INDEPENDENT NEWS

Diabetes Action Month is Here

Published: Tue 31 Oct 2017 09:27 AM
Diabetes Action Month is Here
Tomorrow (1 November) sees the start of Diabetes Action Month in New Zealand.
This annual campaign raises awareness about diabetes, a disease that the Ministry of Health considers the “largest and fastest growing health issue we face in New Zealand”. Almost a quarter of a million New Zealanders have been diagnosed with diabetes, while another 100,000 is estimated to have the disease without knowing it.
Diabetes Action Month features a range of national campaigns and regional events to educate New Zealanders about the differences between type 1 and 2 diabetes, what symptoms to look out for, and what to do if you or someone close to you shows the symptoms.
While type 2 diabetes is affected by lifestyle and is mostly diagnosed later in life, type 1 is an autoimmune disease mostly diagnosed in childhood. About 10% of people with diabetes have type 1, with more than 20,000 in New Zealand, including 2,500 children under 18.
From this November, Diabetes NZ will start distributing an educational toy called Jerry the Bear to children between four and ten who are newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. The bear includes features that enable augmented-reality play with a smartphone app.
Throughout the month, multisport athlete and type 1 diabetic Emily Wilson will be taking Jerry on a journey for the length of New Zealand. Wilson will be travelling by bike, kayak, raft, by foot and swimming from Cape Reinga to Bluff. She will stop at various locations along the way to talk to New Zealanders about type 1 diabetes at special Teddy Bears’ Picnics. The Diabetes NZ Facebook page will keep people up to date with when Wilson will visit their region.
As part of Diabetes Action Month, Diabetes NZ will be releasing a free app to access the Take Control Toolkit, which has 60 resources to help people manage their health, even if they don’t have diabetes.
Diabetes NZ presents Diabetes Action Month with the support of Fitbit, Equal and Naturals sweeteners and Sanofi.
ENDS

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