MP calls for diabetes campaign

Gareth McKnightSound Telegraph
MP calls for diabetes campaign
Camera IconMP calls for diabetes campaign Credit: Sound Telegraph

A State politician has called for a holistic approach in overcoming the debilitating impacts of diabetes after grim recent figures of the disease’s prevalence in Rockingham and Kwinana.

TheTelegraph revealed this month that Rockingham had the highest prevalence of diabetes in WA, while gestational diabetes was 30 per cent higher in Kwinana than the rest of the State.

The statistics from Diabetes WA indicate 6.2 per cent of the Rockingham population lives with the disease, while 5.6 per cent of people in Kwinana are affected.

Member for Kwinana Roger Cook said raising the public’s knowledge was the first step in bucking the trend.

“It’s a question of awareness,” he said.

“It is not uncommon for areas that have lower socioeconomic status to also have poor health profiles —– but that doesn’t need to be the case.”

Mr Cook is a member of Diabetes WA’s Parliamentary Support Group. He also has a personal interest in fighting the disease, as his daughter has type 1 diabetes, which is not related to lifestyle or diet.

“It drives home to me that if someone is in danger of developing type 2 diabetes, they can take on the symptoms of a chronic disease,” he said.

Mr Cook said a Government awareness program, with collaboration locally, could have an impact.

“Rockingham and Kwinana local governments do a great job in providing opportunities for people to adopt healthy lifestyles, but I think it is time the State Government adopts a fully fledged public information campaign,” he said.

“This is a huge issue for our community and an issue that is growing. We need to drive the message home.”

Mr Cook was confident that progress could be made.

“There is no reason why we can’t have a healthy community in Rockingham and Kwinana — I am confident that we can turn this around,” he said.

“It’s not a situation where we are trying to stop people from having fun — it is all about having fun, because if you’re sick you can never enjoy yourself.”

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