This week is a huge milestone for our beloved National Health Service (NHS), it is turning 70 years old. This means that people all over the country are celebrating the achievements of our unique health service; one that has kept us healthy, tended to our needs, been at the forefront of scientific advances, rushed to our aid in times of crisis and employed countless people – for as long as we can remember. And all this without charging a penny at GP surgeries or hospitals.
Find out more about the NHS’ history here (article continued below):
As members of the BAME community in Leicester, one thing that we particularly salute the NHS for is the great work that they have done when it comes to tackling the issue of diabetes. Studies have found that type-2 diabetes is around six times more likely to affect people of South Asian descent and around three times more likely to affect people of African and Afro-Caribbean descent. In other words if you’re from a BAME background, you’re disproportionately more likely to either know someone who suffers from this chronic illness or suffer from it yourself.
Once upon a time, diabetes was extremely difficult to control and being diagnosed with it was frightening and very serious indeed. Now, however, thanks to research and support, often spearheaded by our NHS, it’s a highly manageable illness. Patients can still have a high quality of life which, we’re sure you will agree, is great news for everyone. And our city — Leicester — has been leading the way when it comes to raising awareness of this illness and how it is mitigated, by taking part in the Cities Changing Diabetes Programme which is designed to propagate accurate information about how to be tested for diabetes and how to treat it.
Just last week, we were present in a meeting between the University of Leicester and Leicester General Hospital to launch an initiative on patient wellbeing and raising awareness of diabetes. Keith Vaz, MP for Leicester East, who was diagnosed with diabetes 13 years ago, has tirelessly campaigned to raise awareness of the condition ever since. His efforts led him to founding the Silver Star charity six years ago. It runs mobile diabetes testing units in Leicester, London and abroad.
Let’s continue to celebrate the NHS because its great community work deserves to be widely recognized and supported. Let’s tell the world how the NHS, along with the people who work with it, responds to the needs of our community and just how much this means to us.
For more information on the NHS’ 70th anniversary, click here.
Featured image credit: NHS