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New African and Caribbean Diabetes Group

Moves have been made to improve diabetes care for African and Caribbean people with the formation of a new group in London.
Provisionally titled the African and Caribbean Diabetes Foundation United Kingdom (ACDF-UK), it was launched after more than 45 people with an interest in diabetes met for the first time at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.

Inez Walkes, a Diabetes Specialist Nurse at the trust, said: “The event was an inspirational ‘call to arms’ to galvanise people into action.
“Although diabetes is at least three times more common in African and Caribbean people than average (Department of Health 2001), to date little concerted effort has been made to tailor health promotion and interventions to people from African and Caribbean populations living in the United Kingdom.”

Inez added: “The meeting made the first important step towards changing that, and it was agreed that the group would be established to focus on this issue.”

The meeting of clinicians, people with diabetes, academics and healthcare professionals on Friday, 19 November led to the new group.
The group will be led by Inez Walkes, Grace Vanterpool, a diabetes Nurse Consultant, and Diabetes Educator Haydn Sampson.

With an initial vision of a “healthy community living free from diabetes and its complications”, the group is aiming to:
• Raise the profile of African and Caribbean people with diabetes
• Scope people’s views, expectations and needs
• Provide tailored information and advice
• Act as a voice for the wider population
• Establish a network to share best practice and inform policy development

The next meeting will be held in the New Year, and the group is urging anyone interested in helping or supporting it to email: ACDF.UK@imperial.nhs.uk

This article first appeared on www.diabetes.nhs.uk

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