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Diabetes Seminar for Filipino Community

A seminar on Diabetes was held last 19 June 2021 at the West HQ Rooty Hill, attended by 164 Filipino-Australian participants.

This activity was initiated by Aruni Ratnayake, the Diabetes Prevention Officer of the Western Sydney Diabetes/Integrated and Community Health, Katie Allison, the Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Project Officer who liaised with the National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS) and Diabetes NSW and by some 25 Filipino Community Leaders.

The main speaker was Dr. Rona A. Francisco, MBBS, FRACP, Endocrinologist. She discussed the prevention, screening and treatment of Diabetes.

Other speakers were Registered Nurses and Diabetic Educators: Bernadette Sadsad, Celestina Shori, Vanessa Manalo, who all dealt with Diabetes information and education of patients; Dean Paningbatan, a Filipino Dietitian, discussed the unhealthy aspects of the ordinary Filipino diet and how to easily convert it into a healthy diet to prevent the occurrence of Diabetes; Rhea Balmaceda, an Exercise Physiologist and accredited Dietitian, brought all the participants into a few minutes session of easy, healthy exercise motions during the seminar, and Dr. Romulo Llave, a GP, who joined the panel for a Q &A session at the end.

It was heartwarming to note that the audience were so engaged for a solid 3 hours. As soon as the pandemic restrictions are lifted, the Filipino Community Leaders will be disseminating diabetes information and education to Filipino Australians in 5 parishes within the Blacktown City area. A diabetes poster will be launched. And, screening will be started among the young Filipino Australians.- By Dr. Corazon A. Francisco, M.D., FRACGP