Decoding diabetes

Are you a Type-2 diabetes sufferer? You might be able to help Sydney Uni PhD student Akram Ahmad with his research project.

Reading Time: 3 minutes

According to a recent news report, India accounts for a whopping 49% of the world’s diabetes burden with 72 million cases in 2017 and an estimated 134 million by 2025.
While economic growth has boosted standards of living across all strata of society, it has also brought with it richer and unhealthier eating mainly comprised of high-calorie foods carbs-rich foods. This in turn has spiked insulin levels and consequently risks associated with Type 2 diabetes.

Although there are numerous studies and research papers based on the disease in India, PhD student Akram Ahmad realised that there is no such data for Indian immigrants in Australia. Akram, 30, who hails from UP (India), received a full scholarship to pursue the degree at Sydney Uni in 2017. He has earlier worked as an assistant professor at Teerthankar Mahaveer University, Moradabad (UP) and then as a lecturer at Kuala Lumpur’s UCSI University. His educational and professional background is in pharmacy, not a very common subject to pursue a Doctor of Philosophy in.
“Even as a child, I knew I would always study pharmacy. We have a family business,” Akram told Indian Link. “But I’ve always been interested in research and teaching more than working. Since I’ve already attained a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm D), PhD was the next step.”
Akram’s PhD deals with health literacy in patients with chronic diseases including diabetes. “Scientists are projecting that Indian will lead the world in diabetes affliction. It’s a result of everything – our diet, lifestyles and to some extent, our genetic makeup.”

Akram Ahmad

He adds, “Diabetes is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality among Australians. But compared to them, Indian Australians have an even higher prevalence of type 2 diabetes. And so it became the focus of my PhD.”
The broader objective of his research is to develop an intervention programme that could help increase knowledge and understanding about the healthcare system, diabetes and its management. To that end, the qualitative study aims to understand patients’ understanding of the Australian healthcare system, their medication taking behaviour, disease management, and health promotion, as a first step to developing the intervention programme.
“I have noticed that Indian patients are typically hesitant to visit GPs – either because they are anxious about the disease or because they feel that communication might pose a problem. Sometimes, instead of taking proper medication, they end up taking Ayurvedic medicines. Basically, health literacy is the core problem,” Akram explains.
Once this part is over, the second study will specifically help volunteers improve their health literacy by supplying the results of the study to the government and other concerned authorities. The entire process, as PhDs usually do, will take 2-3 years.

In fact, he is currently looking for volunteers who he can interview. The questions will be related to their experiences with diabetes and the medications they take, as well as their understanding and experiences with the healthcare system.

“It is a bit of a challenge finding participants for the study,” Akram reluctantly admits, “because the research group is quite narrow – we are looking for Indian immigrants suffering from Type 2 diabetes. But I have around eight and I hope to find enough in a few more days.”
Akram is hoping to find 30 people to interview for his study. The interview will be approximately 60-90 minutes and will be conducted either at the Faculty of Pharmacy or at a public location. Akram clarifies that the information will be confidential, and that participants can withdraw at any time if they feel uncomfortable. Volunteers will be reimbursed at the end of the session for their time.
For details, please contact Akram Ahmad by email: akram.ahmad@sydney.edu.au or on phone at 0424 237 664.

- Advertisement -
Neha Malude
Neha Malude
Neha is a daydreamer. She is a diehard Jeffrey Archer fan and wishes she could tell stories like he does. She is obsessed with journals and fountain pens and she uses these to write stories that usually end in twists that will leave you saying ‘Whaaa?’ She is currently toying with an idea for a book but hasn’t had the courage to start writing it.

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -


Listen to Indian Link’s NEW Travel Podcast

  Indian Link's NEW travel podcast- Feel New In NSW is all about travel and especially made for people who love to explore places in...

It’s National Blood Donor Week

  It’s National Blood Donor Week. In our new podcast host Ekta Sharma speaks to Canberra‘s Nidhi Kaushik who runs an amazing donation campaign every year....

Let’s Talk Boosters: Indian Link podcast

  In LET'S TALK BOOSTERS, a new podcast series by Indian Link, host Ekta Sharma quizzes Dr Kritman Dhamoon of Blacktown Hospital Sydney about booster...
- Advertisement -

Latest News

whalers way birds

Saying no way to Whaler’s Way

  It’s easy to get excited about South Australia’s burgeoning space industry. Supporting a growing space industry, and the vital jobs that come with it,...

Sudarshan Pattnaik creates 125 sand chariots on Rath Yatra eve

  On the eve of Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath, renowned sand artist Sudarshan Pattnaik has created 125 sand chariots and a sand sculpture of...

Wartime: The World in Danger: A new book by Rajiv Dogra

  A "serious and growing asymmetrical relationship" with China, which has indulged in four instances of "salami slicing" along the un-demarcated border since 2012, and...

Census data shows we’re more culturally diverse than ever

  Initial data from the 2021 census released this week shows Australia continues to become more culturally diverse. Almost half of us have at least one...

Joy at Lord Howe

  Imagine a tiny outcrop in the Pacific Ocean, covered in lush greenery, surrounded by aquamarine waters, home to an untouched coral reef teeming with...