Health Minister Jonathan Coleman has today acknowledged people with diabetes who are successfully managing the condition to live full and active lives.

“Over 250,000 people in New Zealand had been diagnosed with diabetes, with the number continuing to increase each year. Around 10 per cent of people with diabetes have type 1 diabetes,” says Dr Coleman.

“The Government understands the toll the disease takes on people’s lives. The management of this long-term condition is a major health challenge for the country.”

At Waitemata DHB’s Living with Diabetes Awards today Dr Coleman presented awards to 21 people living with the condition.

The recipients included Winsome Johnstone, who for the last 80 years has lived a full and active life while managing type 1 diabetes.

“Mrs Johnstone is a remarkable lady who has lived through many changes in diabetes management over the years,” says Dr Coleman.

“From the days of boiling glass syringes, animal insulins and urine glucose testing, and through to the modern five-second blood test meters and the human insulins of today.

“Mrs Johnstone is New Zealand’s first recipient of the HG Wells Award which recognises those who have lived with type 1 diabetes for more than 80 years.

“I’d like to congratulate Mrs Johnstone. Even with modern technology such as pumps, glucose sensors and continuous glucose monitoring, type 1 diabetes requires constant discipline and attention to diet, exercise and insulin treatment.

“I’d also like to acknowledge all the recipients of the awards today and the clinical team at Waitemata DHB who care for them.

“The Government has a comprehensive work programme to help people with diabetes live a full and active life.

“In 2015 I launched a five year plan to tackle diabetes. This plan sets out a clear direction to support people to manage their own diabetes.

“To further help ensure we have access to the best evidence to continue to improve services for people with diabetes earlier this month the Government announced $5.7 million for three research projects that relate to the prevention and management of diabetes.”

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