SDLP Health Spokesperson Mark H Durkan has said robust comprehensive support is needed for people diagnosed with diabetes and has urged everyone to familiarise themselves with the condition.
Speaking on Diabetes Week, he said: “There are over 100,000 people in Northern Ireland living with diabetes, including thousands who aren’t aware or haven’t had a diagnosis.
“With trends continuing to show an increase in the condition, it’s important that everyone familiarises themselves with the symptoms and treatments available.
“It’s also important that we prepare our Health Service for an increase in diagnoses and ensure that frontline professionals are aware of the range of treatment options.
“We know that treatment plans can vary significantly depending on the specific knowledge of local health professionals, particularly as it relates to emerging technology.
“It’s important, for example, that those who could benefit from insulin pumps or continuous glucose monitoring are able to access those options.
“While diabetes places physical stress on the body, managing the condition can also take a significant toll on mental and emotional wellbeing.
“Those with diabetes often report how relentless it can feel. Clinics or check-ups should include an element of mental and emotional resilience care to ensure people are coping well.
“Care for diabetes is getting better and if well managed, people can live full and active lifestyles.
“But we can do more to enhance the quality of life for everyone diagnosed with the condition and all of us can help by learning more during diabetes week.”