On the pulse in diabetes fight at Orange Aboriginal Medical Service

IN GOOD HANDS: (front) type one diabetic Wendy Moore with Annette Mears, Ann Kable, Kara Sutherland and Dr Steven Peterson of Orange Aboriginal Medical Service. 
Photo: STEVE GOSCH 0718diabetes3

IN GOOD HANDS: (front) type one diabetic Wendy Moore with Annette Mears, Ann Kable, Kara Sutherland and Dr Steven Peterson of Orange Aboriginal Medical Service. Photo: STEVE GOSCH 0718diabetes3

DIABETIC Wendy Moore says the Orange Aboriginal Medical Service (OAMS) is making a great contribution to raising awareness of and treating people from the indigenous community who have diabetes.

“But we still have a long way to go as diabetes is such a big problem,” she said.

Ms Moore was diagnosed with type one diabetes 10 years ago and says she believes she manages her condition well through a combination of oral medication and injections once a day.

Diabetes is three times more prevalent in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community than the general population, however general practitioner registrar at the OAMS Dr Steven Petersen said with all facilities under the one roof at the service including on-the-spot blood tests, it makes the treatment of diabetes and other major illnesses more seamless for clients of the service.

“We are also able to do eye checks here as well as check the feet, which is of course so connected to diabetes,” he said.

Ms Moore says she wasn’t surprised when she found out she had diabetes.

“It is prevalent on both sides of my family - so I suppose you could say I had the cocktail to begin with,” she said.

She is adamant making indigenous people aware from a very young age they could have a predisposition to the disease will go a long way towards improving the statistics of the high number of people from her community with diabetes.

Dr Peterson said the service is particularly targeting young people in the indigenous community to prevent poor health outcomes from diabetes.

“They do eat a lot of fast food and soft drinks, which of course have around 16 teaspoons of sugar,” he said.

To make an appointment at the Orange Aboriginal Medical Service call 6369 9000.

janice.harris@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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