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Province taking action to help cut down health care costs by launching educational program

(iStock Photo)

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – In an attempt to help stave off chronic diseases amongst older generations, a new education program is being launched by the provincial government, specifically targeting the South Asians.

The local community is one of the largest in Canada, with over 240,000 people living within the Fraser Health region, which is coordinating this program with the province.

How it works is trained volunteers will go to local temples and Gurdwara’s and talk to people about things like obesity, heart disease, diabetes and hypertension — common ailments affecting South Asians.

“I’ll be connecting them to health care resources. I will explain preventative measures they can take before diseases even onset,” says one of the 23-year-old wellness ambassadors.

Childrens and Families Development Minister Stephanie Cadieux says all these issues take a financial toll as well.

“Chronic disease places a strain on the health care system, but it’s good news, that there are steps each of us can take in our lives to help prevent these conditions.”

“Whether it’s having a healthier diet, being more active, or talking to a health care professional, there are many easy steps that can be taken to prevent chronic disease. The partnership between Fraser health and local temples will support South Asian families in making these lifestyle choices,” adds Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development Peter Fassbender, who is a diabetic and cancer survivor.

The Sehat Wellness program falls under the Fraser Health’s South Asian Health Institute. ‘Sehat’ meaning health in several languages including Urdu, Punjabi and Hindi.