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Free information sessions on diabetes for Spanish speakers

The Victorian Parliamentary Secretary for Human Services and the MP for Derrimut, Telmo Languiller, will launch an education program on diabetes for Spanish speakers at Sunshine West on Friday, 7 May.

The free information sessions, to be delivered in six modules, will provide tailored information focusing on the prevention of Type 2 diabetes. There will be practical activities on healthy eating, physical activities and goal setting.

The program is being run by the Australian Community Centre for Diabetes (ACCD), based at Victoria University's St Albans Campus, as part of its work with culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities throughout Melbourne's west.

The ACCD has run similar programs with Vietnamese, Serbian, Filipino and Horn of Africa communities.

ACCD Research Director Professor Kerry Bennett said funding from the Commonwealth Department of Health had been used to develop training manuals for use by a number of language groups.

"The emphasis has been on providing training, tools and resources for communities to empower themselves to develop and run their own information sessions on what diabetes is, how widespread it has become and how it can be prevented," Professor Bennett said.

The Spanish-speaking sessions are being co-ordinated by Cecilia Gomez-Benitez, a community development worker and member of the Latino-American Women's Association of Victoria, who has been trained by the ACCD in diabetes program delivery.

"Many of the Spanish-speaking residents of the west are surprised to hear how prevalent diabetes has become in our region, and they are keen to hear more about how they can begin to tackle this growing problem," Ms Gomez-Benitez said.

When: Friday, 7 May at 3pm

Where: Glengala Community Centre, Cnr Simmie St and Glengala Rd, Sunshine West

Media are invited to attend.

Ms Gomez-Benitez is available for interview on 0425 801 945.

Professor Bennett is available for interview on 0421 545 359

Media inquiries: Jim Buckell, A/Senior Media Officer

Marketing and Communications Department, Victoria University

Ph: (03) 9919 4243; mobile: 0400 465 459; email: jim.buckell@vu.edu.au

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