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Strengthening Families key to addressing Diabetes

Strengthening Families the key to addressing Diabetes

"Diabetes is a 21st Century epidemic on the rise in New Zealand and worldwide", says Destiny New Zealand Candidate for Mangere, Doctor Edward Saafi.

In 2000, about 177 million people worldwide had been diagnosed with diabetes with a projection to exceed 300 million sufferers by 2025. New Zealand is closely following the same global trend with a current estimate of 118,000 diagnosed diabetics, and forecasted to exceed 145,000 sufferers by 2011 with also a similar proportion of undiagnosed cases. Maori and Pacific Islanders are worst affected. Communities such as Mangere, Rotorua, Northland and Manurewa have the highest incidences of diabetes in New Zealand. In 2002 alone, there were 1700 estimated deaths in New Zealand attributed to diabetes.

"Family-unfriendly policies that undermine the 'traditional family unit' negate society of the only time-proven vehicle that can properly foster an individual sense of responsibility for ones own health, and healthy life-style choices. The correlation between social problems stemming from family breakdown leading to low socio-economic income and poor health is self-evident. Destiny New Zealand will deliver policies that protect and empower the family unit", he added.

Dr Saafi is a diabetes research scientist with published research in international peer-reviewed journals. He has presented at national and international conferences, and has received a number of awards including the inaugural Trans-Tasman Bursary for outstanding young microscopist from the Australian & NZ Microscopy Societies; and a PhD Scholarship, & Postdoctoral Research Fellowship from the Health Research Council of New Zealand.

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