On Friday 1st March, Rob met with worshippers at the Jamme Mosque in Reading who had the unique opportunity of being checked for diabetes as they left after their Jumma (Friday) prayers. The free diabetes screening was organised by NHS South Reading Clinical Commissioning Group in partnership with Silver Star Charity, Cardio Wellness Charity and NHS Berkshire.
Recent studies have shown that South Asian members of the community in the UK are up to six times more likely to have Type 2 diabetes than the white European population. With diabetes prevalence in England predicted to increase by 47 per cent by 2025, the condition will continue to have a considerable impact on south Asian communities across the UK.
South Reading Clinical Commissioning Group chair Dr Elizabeth Johnston said, “Detecting diabetes in the early stages, when individuals are not experiencing any symptoms, is important. Taking the screening test to local communities and to their places of worship will help pick up people who are not aware they even have diabetes. A simple finger prick test is all that is needed to detect raised sugar in the blood.
Chairman of the Mosque, Bashir Choudhry said, “Due to lifestyle choices as well as genetic influences, diabetes is very common in our community. Our doors are open to NHS and any other organisation, who want to spread awareness on crucial health issues.”
After the event Rob said, “I am delighted to support this initiative and would strongly encourage constituents to get tested for diabetes. Quite simply, diabetes testing can save lives. Almost 4 million people in Britain have type-2 diabetes and that number is rising. However, about a million people who have type 2 diabetes don’t know they have. This means that they won’t get the NHS treatment that could really improve their health, and even save their life.
“It is an unfortunate fact that more people in the South Asian community seem to suffer from diabetes than other ethnic groups, so I really welcome this initiative to promote awareness about the disease in the community and the importance of testing.”