Connecting with communities through ethnic media is a valuable way to share health information. Two stories for today's #MulticulturalMustRead from news outlets in Vancouver and Toronto reporting on South Asian health.
MP Sonia Sidhu at ninth annual Canadian Diabetes Association South Asian expo
South Asian English source ATN Digest Weekly from Toronto reports:
South Asians are at greater risk of developing diabetes than any other group in Canada. The Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA) expo in Brampton featured booths and speakers on diabetes prevention. ATN interviewed MP Sonia Sidhu. She is involved with consultations on the Canadian food guide. Half of Canadians are becoming obese. The host said one of the challenges in the community is that healthy food is expensive. Food with the most preservatives and sugar is the cheapest. She asked what the government is doing to provide the most vulnerable, including newcomers and low-income families, with access to healthy food. Sidhu said through the Canada Child Benefit cheques, families can get money to spend on healthy food. Seventy percent of families in her riding are middle class, and they can use the extra money from the child benefit to buy healthy food. The government is also strengthening the CPP so that seniors can buy their prescription medications. Registered dietitian Nazima Qureshi, who primarily works with Muslim women, said it's great that the CDA is putting together an event specifically for the South Asian community, because there are not a lot of resources on diabetes specifically for the South Asian community. She found it fantastic that there were resources in Punjabi, Hindi and Urdu at the expo, because the language barrier is really big in the community. The expo is also a space where the community can come together and talk about diabetes in a culturally specific context. A lot of South Asians think they have to give up South Asian cooking to eat healthy food, and this is not the case. (23/09/2018)
South Asian Health Institute
Vancouver's Punjabi source Harpreet Singh Show on Joy TV reports:
Cross-cultural translation: Harpreet Singh interviewed Deljit Bains from Fraser Health about the South Asian Health Institute, which is a separate health institute for South Asians. It was set up in 2013 because South Asians are susceptible to chronic illnesses like heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and diabetes. Culturally relevant programs focused on South Asian health are needed. The SEHAT program is a community-based program that works with temples and community schools as well as social media, in community languages. South Asians are vulnerable because of genetics and mostly because of lifestyle habits like a lack of exercise, diet and stress. Studies have shown that average South Asians suffer an epidemic of heart disease and diabetes. The program has developed sample diets based on South Asian food. The community response has been positive. Gurudwaras have cut back on the amount of sugar they use in community meals. The program provided information on aspects of South Asian diets like the high sugar content of South Asian sweets, soft drinks, salad dressings and ketchup. (20/09/2018)