Diabetes Awareness & Screening Project Update

Sandy Royal being tested at Clare screening

On Thursday 25th March, the Lions Club of Clare District hosted the first of ten Diabetes Awareness and Screening clinics to be held in the north and west of the state.

This major project is a collaboration between Diabetes SA (DSA) (provider of the 6 health professionals and also funder of an associated PR campaign “face the facts”), phn COUNTRY SA (funding the regional events) and Lions District 201C1 and local Lions Clubs who facilitate the events locally.

Lions also funded the purchase of three of the POC HbA1c testing machines along with other supporting material. The testing machines and iPads will stay with Diabetes SA, while the additional banners and tear drop flags, Defib unit and first aid kit will stay with the District and will go with the PR trailer/kits.

At all locations the halls are setup in a way to facilitate the safe (COVID-19 Virus Compliant) and efficient movement of people through the process. This worked very well. The process simply is people check in at one desk, and whether they have already registered via the web site or not they are directed to an appropriate desk which then guides the people through a Risk Assessment review (AUSDRISK).

If this assessment returns a high-risk level, the people are asked to go to the Point of Care test using the sophisticated (and expensive) HbA1c machines which returns an average sugar level for the previous 3 months (it is not affected by size and time of last meals). Visitors, and Lions of course, could then attend a short lecture/presentation on Diabetes and its management. The DSA professionals were at all times available to discuss any associated issues including dilatory information.

What a team. Dr Foorough (DSA), David Bond (Clare Lions identity), Emma Young (phn COUNTRY SA – part funder of the project) and Cathy Whiteley (DSA).

Interesting stats from this first event showed 56% of people screened recorded a high risk for type 2 Diabetes and of those who then had a Point Of Care (POC) HbA1c test, 10% returned a positive result for Type 2 Diabetes. All those screened that returned a high-risk score were given a letter of referral for their GP.

It should be noted that people who have already been diagnosed as Type -2 Diabetic, and under professional care, were not, and will not be tested. The DSA Health professionals will of course discuss any issues relating to risk reduction or Diabetes management with those who attend.

The handout material is excellent and will help people to minimise their risk and manage, where required, their condition. Of course, there was plenty of Lions info available, not just on Lions generally, but importantly about the local club, hosting the event. In fact, the Clare event should lead to 3 new members to Clare Lions and it certainly helped cement the club’s reputation in the local community. So, besides the good it does detecting people with high risks of contracting Type 2 Diabetes (and as such reduce their and the country’s health costs), it also enhances Lion’s reputation in their community and importantly
should attract new members to hosting Clubs.

Screening events are still to occur to the end of June and include locations in the west coast, Yorke Peninsula and the mid north. Go to the web site www.facethefacts.org.au for more details on Diabetes risk factors and the dates and locations of the next 9 screening events.