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Monday, 16 November 2009
Page: 11782

Ms MARINO (4:00 PM) —I rise to speak on World Diabetes Day, which was held on Saturday, 14 November. It was created in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation and World Health Organisation in response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat that diabetes poses. It is the world’s sixth-leading cause of death. It is Australia’s fastest growing chronic disease with approximately 275 people across the nation developing the condition every day, so I would encourage everybody in this place, and also the general public, to make sure they are tested. Current data shows that diabetes now affects 285 million people worldwide and will cost the economy at least $403 billion in 2010—or 11.6 per cent of the total world healthcare expenditure.

Diabetes brings different challenges to a range of Australians. Given this, the theme for World Diabetes Day for the period 2009 to 2013 is education and prevention. In my electorate of Forrest, there are more than 6,000 people with diabetes. We have a number of service providers and educators who give support and education for individuals with diabetes as well as their families. These services are greatly appreciated and vitally important. In late October this year, through Diabetes WA, constituents in my electorate were given access to a free online interactive lifestyle and diabetes prevention education program. The program is entitled ‘My health balance’ and it engages people through active involvement, motivating them to persist with their goals and achieving results. This online program is of great assistance to people in regional and rural electorates like mine, who sometimes find it difficult to regularly travel to meet with dieticians and physiotherapists and others.

As a serious condition, there is currently no cure for diabetes and research is vital to investigate how to prevent and improve the management techniques until a cure is found. The Diabetes Research Foundation of WA has strengthened this research since 2005. Through the foundation, more than $1.7 million has been distributed to WA scientists and clinicians in their pursuit for better understanding. Additionally, they have raised more than $2.5 million towards the creation of a centre for diabetes research in Perth. This is a lifelong disease that affects families from all over the world. In conclusion, I strongly support World Diabetes Day and its aim to raise the awareness of the disease and highlight the vital research being conducted into finding a cure. Finally, I would encourage everybody who is listening to this or who reads this to be tested for diabetes.