Diabetic Amputation Public Service Announcement

May 10, 2009 – 12:24AM

The Victorian government has launched a dramatic television advertisement to encourage people at high risk of contracting type two diabetes to seek help.

The ad, screening on television on Sunday, features a woman rising from a swimming pool to reveal a partly amputated leg.

In a voice-over, the woman urges others not to leave it too late and seek assistance that is out there for people at risk of type two diabetes.

And according to health authorities there are 700,000 Victorians with pre-diabetes who are at a high risk of developing the condition.

And the risk of amputation is also real, with 5,376 Victorians forced to have lower limb amputations due to type two diabetes complications since 2001.

Victorian Health Minister Daniel Andrews launched the $20 million campaign at the Royal Melbourne Hospital on Saturday.

“Diabetes is one of the most serious health issues we are facing today, but it can be avoided,” he said.

“The TV campaign will encourage people to visit the GP or take part in the Life! – Taking Action on Diabetes program run by Diabetes Australia-Victoria.”

The program is an intensive lifestyle behaviour course for 25,000 Victorians at high risk of contracting type two diabetes.

It works towards weight loss of at least five per cent and 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity per day and more than 1,000 Victorians have already been referred to the course.

One of those people is Noel Leslie, 67, of Lower Templestowe, who lost 20 kilos on the program.

After seeing the ad, Mr Leslie described it as frightening and believed that due to the things he has learnt in the course he would be a success story.

Fiona Sheedy has type two diabetes and due to complications had to have a lower limb amputated.

She hoped the ad would prevent others from having to go through what she did.

“I wish someone had alerted me to the risk before it was too late,” she said.

“Others must act and make changes to reduce risk. Living with an amputation reduces your quality of life.”

People can get more information about the program by ringing 13 RISK (13 7475).

© 2009 AAP

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