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Manchester Chinese community urged to take Type 2 test as Diabetes UK host health check event

By Pippa Field

A diabetes awareness event is being hosted at Yang Sing restaurant collaborating with two charities to increase awareness of the disease in Manchester’s Chinese community on Monday.

Organised by Diabetes UK, in partnership with the Chinese Health Information Centre, the free event will give advice and support, as well as offering diabetes risk assessments.

And Lesley Challoner, Diabetes UK regional support officer for the North West, expressed the vital role the event could play in a person’s life.

“There is a lot of interest in the community,” she said. “We want people to take the knowledge back to families and friends and pass it on.

“The aim is that information is disseminated out wider than just people that attend the event.

“For hard to reach groups, it is important to actually go into the community. It’s about how lifestyle changes can help to reduce the risk.”

It is estimated that 4,700 people in Manchester are unaware that they have Type 2 diabetes.

With the high sugar levels of some Chinese food a contributory factor, the rate of the disease amongst Chinese people is increasing annually.

Yet the Chinese are amongst the lowest to consult their GP’s with language barriers remaining a problem.

“Chinese people are one of the high risk groups,” said Shirley He, Operation Manager for the Chinese Health Information Centre.

“Cultural aspects have to be taken into consideration. The food contains a lot of sugar. But language is the main barrier-a lot of people wait until it’s too late.”

Visitors to Monday’s event will be able to read bi-lingual information about diet as well as being greeted by bi-lingual trained risk assessors.

The assessment, involving health questions and personal measurements, will determine an individual’s risk of developing diabetes over the next decade.

Anyone found to have a moderate to high risk will be referred to their local GP.

Other activities at the event, running from 10.30am to 4.30pm, include Tai Chi, foot care sessions, talks, health checks with lunch provided.

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