Students take diabetes message to residents of East Ham
Public health students raise awareness of risks of diabetes
Final-year Public Health and Health Promotion students from the University of East London (UEL) took their health message onto the streets of East Ham last week by holding a diabetes awareness event at East Ham Library and Neighbourhood Centre.
Their mission was raise awareness of the factors which contribute to type 2 diabetes, the health risks associated with obesity in adults and to highlight the importance of being healthy and active.
There is a high prevalence of diabetes amongst the Newham population. Last year, 21,451 people were living with the disease, while a further 21,000 are at high risk of developing the disease due to high rates of obesity and lack of physical activity.
Sukiya Ahmed, who is studying for a degree in Public Health and Health Promotion and was one of the organisers of the event, said, “As a student, I’ve learnt a lot from this. It was a good experience learning how to plan the programme, how to publicise the event, inviting guest speakers – that was experience that you just couldn’t get from studying in the classroom.”
On the day, the students chatted to members of the public about the risk of diabetes. They were joined by Angus Forbes, an international professor of diabetes based at King's College London who volunteers from Diabetes UK.
UEL lecturer Anthony Bone, who leads the public health module at the University, said, “This kind of opportunity allows our public health student to reach into peoples’ everyday lives to help them adopt a healthier way of living. People want a long life, but it has to be a healthy one.”
In preparation for the event, the students reviewed the extent of the problem in Newham, examining what services were already available to help in the prevention of diabetes and analysing how other boroughs approached the problem.