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Testing . . . Making the most of last year's free diabetes screening test run by the combined North Otago Lions, is Fiafiaga Katalake (left), being tested by diabetes nurse and educator Janine Hayes. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Free testing for type 2 diabetes is taking place in Oamaru next week.

North Otago Lions co-ordinator Klaus Steiner said the four Lions Clubs in the Waitaki district, in conjunction with Oamaru Pharmacy and Oamaru Hospital, would be running the tests next Friday, November 12, between 8.30am and 1.30pm.

The blood sugar test at the Oamaru Pharmacy was a public service the Lions had carried out for the past two years, in November, as part of Diabetes Awareness Month, Mr Steiner said.

Lions International had taken up the cause globally.

‘‘[Type 2] diabetes is one of the most pervasive and fastest-growing diseases in the world today. It affects people of all races, income levels, and ages — even children,’’ he said.

About 160 people took advantage of the free testing last year, and all but six were given the all clear.

‘‘It was great to see the happy smile on their faces to know that they did not have any problems,’’ Mr Steiner said.

‘‘The six that did not pass were advised to see their doctor to get more comprehensive tests so that their doctor could advise appropriate corrective action.’’

Diabetes is a disease that means your body can not control its blood sugar levels properly — either because your body doesn’t make enough, or any, insulin, or because your cells have become resistant to insulin. Without insulin, too much sugar remained in the blood, which could contribute to subsequent health problems.

People with type 2 diabetes may be able to reverse it by lifestyle and weight loss measures and achieve remission, but Type 1 diabetes is a lifelong autoimmune condition that means people must replace insulin to survive.

The test took about one minute, and checked whether a participant’s blood sugar levels were within, above or below range. It would be carried out by a qualified nurse under safe Covid-19 conditions, Mr Steiner said.

‘‘[It’s] quick, easy and safe.’’

Oamaru Lions Club, North Otago Lions Club, Waiareka Valley Lions Club, and Waianakarua Lions Club were all involved in helping with the day.