The South Asian Professional Network for Health Awareness (SAPNA) launched it’s Action Plan to Advance the Health of South Asian Canadians on February 21, 2012 at the MaRS Centre in Toronto, ON. This Action Plan was developed through the SAPNA Institute for Policy & Research – a Canadian not-for-profit think-tank focused on raising awareness and informing policy/decision-making to advance South Asian health.
“We’re here to launch the first output from the SAPNA Institute for Policy and Research which has resulted from the bringing together of stakeholders from government, industry, healthcare and community groups to help us identify key issues and barriers to healthy living within the South Asian community,” said Dr. Rav Kumar, President of SAPNA.
According to the report, South Asians represent the largest and fastest-growing visible minority group in Canada and are three to five times more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than the general population. Of all expatriate ethnic groups, South Asians have the highest rates of death and illness from diabetes-related cardiovascular disease.
Dr. Colin Saldanha, Chair of the SAPNA Advisory Board, provided an overview of the Action Plan, which addresses the role of public policy, partnerships, culture-focused strategies, and behaviour modification in improving South Asian health.
An important feature of the night also included a cheque presentation by SAPNA to the Canadian Diabetes Association and the Heart and Stroke Foundation.
“SAPNA’s contribution to the Canadian Diabetes Association and the Heart and Stroke Foundation will help implement programs for South Asian Canadians. Programs that will create new tools and resources to educate South Asian Canadians on their risks and actions for healthy living,” said Dr. Rav Kumar.
Some of the horoured guests in attendance at the launch included, Mr Saad Rafi, Deputy Minister of Health for Ontario and Mrs Preeti Saran, Consul-General of India.
About the South Asian Professional Network for Health Awareness (SAPNA)
SAPNA, meaning “dream” in Hindi, is a non-profit organization committed to improving the health and well-being of South Asian Canadians. SAPNA members dream of the day when South Asian Canadians are aware, empowered, motivated and supported in living longer, healthier lives.
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