Diabetes Mellitus is one of the leading causes of death in the our communities. Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to serious damage of every organ, often resulting in complications such as stroke, blindness, kidney failure, amputation of limbs, and complications of pregnancy.

Hui Mālama Ola Na 'Ōiwi currently provides a comprehensive and impactful diabetes education and management program.  The program consists of 1-to-1 diabetes education sessions and follow-up visits with a Registered Nurse Community Health Educator, support groups and on-going agency support, clinical data and anecdotal information provided to the client’s Primary Care Provider, and our 10-week diabetes class, Mai Ka Māla'ai.

Mai Ka Mālaʻai: From the Garden

Mai Ka Māla'ai (From the Garden) is a ten-session diabetes education and awareness class. The course was developed by clinical staff from Hui Mālama, the John A. Burns School of Medicine, and the Department of Native Hawaiian Health. Weekly classes are facilitated and presented by numerous Hui Mālama staff at clinical and non-clinical levels.  The information is presented “local-style”, in a respectful yet familiar and non-formal manner, thereby putting clients at ease and increasing their receptivity and engagement.  Cultural customs are honored and encouraged and traditional Hawaiian values and practices are integrated into all aspects of the program’s delivery.   

The class content includes information about:

  • Basic facts of diabetes: Risk Factors, Pathophysiology of Diabetes, Signs & Symptoms, Monitoring Glucose Levels, Lifestyle Adjustments, Insulin and Oral agents, Encouraging Use of Glucose Meters, Establishing Routine Care, Regular Meal Schedule
  • Local community Specialists: Each week a different Specialist from the community provides information in the management of diabetes within their area of expertise, followed by a question and answer session. These Specialists and their topic discussions include
    • Podiatrist: Foot Care
    • Registered Dietician: Well Balanced Meals; Recipe Modification
    • Optometrist: Eye Care
    • Pharmacist: Medication Management
    • Psychologist: Coping Skills
    • Dentist: Oral Health
    • Medical Doctor: Kidney Health
    • Exercise Specialist: Fitness

The class also includes:

  • Pre-screening (baseline) of clinical measurements at the start of the class
  • Post-screening at the completion of the class (10 weeks from baseline)
  • Screens in:
    • Blood Pressure
    • Pulse
    • Height/Weight/BMI (Body Mass Index)
    • Blood Sugar
    • Cholesterol
    • Hemoglobin A1c
    • 3-day Food Intake
    • Physical Activity Assessment
  • Presentations by an Agricultural Specialist: Planting Seeds-Growing Healthy Plants; Fertilizers; Maintaining and Refreshing Your Garden
  • Mala (Garden) Construction:  Each client is provided with a mala built at their home, and numerous vegetable seedlings for planting
  • A healthy nutritious meal served at each class