NSW new too Deadly for Diabetes given funding boost

A successful program supporting people living with Type 2 diabetes in Aboriginal communities will benefit from a funding boost so that more people will be able to access the service.

NSW Minister for Regional Health, Ryan Park has pledged $40,000 to Too Deadly for Diabetes to work with the Walhallow Aboriginal Health Corporation to expand its community-based lifestyle programs.

“I was so impressed to see this initiative in action through the Coonamble Aboriginal Health Service and the incredibly positive impact it’s having on the local community,” Mr Park said.

“We know that communities are achieving great health results, and with the right support they can accomplish even more. I’m pleased to be able to help this program expand into other communities where it can make a big difference.”

“This funding will allow Too Deadly for Diabetes to expand into more regional communities, including Quirindi, Caroona, and for the first time Werris Creek.”

Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Treaty, David Harris, welcomed the funding that would improve health outcomes for Aboriginal people, particularly in rural and regional areas.

“The further you get from major centres in NSW, the worse your health outcomes are. This is particularly the case for chronic disease in our Aboriginal communities,” Mr Harris said.

“This funding boost shows our commitment to closing the gap in health outcomes.”

Too Deadly for Diabetes is a research-based lifestyle program developed by Gomeroi man Ray Kelly, and is run primarily through local Aboriginal Medical Services.

It targets those with or at risk of Type 2 diabetes and heart disease and supports long term weight loss.

Communities in regional and rural NSW including Coonamble, Dubbo and Gilgandra have all taken part in the 10-week program, which has been operating in regional NSW since 2017.

Mr Kelly said the impact of the Too Deadly for Diabetes program is both fast and wide-reaching.

“Our participants are seeing improvements in their blood sugar and blood pressure within days,” Mr Kelly said.

“It also has a great flow on effect for the community, with the participants’ family and friends being inspired along with the health care professionals providing the program.

“This funding allows us to provide the program to new communities, to improve health outcomes for those with type 2 diabetes and heart disease as well as reduce the burden on the local health system,” Mr Kelly said.

NSW Health’s Luke Sloane from the Regional Health Division said NSW Health is committed to reducing the prevalence of diabetes among Aboriginal people.

“Targeted, locally developed strategies like Too Deadly for Diabetes can help communities take control of their health,” Mr Sloane said.

“Participants receive tailored meal plans, an exercise program, education and motivation to help them achieve their weight loss goal, while also picking up extra skills to help maintain their new healthier lifestyle.”

Type 2 diabetes occurs when the pancreas is unable to produce or process enough insulin. There are a number of serious health conditions that are much more common in those with Type 2 diabetes, including:

  • Heart attacks and strokes
  • Blindness
  • Kidney failure
  • Amputations of the lower limbs
  • Depression, anxiety and stress
  • Cognitive impairment

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