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Improved health communications needed with the UK’s South Asian communities

Red Door Communications launches ethnic minority outreach programme

RDC,-Wasim-Hanif

(Dr Wasim Hanif, clinical director in diabetes and endrocrinology at University Hospital Birmingham)

Health communications strategies aimed at South Asian communities living in Britain need to do more to factor in religious and cultural backgrounds, according to Dr Wasim Hanif.

The clinical director in diabetes and endocrinology at University Hospital Birmingham was speaking to an audience of marketing and communications specialists at the launch of Red Door Communication's new Inside Out service.

"Religion and cultural background play a huge role in dictating the varying dietary, alcohol and smoking habits of this group," Hanif said.

"And when it comes to taking advice, word of mouth from the elders of the community or family network holds most sway."

By 2051, Hanif explained, nearly a third of the population of England and Wales will be black and minority ethnic people. These groups have a higher incidence of cardiovascular disease and obesity-related illness and so the growth of this population sector will have a significant impact on the health services. However, a large portion of the disease risk could be averted through positive lifestyle changes, he said.

Inside Out is a new offering from Red Door Communications, which aims to help clients understand the needs of 'difficult to reach' groups, such as South Asian patients and customers.

"What is clear is that companies need to tailor their communications activities sympathetically and effectively to engage these diverse and rapidly growing groups and not adopt a 'one-size-fits-all' approach," said Julia Harries, director of Red Door Communication who hosted the launch event.

"Providing information is not enough for these communities, it has to be put into a relevant and culturally-sensitive context."

19th March 2013

From: Marketing

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