABETES COMMUNITY-BASED PROJECT IN BRITISH COLUMBIA


SUMMARY
  • Approximately two and a half million Canadians have been diagnosed with diabetes. Many more are unaware they have the disease and the number of people diagnosed with diabetes is expected to continue to rise.
  • Through the Canadian Diabetes Strategy, the Government of Canada is taking a proactive, long-term approach to prevention and management of diabetes.
  • The Canadian Diabetes Strategy currently receives $18 million annually in ongoing funding for activities in the following six areas: surveillance; community-based programming; knowledge development and exchange; public information; leadership and coordination; and monitoring and evaluation.
  • Inter-Cultural Online Health Network a project of the University of British Columbia, is being funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada ($121,800 over two years).

Inter-Cultural Online Health Network: Developing live and virtual multicultural peer support models (Vancouver)

The University of British Columbia's Faculty of Medicine will receive $121,800 over two years to implement a sustainable peer-support diabetes management program in multicultural rural communities across the province.

This project will educate community members and patients about diabetes using live and online formats. It will address the need for diabetes management and prevention programs in rural communities, specifically targeting Punjabi and Chinese-speaking communities whose rates of diabetes are higher than the general population.

Project partners include the Lawson Foundation, and SUCCESS and Progressive Intercultural Community Services.

About the Canadian Diabetes Strategy

The Canadian Diabetes Strategy (CDS) receives ongoing annual funding of $18 million through the Integrated Strategy for Healthy Living and Chronic Disease.

  • The Government of Canada and its partners address diabetes and related complications through the CDS, which focuses on the prevention, early detection and self-management of all types of diabetes.
  • The CDS has raised general awareness of diabetes and its risk factors, and created the first integrated national diabetes surveillance system.
  • Through community-based programming, projects are developed to enhance prevention initiatives in high-risk populations, to increase awareness of risk factors, and to help people living with diabetes avoid serious complications.


SOURCE PUBLIC HEALTH AGENCY OF CANADA

Image with caption: "Minister Tim Uppal announces diabetes funding for an innovative inter-cultural project led by UBC's Dr. Kendall Ho, Director of the e-Health Strategy Office of the Faculty of Medicine. (CNW Group/PUBLIC HEALTH AGENCY OF CANADA)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120813_C6712_PHOTO_EN_16865.jpg




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