Doctors were out on Bradford streets yesterday turning the city purple to beat the diabetes timebomb.
GPs at seven of the city’s surgeries were in City Park and Centenary Square handing out leaflets and stopping passers-by who could be among the thousands of people who have the most common type of diabetes – but do not know it.
To mark the awareness day, which is part of the Bradford Beating Diabetes campaign, the fountains in the Mirror Pool were turned purple – the campaign’s official colour.
The Big Screen carried messages about spotting diabetes and how to get help, and a bus was parked up serving healthy snacks to encourage people to eat more fruit and vegetables to control and prevent the condition, which affects more than 7,500 diabetics in the City area.
Going to the doctor for a simple blood test can show up the Type 2 condition and, depending on the results, help, advice and treatment will be offered. Some people are referred to Intensive Lifestyle Change programme support groups.
Dr Adeel Iqbal, GP for long-term conditions at Bradford City Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), one of the doctors at yesterday’s event, estimated there could be more than 4,000 people from black and ethnic minority (BME) groups who have Type 2 diabetes but are not aware of it – and there would be many more to add who are White British.
People from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh and other BME groups are six times more likely than White British to be at risk of developing diabetes and are at risk younger – from 25 rather than 40 in the wider community.
Dr Iqbal said: “It is a ticking time-bomb here in Bradford where we have such a high population from South Asian and other black and ethnic minority groups.
“Unless we do this targeting campaign, we won’t reach those hidden people who are asymptomatic and have no idea they have it or are at high risk. They need to know and go to their GP.
“It’s down to genetics, obesity, bad diet and sedentary lifestyles that need to be changed through awareness.”
To find out more about diabetes, go to diabetes.org.uk.