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Healthy lifestyles in Pormpuraaw, Queensland

Members of the Apunipima Healthy Lifestyles and Diabetes team in an office


Around 15 women from the remote community of Pormpuraaw in Cape York gathered to talk about diabetes in the lead up to World Health Day (7 April). The World Health Organisation marked the international day to focus on diabetes.

Highlighting the importance of nutrition and being active triggered discussions on how diabetes is an international problem, and how the incidence of young people being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes is increasing.

Type 2 diabetes accounts for about 90 per cent of all diabetes worldwide. The global rise of childhood obesity and physical inactivity plays a crucial role in a person developing diabetes.

With type 2 diabetes prevalent in Cape York communities, Apunipima Cape York Health Council is helping to educate youth and adults about the chronic disease.

Apunipima Healthy Lifestyles and Diabetes teams and Pormpur Paanthu held a Women’s Group Gathering in Pormpuraaw to educate women on how they can be part of the prevention and management of diabetes.

Apunipima’s Diabetes Nurse Educator Cath Dowey said the Women’s Health and Wellbeing Awareness evening focused on social wellbeing activities with the key message about diabetes.

“We had women prepare a delicious healthy spaghetti Bolognese for supper and they enjoyed some relaxing well-being activities including face, hair and nail pampering interspersed by having mini health checks and this enabled us to test women’s’ Blood  Pressure and Blood  Glucose Levels,” Cath said.

The women with diabetes yarned about helpful ways of managing the disease, and appreciated the one-on-one interaction and being able to talk to other women in the group.

“We spoke about healthy lifestyle choices including how to provide healthy choices for kids with simple lunch box and snack ideas and how women can encourage their children to have water instead of sugary drinks,” Cath said.

“Staff at the Child Care Centre in Pormpuraaw are encouraging parents to give their children sandwiches, fruit and vegetable plates rather than fast food options.”

The most positive result of the sessions for Cath Dowey is that the women are putting into practice what they learned.

“Sometimes, all it takes is a chat with someone to deliver knowledge and get results,” Cath said.