South Warwickshire Primary Care Trust
· Raise awareness within the local South Asian Community of their increased risk of premature diabetes and cardiovascular disease
· Raise awareness of risks attached to current lifestyle and diet
· Identify changes to improve health outcomes
· Support behaviour change
· Encourage community to work together
Dr Shirine Boardman, consultant diabetologist at Warwick Hospital started the project in order to support local South Asians residing in South Warwickshire to look at lifestyle change to help prevent the rising numbers of people in the South Asian communities developing diabetes. The project involved working in partnership across traditional boundaries with the PCT, University of Warwick, National Diabetes Support Team, local community leaders, Diabetes UK and the local MP.
Apnee Sehat DVD
With the help of an educational grant from Sanofi Aventis, a DVD featuring culturally acceptable tips on healthy living, ways of increasing exercise, as well as the health benefits of spices, minerals and vitamins has been produced. The DVD makes for good family viewing and can also be used as a tool that healthcare and community professionals can utilise in their work with community members. Visual materials are often well received within the South Asian communities. The visual materials are easily understandable and accessible. A DVD is a perfect way to get health messages across in a fun, easy going and familiar manner. The DVD also contains an extensive resource section including items such as ?tips for health professionals working with South Asian communities?. Hindustani translations of the DVD will be available in May.
Cooking Lessons In September 2005
South Warwickshire PCT enlisted the support of dietitians to work with the cooks at the Gurdwara to produce healthy and nutritious meals.
Low Fat Low Sugar Sweets
It was felt that low fat low sugar sweets would help make in-roads into the community especially during the festive season when most people tend to consume plenty of sweets. Faced with the challenge, the cooks at the Gurdwara managed to develop a recipe for the healthy sweets with support from the South Warwickshire Dietetic Service in time for the 2005 Diwali celebrations.
A Diwali health calendar for 2006 partly funded by Diabetes UK South Warwickshire Voluntary Group and South Warwickshire PCT was developed and made available freely. Themed around health and lifestyle the calendar is uplifting and positive with clear messages about health within the South Asian community. It has been extremely well received within the community who are thrilled to finally have a visual health educational tool targeted at their specific needs.
A health fair for the people of South Warwickshire aimed at providing risk factor testing, lifestyle information and advice was held in November 2005. It was extremely well supported by medical students and leading consultants from Warwick Hospital who carried out rolling lectures on topics such as managing diabetes and childhood obesity.
The project is accountable to the Apnee Sehat committee, a group that includes community members, the PCT, Acute trust, local authority, voluntary services and university. This group meets every two months.
The main aim is to highlight health risks within the local South Asian community and to support the community with behaviour change.
Locally these aims have been achieved by the sheer success of the work conducted such as the cooking lessons, Diwali Health Calendar, the health fair and the production and development of the Apnee Sehat DVD.
A short evaluation was conducted by the Institute of Health, University of Warwick using a case study approach using focus groups, semi - structured interviews and participant observation.
Some key observations and comments included:
- A Rippling effect was noted, whereby one person would be inspired to spread the word to others.
- The posters developed were well remembered and effective particularly as they used simple visuals to deliver their messages
- Positive comments were also received regarding the group community walk during Apnee Sehat week. People mentioned finding it motivating.
- The use of the Gurdwara as the focus for activities was well received and the Gurdwara was seen by some as the natural / good choice for such activities.
- No negative comments were received regarding the food despite the changes in content and preparation style, and some commented they had not noticed the difference in use of ingredients.
- It was acknowledged that change happens over time and some people commented that it was useful to have their awareness of health issues raised and that attending different activities/ on different occasions helped reinforce the messages.
- Some people commented on the changes to diet and lifestyle they had made.