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Diabetes - let's all find out was a one week diabetes education project conducted in the remote community of Tjuntjuntjara in Western Australia (WA) in 2003. Paupiyala Tjarutja Aboriginal Corporation received funding from Healthway for the project. Clinic staff and community members worked together to implement the project, and consultations with Diabetes WA and the Health Promotion coordinator from Kalgoorlie Public Health were undertaken.
The Diabetes - let's all find out project aimed to raise awareness on preventing and managing diabetes because one in four people, including one in two adults suffered from diabetes in the community.
A variety of strategies were implemented the week of the program in a number of settings and at different times, to enable as many community members as possible to attend. The community newsletter, community radio and photos were used to promote the project to other communities and stakeholders.
At the community store healthy and unhealthy food items were separated on the shelves and the range of healthy food in the store was increased. Store shelves were labelled with a 'tick' for healthy foods and a 'cross' for unhealthy food and healthy food tasting was available.
There was a morning health clinic where people could come and have a health check and view diabetes displays and educations resources. Cooking demonstrations and cooking education sessions were held at the women's clinic with daily healthy food tasting sessions.
The community school carried out education activities linked to the Kalgoorlie to Perth pipeline challenge project.
Other community activities included a four kilometre walk at the end of the week where 100 of the 110 community members participated.
The project generated a lot of interest from people of all ages, particularly children. Sales of and enquiries about healthy foods at the general store increased dramatically.
This was a successful project and achieved outstanding results with a relatively small amount of funding. The lessons learnt from the project were:
Abstract adapted from Healthway
PO Box 1284
West Perth WA 6872
Ph: (08) 9476 7000
Fax: (08) 9324 1145
Paupiyala Tjarutja Aboriginal Corporation
Kalgoorlie WA 6430
Ph: (08) 9037 1100
Fax: (08) 9037 1101