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HFA campaign helps people with diabetes

Media release – embargoed till 9.30, 30 June 2000 or delivery of speech by Minister of Health, Hon Annette King

HFA campaign helps people with diabetes

The Health Funding Authority is urging Maori, Pacific Islands people and others with diabetes to take advantage of its campaign to help them manage the condition.

The Minister of Health launches the HFA “Get Checked” $5 million national diabetes campaign on 30 June 2000 at Te Papa, Wellington. The campaign offers funding for a free annual health check for people with diabetes, free diabetes glucose monitors to Community Service Card holders, and introduces new diabetes education resources.

This new HFA“Get Checked” campaign is complemented by a new Maori mobile nursing service introduced and funded by the HFA; by a new diabetes pharmaceutical booklet produced by PHARMAC; new practice guidelines covering core aspects of diabetes care published by the New Zealand Guidelines Group; and by Green Prescribing supported by the Hillary Commission.

The “Get Checked” campaign will help people manage their own diabetes and educate them about what they need to do to protect their health. This includes:
 healthy eating
 regular physical activity to maintain a healthy weight
 regular foot checks as diabetes can lead to foot problems
 regular eye screening checks

HFA spokesperson Dr Sandy Dawson says diabetes which goes unchecked can lead to serious complications such as kidney disease, amputation, and adult blindness. Diabetes is exacerbated by many factors including smoking, poor diet, and lack of physical activity.

“The “Get Checked” campaign provides a free annual health check for people with diabetes, encouraging them to have routine annual checks with their doctor, as well as improving education, awareness, and management of diabetes,” Dr Dawson says.

“People with diabetes can do much to manage their condition and have a full and healthy life. The HFA’s campaign aims to educate people with diabetes, especially Maori and Pacific people, to manage their diabetes better and lower the risk of complications.

“We want to encourage people to talk to their GP or nurse sooner rather than later about diabetes, to reduce the complications and number of deaths related diabetes,” Dr Dawson says.

The Government spends more than $170 million annually on treating diabetes and diabetes-related conditions such as heart and kidney disease.
_______________________________________
For more information: Christine Field 04 495 4335
Emily Bishop 04 495 4417 025 529 950

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