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From 'Equal Health' to Health Equals: Community Led Diabetes Prevention

Why isn't 'universal healthcare' working to produce equal health for many communities?

The prevention, diagnosis and management of Type Two diabetes is not working for African Caribbean, African American and Bajan communities. Maybe that's because researchers don't empower the experts by experience, the communities themselves, to lead and shape the research. Here at Warwick we are building a partnership with African Caribbean communities in Birmingham and Coventry; Bajans in Barbados; and African Americans in California in the USA to do exactly that: working together, we hope to develop new tools and strategies for diabetes prevention that are tailored BY and FOR the communities themselves. On the 2nd August, 2023, we hosted our first community workshop to help us generate research questions and techniques to address the needs, interests and cultural preferences that members of West Midlands African Caribbean heritage communities have advised us are important to them.

We will work similarly closely with communities in California and Barbados to develop a new research agenda, and to create new ways of preventing Type Two diabetes that work for them. That may mean changing how, where, and by whom metabolic health is evaluated to take into account historical and cultural factors that our communities recognise as important barriers or assets to enabling equal health. It may mean designing new technologies or making them available in new places and new ways. We think changing the ways in which we try to prevent diabetes to help these communities will probably benefit ALL communities, so please come and help us to learn. If you are interested in getting involved at this very early stage, please get in touch with the team in your area.

Roberta Bivins
Mark Elliot
Jennifer Jones-Rigby
Petra Henson

Midlands Team:

Here we will bring together researchers from Warwick University's Centre for the History of Medicine, Warwick Medical School, and the Warwick Manufacturing Group with an established Community Consultant to lead the project.

Tainayah Whitney Thomas
Julie Schmittdiel


In California, we will be working with Kaiser Permanente's Northern California Research Division and Stanford University.

Joanne Paul-Charles
Diane Braithwaite
O. Peter Adams


In Barbados, we will be working with the University of West Indies Cave Hill Medical School and with the Barbados Diabetes Foundation

Midlands: contact Roberta Bivins (