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Mission Statement

Welcome to the South Asian Health Foundation web site. The aims of this site are encapsulated within our mission statement:

1. To promote improvements in the quality of, and access to, healthcare and health promotion in South Asians.

2. To promote research that leads to the above objectives

Commencing Phase II of the South Asian Community Health Education Programme on diabetes - Tower Hamlets London

As part of the SAHF mission in striving towards improving health and raising awareness of the higher prevalence and risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease among South Asian communities, promoting health education is central to its aims and objectives.

The first of a series of Community Health Education programmes for 2014 around diabetes took place at the Health Event in Tower Hamlets organised by the Poplar Youth & Community Development Association on 1st March. The event was attended by a largely Bengali audience comprising of children, men, women and the elderly with separate sessions for both men and women.

The programme was delivered separately for both men and women using slide and DVD presentations, emphasising the dangers of diabetes once diagnosed and not managed properly. This was further supported by our local SAHF Pharmacy Champion to highlight the use of medicines and the different types of insulin. 

It was a great evening and personally very uplifting with the two sessions fully attended (25-30 people). Both men and women were clearly very keen to find out more about diabetes and associated risk, how it affects them (and importantly their children and family members), and what can they do to prevent it. 

Observations of the day

Key messages which appeared most appealing to this audience:

  • Keeping to a low fat, low salt diet with reduced sugar intake
  • Focus on giving children fewer fizzy drinks, sweets, biscuits and crisps. Many were horrified to believe that as parents they were ‘potentially fast-tracking them to the M1 Motorway of obesity, diabetes and other diseases’
  • Visual aids appeared to have a real and profound impact: diabetic foot, furred arteries, men and women with central obesity
  • Start reducing frequent and daily consumption of tobacco 
  • Gradual change in cooking habits e.g. using vegetable oil but still less oil. Also to grill fish rather than to fry – many didn't realise this was a better option
  • Definite intent and desire to make some changes slowly e.g. ‘eating one samosa instead of two or three or more’
  • Increase physical activity by adding FIVE minutes after daily prayers (5x day) - ‘that's easy to achieve and there are others to join with ‘ 

Simple bite-sized messages focusing on ‘reduction’ (as opposed to stopping) except in the case of physical exercise appeared most effective and popular with this audience group. 

It was great day which both men and women thoroughly enjoyed and I'm sure everyone went home thinking about making some change in their lives – highly gratifying all round 

The programme was kindly supported by Novo Nordisk

Mahendra Patel giving presentation


Last Updated on 08/04/2014 17:23:00