SEVENTH-day Adventist (SDA) church leaders will walk the Kokoda Track to raise awareness and funds for diabetes in Papua New Guinea.
President of the SDA church –South Pacific division pastor Glenn Townend (pictured) and PNG SDA Union Mission president pastor Kepsie Elodo will be part of a group of trekkers from PNG, Australia and New Zealand.
They will walk the track from July 15-24 to raise awareness for the 10,000 Toes Campaign.
The campaign is an initiative of the Adventist Health and the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) Australia which aims to stamp out diabetes in PNG and the Pacific.
The campaign has three key strategies;
- Recognising that early detection is vital. It aims to provide screening kits to communities so that diabetes can be detected and treatment started promptly;
- an education campaign for Pacific islanders. Will promote the benefits of healthy living, including nutrition, exercise, good sleep, hygiene and fresh air; and,
- Local health professionals would be upskilled to diagnose and treat Type Two Diabetes early and better manage the complications.
Diabetes is associated with many serious complications affecting the feet, eyes, kidneys and heart.
It is the leading cause of amputations in the Pacific – 560 amputations are performed weekly.
The group will be handing out diabetes screening kits to communities along the track, conducting health tests and making health presentations.
Type Two Diabetes has reached epidemic levels in the Pacific, affecting one in four people.
The 10,000 Toes Campaign is about saving people lives.