Faith leaders from the East Midlands have joined a new regional drive to improve diabetes care in ethnic minority communities.
They have been recruited as Community Health Advocates as part of the Devotion to Health programme to ensure people with diabetes access diabetes care and education.
The religious figures from Leicester and Northampton came together at the Leicester Diabetes Centre on November 8 to share information and discuss issues that patients may face in their communities.
The group also completed a foundation course in diabetes to equip them with essential knowledge and information ahead of the planned roll out due in the New Year.
The programme is being launched by the National Institute for Health Research Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (NIHR CLAHRC) East Midlands, a partnership of regional health services, universities and industry which turns research into cost-saving and high-quality care through cutting-edge innovation.
Professor Kamlesh Khunti, Director of NIHR CLAHRC East Midlands, said: “This is about working with faith leaders to help them help their communities. Type 2 diabetes is a challenge for many communities especially people from South Asian backgrounds because of their higher Type 2 diabetes risk.
“Type 2 diabetes is more common in South Asians because of their lifestyle in terms of their diet and lower physical activity levels combined with their potentially increased genetic risk.”
The project is being supported by the Centre for Black and Minority Ethnic Health East Midlands, which is working to reduce health inequality in the region by sharing resources and promoting research. The centre is funded by NIHR CLAHRC East Midlands.
It is part of a project called A Safer Ramadan, which is working to improve knowledge and awareness in Leicestershire during the religious festival.
The training they received was adapted from the Effective Diabetes Education Now! (EDEN), education programme for healthcare professionals, as well as the Type 2 diabetes education programme called DESMOND.