Policy event on Diabetes in South Asians

Diabetes in British South Asians – how do we turn around this silent epidemic?

The CPF was delighted to join with Conservative Friends of India and Conservative Health in Manchester on 13th February. The event was extremely well attended by politicians, professional and medical experts and members of the public. The summary below sets out some of the issues that were highlighted and discussed. The CPF would like to thank our colleagues in CFI and Con Health, together with all the speakers and attendees for an important and informative event. The CPF would also like to encourage its members to get in contact with the CPF (through the usual channels) if it would be interested in holding a similar event on a specific issue.

On Friday 13 January, Conservative Friends of India partnered with the Conservative Policy Forum and Conservative Health to bring to Manchester a panel of experts on the topic of Diabetes in the South Asian population.

The South Asian population may not be aware that they are up to 6 times more likely to contract diabetes than non-South Asian Brits. The speakers spoke about how many people are fooled by their BMI, and how doctors should consider screening for diabetes in South Asians from the age of 25, due to their higher risk.

There were many factors implicated, including diet.  Local community engagement and education were highlighted as priorities going forwards.

These points, and many others, were made by the panel of experts: Dr Winston Crasto, South Asian Health Foundation; Dr Zubair Ahmad, GP Principal, Trainer & Diabetic lead; and Dr Mahendra Patel, Board Member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and CEO of the South Asian Health Foundation. The event was chaired by Dr Ben Spencer of Conservative Health.

David Mowat MP, Minister of Community Health and Care at the Department of Health and Graham Brady MP, Chair of the 1922 Committee, also spoke at the event about the importance of the subject, and took in the comments by experts and questions from the audience.

David Mowat, after the event, said: “I very much enjoyed the event, as well as the chance to listen to and contribute to the subject of diabetes in the South Asian community.”

Shailesh Vara MP, Co-Chairman of Conservative Friends of India, said: “This is an extremely important topic for the South Asian population and I am pleased that members of the Government, medical experts and members of the public are coming together to learn, think and explore options about how we can contain and eradicate this silent epidemic.”