Diabetes is on the map

Farmer John McDougall has benefitted from the telehealth service. Picture: Garry Sarre
Farmer John McDougall has benefitted from the telehealth service. Picture: Garry Sarre

The overall population rate for diabetes is 6.9 per cent for these areas and is higher in the wheatbelt.

Diabetes WA chief executive Andrew Wagstaff said the new Australian Diabetes Map showed the extent of the challenge diabetes posed.

�It is the single biggest health challenge confronting WA and unless we act it will threaten the long term viability of our health system,� he said.

�Education is the most important tool in the care and programs to assist the people who need it most.

�This includes supporting and educating people with diabetes to ensure they can self-monitor and managed their diabetes and avoid serious complications and costly and debilitating hospital admissions.�

Mr Wagstaff said while Cue had the highest prevalence in WA, as a small town with a low population it was a less threatening set of figures than areas like the Avon Valley.

�While we can see the high prevalence of the rate of the disease what we can�t see are the reasons why,� he said.

With distance often a barrier to good health, the WA Country Health Service will address the need for diabetes services in regional locations and launch a telehealth service as well.

Health service providers can use the new mapping tool to tailor their health care to areas most in need.

Diabetes Australia chief executive Professsor Greg Johnson said the new national Diabetes Strategy would help shape the critical responses to the challenge of diabetes.

�It is important we build

The Australian Diabetes Map, developed as part of the NDSS, is the only national geospatial map monitoring the prevalence of diabetes in Australia across variables, including diabetes type, age, gender, and socio-economic disadvantage.

The Australian Diabetes Map can be accessed at diabetesmap.com.au .