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As New Brunswickers get ready for a provincial election later this month, Diabetes Canada is calling on voters and candidates alike to acknowledge the impact of the diabetes epidemic, which threatens the health of the one in three people in the province who are currently living with diabetes or prediabetes. Diabetes Canada is embarking on a grassroots advocacy campaign, reaching out through its social media channels and directly, to existing and past volunteers and donors, to encourage and educate them about the rising epidemic of diabetes in Canada and New Brunswick. Candidates will be encouraged, if elected, to consider renewal and funding of the Comprehensive Diabetes Strategy.

"New Brunswick has one of the highest prevalence rates of diabetes in Canada," states Jake Reid, Diabetes Canada's Senior Leader of Government Relations and Advocacy for the Atlantic Region. "Almost one in eight New Brunswickers are living with diabetes, a disease that costs the provincial health-care system over $100 million per year. If the impact of diabetes is left unaddressed, it will result in significantly higher rates of heart disease, stroke, depression, kidney disease, amputations, and other health and dental complications."

In addition to calling for the renewal of the Comprehensive Diabetes Strategy, Diabetes Canada is focused on two key areas that will help combat the diabetes epidemic. The organization is calling for increased support for self-management of diabetes through greater access to diabetes supplies, medications, devices and services. The cost of these vital supplies has been shown to prevent 25 per cent of people with diabetes from following their prescribed care regimen, which puts their individual health and the provincial health-care system at risk over the short and long term.

Diabetes Canada is also calling for a greater investment in diabetes prevention initiatives, including a formal provincial healthy eating/obesity strategy to help those at risk of developing type 2 diabetes avoid developing the disease and its complications.

Although New Brunswickers should be proud that their province has a Comprehensive Diabetes Strategy, the prevalence of diabetes is on the rise, and there is much more work to be done to end the epidemic. A commitment to renewing and funding the provincial strategy will be a vital step towards reducing the burden of diabetes on New Brunswick’s citizens and health-care system alike.

Category Tags: Announcements;

Region: Atlantic (PE, NB, NS, NL)

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