Fraser Health: South Asian Health Institute (SAHI)

The SEHAT program

The SEHAT program works with local temples to improve the health and quality of life of the South Asian community.

This innovative program brings together Fraser Health's South Asian Health Institute (SAHI) with local partners and community leaders to:

  • Learn more about the health needs of the South Asian population;
  • Develop high-quality, evidence-based programs and materials;
  • Educate South Asian people to make healthy choices;
  • Empower community members to take control of their health and get the health care they need;
  • Lower the chronic disease burden on families, the community, and the health system through a community-based, co-accountability model for health improvement.

Special thanks to Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara for being a Sehat ambassador. Their contribution empowers others to promote better health for the South Asian community.

Find out more about SAHI at:

South Asian Health Report

In 2016, Fraser Health published the South Asian Health Report. The report includes survey responses from over 15,000 community members. It was the first of its kind in Canada.

The report provides valuable information on the health of South Asians in the Fraser Health region.
Key findings include:

  • Community members
    • Over 240,000 (15%) people in Fraser Health identify as South Asian;
    • Median age is 39;
    • One in five do not speak English;
    • 50% have high school education or less;
    • Almost 22% have lived in Canada 10 years or less; and
    • 10% do not have a family doctor.
  • Healthy choices
    • Nearly 60% have body mass index (BMI) greater than 25 and are considered obese; (based on revised cut off BMI for South Asians)
    • South Asians born in Canada are more likely to choose unhealthy fast food and sugary drinks;
    • Many people -- 3 out of 5 -- do not get enough exercise; and
    • Most people -- 7 out of 8 -- do not eat enough fruits and vegetables.
  • Chronic disease
    • Chronic disease levels are higher among South Asians compared to Fraser Health overall;
    • 16% have diabetes (three times higher);
    • 7% have heart disease (two times higher);
    • 12% have multiple chronic diseases; and
    • Almost half (2+ out of 5) have two or more risk factors that can lead to chronic disease.
  • Cultural barriers
    • Linguistic and cultural barriers pose challenges for managing chronic conditions;
    • Factors that drive health inequities and chronic diseases in the South Asian community are complex;
    • Partnerships and collective action are essential to achieve better health; and
    • Factors for success include cultural relevance, early intervention, and involving the whole family.

There are also many strengths in the South Asian community, including family groups living together, a strong sense of community belonging, and a younger population that may be more accessible through social media. These strengths can be used to target improvements.

Fraser Health and SAHI are committed to providing equitable, respectful, and culturally sensitive care to clients -- whenever possible in their own language.

Together we can achieve our vision of providing better care and best in health care.

Download the South Asian Health Report at: (pdf 4.06 MB)

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Page last modified on January 07, 2017, at 06:31 PM