$5.7m for research into diabetes management

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman and Science and Innovation Minister Paul Goldsmith have announced the recipients of more than $5.7 million of funding to improve the management of long-term health conditions.

The funding was awarded to three successful projects, all relating to the prevention and management of diabetes.

“Diabetes affects around six per cent of New Zealanders and their families,” says Dr Coleman.

“The Government understands the toll the disease takes on people’s lives. The management of this long-term condition is a major health challenge for the country.”

“Through this union of science and healthcare we hope to make inroads into reducing the toll of these diseases on people’s lives and in reducing the burden socially and economically,” says Mr Goldsmith.

Successful recipients are the University of Otago (Wellington) for two projects – a study into preventing type 2 diabetes by including probiotics and prebiotics in the diet, and a digital health initiative aimed at helping people prevent and manage diabetes using online tools.

Funding is also being allocated to the National Hauora Coalition to support a targeted programme aimed at improving outcomes for Māori living with diabetes.

The research fund, announced last year, is a joint partnership initiative between the Health Research Council of New Zealand, Ministry of Health, and the Healthier Lives National Science Challenge.

The Government's ongoing commitment to health research is demonstrated in the Budget 2016 announcement of an extra $97 million over the next four years for the Health Research Council.