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Ex-Wolves Star Elokobi joins NHS to Urge BAME People to get Checked out for Diabetes

Ex-Wolves Star Elokobi joins NHS to Urge BAME People to get Checked out for Diabetes

Date of release: 18 November 2020

Latest News: Ex-Wolves star Elokobi joins NHS to urge BAME people to get checked out for diabetes
Photo of George Elokobi

Former Wolves footballer George Elokobi is backing an NHS campaign urging black, Asian and ethnic minority (BAME) people to prevent type 2 diabetes – after figures revealed more than 20 per cent of people with the condition in Wolverhampton are BAME.

The 34-year-old has become an ambassador for the charity Diabetes UK after seeing his father’s struggles with type 1 diabetes through his early childhood.

Now captain at non-league Maidstone United, George was 10 when he lost his father Martin due to complications with the condition.

George overcame the tragedy to become a professional footballer after leaving Cameroon for England at 16 and rise to the Premier League with Wolves.

Black, Asian and ethnic minority people are three times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than white people.

If left untreated, it can lead to sight loss, kidney failure or loss of a limb and it also increases the risk of a heart attack or stroke.

In Wolverhampton, 4,500 people from the BAME community are registered having diabetes, out of approx. 20,000 people with diabetes in the city.

Brett Healey, Diabetes Specialist Nurse, for The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, said: “We welcome any initiative that heightens the awareness of diabetes in the higher risk BAME population.

“We are aware there are still a number of people who have diabetes and the associated symptoms and risk but have yet to be diagnosed. 

“It is important people are diagnosed as early as possible to ensure they are given the right advice and treatment to prevent the long and short-term complications of diabetes.

“This is especially important at this time as we know diabetes is a risk factor for those affected by COVID.”

People living with diabetes face a significantly higher risk of dying with COVID-19, with a third of deaths in England associated with the condition, according to NHS research. 

However, better management of the condition can help improve control and lead to better outcomes.

The campaign asks BAME people to know their risk of developing type 2 diabetes through using the ‘Know Your Risk’ tool hosted by Diabetes UK. 

Anyone at moderate or high risk of developing the condition may be eligible to join their local Healthier You NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme, a joint initiative from NHS England and NHS Improvement, Public Health England and Diabetes UK. 

George has made a video urging BAME people to get themselves checked out: George Elokobi teams up with NHS on Diabetes

“Never has there been a more important time to look after our health and take steps to reduce our risk of developing type 2 diabetes,” said the defender, who became a cult hero at Wolves, making 103 appearances from 2008-14.

“I would encourage people to take simple steps now, such as using the Diabetes UK online know your risk tool, to start their journey to a healthier version of themselves.”

***ENDS***

Notes to Editor

  • For further information, please call Tim Nash on 07714 741097 or email tim.nash2@nhs.net
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