Program aims to help prevent diabetes on Manitoba First Nation
Sheila North Wilson, CTV Winnipeg
Published Tuesday, October 21, 2014 4:55PM CST
Last Updated Tuesday, October 21, 2014 5:54PM CST
One of the most pristine communities in the province to live in is Garden Hill First Nation and yet one of the unhealthiest to grow up in.
Isolation, poverty and little or no access to healthy food doesn’t help.
A program designed to teach youth to help themselves and others in preventing Type 2 diabetes is working to change that.
"We have over 80 students that signed up for the program," said Larry Wood, community nutritionist.
Wood specializing in diabetes awareness. He said the program is so popular, they have more mentors than they need.
"It's one of the steps that we hope will benefit the community in the long run," Wood added.
The program teaches youth to teach younger ones about healthy eating, cooking and exercise.
Dr. Jonathan McGavok of the Manitoba Institute of Child Health started working in Garden Hill eight years ago and helped develop the mentorship program with Wood and others.
The program that is working so well, that Dr. McGavok is making presentations on and hoping to expand into other communities.
"We have a big group called D.R.E.A.M which is diabetes researched envisioned and accomplished in Manitoba. And that is one of our big goals to prevent to prevent diabetes," said Dr. McGavock.
Youth involved in the program are also becoming presenters in health living, and have won awards already for their work.