Diabetes Health Programme goes national

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Auckland, Thursday, February 16, 2017

A diabetes health programme is being rolled out on a national scale, following its success in Auckland and Hamilton.

‘Jumpstart,’ will be launched in Wellington and Invercargill this month and in Christchurch in May.

Founded by YMCA Auckland and healthcare company Pharmaco (NZ) Ltd, Jumpstart is an exercise, nutrition and lifestyle education programme for people with diabetes.

It has helped over 500 people in Auckland and Hamilton in the last two years.

Jumpstart provides practical ways and advice to help people self-manage their health alongside the support and care received from health professionals.

One in four people are pre-diabetic and at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, a condition when the body is not able to use insulin properly, resulting in high blood glucose levels, which can lead to a wide range of health problems.

In New Zealand, there are over 260,000 people with diabetes (Diabetes New Zealand, 2015), more than double the number in 2005.

Indians affected

New Zealand’s Indian population also has a high incidence of diabetes with just over 10% living with the condition, the second highest of any ethnic group.

Peter Fergusson, Chief Executive of YMCA Auckland, says the aim is to add more programmes in the future:

“By the middle of this year, Jumpstart will be available at 15 of New Zealand’s 26 YMCA gyms but diabetes is an issue in all communities, and is growing quickly, so we still have work to do to push it further around the country. The numbers of people living with this condition is increasing at about 7% per year with around 40 new cases diagnosed a day and it’s estimated to be currently costing the country $1.3 billion a year. These are frightening statistics considering most diabetes cases are avoidable through better nutrition, exercise and lifestyle,” he said.

Living with Diabetes

Mr Fergusson said that the Health Ministry has taken bold steps through strategies like ‘Living Well with Diabetes’ and the ‘New Zealand Health Strategy’ to encourage people to help themselves.

“Programmes like Jumpstart fit well with this trend,” Mr Fergusson said.

Jumpstart is a 10-week programme taught by YMCA’s expert fitness staff with many people referred through GPs and Green Prescriptions. It operates at YMCAs in Onehunga, Mount Roskill and Lynfield, which are all areas with a high Indian population.

The programme was launched in 2014 after Mr Fergusson discussed the issue with Chandra Selvadurai, Managing Director of Pharmaco, a specialist healthcare sales and marketing company supplies blood glucose meters across New Zealand.

Mr Selvadurai said that the two organisations have a joint vision to help alleviate the biggest health issue New Zealand faces.

“Jumpstart helps people to self-manage their health and gives them hope. The confidence we see growing in participants is inspiring and results from people working as peers and in groups. The experience improves people’s self-esteem, helps their health and contributes to saving precious healthcare budget,” he said.

The programme costs $80 with subsidies available for those who cannot afford.

The outcomes

Common results include weight loss, lower waist measurements and blood pressure, improved mental health and confidence about a healthy future.

For those who are pre-diabetic exercise and lifestyle programmes, like Jumpstart, can help delay the onset of Type 2 diabetes.

People wanting to join Jumpstart can enroll at any YMCA in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch and Invercargill and online at www.jumpstartprogramme.co.nz

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You can live with Diabetes with physical activity, good diet and medicines

(Picture supplied by Jump Start)

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