Health fair in Regina. Photo by Manfred Joehnck.

The Saskatchewan division of the Canadian Diabetes Association is doing what it can to drive down the high rate of type two diabetes in the Aboriginal community where the rate is three to five times higher.

Regional Director of the Canadian Diabetes Association, Brie Hnetka says a lot of things factor into that, including genetics and poverty, which limits a family’s ability to live a healthy lifestyle.

Nutrition, education, prevention and even testing for the disease was part of a community fair and barbecue held in North Central Regina Wednesday.

It was the ninth year for the event. Hnetka says the disease can have devastating consequences, but she says it can also be prevented or managed.

“It is a very serious disease and it can cause some horrible complications,” she said. “If you can start managing it well, and it is hard, it takes a lot of education to manage it well, but you can live a healthy life with it.”

Pharmacists, nurses and interactive displays were all part of today’s free event, which was sponsored by the Regina Queen City Kinsmen Club.

About 100 thousand people in Saskatchewan are living with diabetes, with another 176 thousand people affected with prediabetes symptoms.