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Minister walks for World Diabetes Day

Minister walks for World Diabetes Day

Youth Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta is encouraging the community to get behind young people learning to live with diabetes.

“It is difficult enough for young people to be dealing with the challenge of living with diabetes, it’s important to provide them with the kind of support they need,” said Nanaia Mahuta.

Nanaia Mahuta was among a group who took part in the inaugural United Nations World Diabetes Day. This year’s theme focuses on children and young people, to raise awareness of diabetes and its impact on children.

“It’s important to have days like World Diabetes Day, especially as it is the inaugural United Nations Diabetes Day. It is heartening to see the recognition it is receiving worldwide

“Children and young people with diabetes are just as keen to live a normal life as other young people. “Every child has a right to a long and healthy life and we all need to work together so young people have every chance of getting on with living their lives” said Nanaia Mahuta.

“It’s also important to acknowledge the work of organisations like Diabetes New Zealand, in supporting people with diabetes, as well as educating and raising awareness about this condition. They are vitally important.”

World Diabetes Day is a prelude to Diabetes Awareness Week (November 20-26).

Around 157,000 New Zealanders have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, which is caused by having too much glucose (sugar) in the blood, and happens when the pancreas cannot make enough insulin.

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“By creating greater awareness, we can also remove some of the stigma that tends to go with diabetes. Unfortunately far too many Maaori and Pasifika youth suffer from type two diabetes, which is a preventable disease.

“People with diabetes need to know there is a team of people who are there to help and offer advice on diabetes. They include local GPs, diabetes nurse, educators, dieticians and diabetes medical specialists,” said Nanaia Mahuta

“The best effort we can all make is to keep active and make healthy food choices – and remember 10,000 steps a day can make a real difference!”

ENDS

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