Ignorance about diabetes management is taking a heavy toll of human life in India.
“Around 25,000 people in the world die because of diabetes every year and half of them are from India. Nearly five crore people in India are suffering from diabetes, out of which 60% don’t know the medical guidelines to follow,” said Gujarat minister of health and family welfare, Jaynarayan Vyas, on Sunday.
The minister was speaking after launching the project, ‘Conquer Diabetes’, at a function organized at Ahmedabad Management Association’s ATIRA premises in the city.
The project will track diabetes in rural areas and among weaker sections of society and suggest treatments and remedies for the disease using advanced technologies. It will also raise awareness about the disease in rural and tribal areas where adequate medical facilities are not available.
Talking about the project, director of Indian Institute of Public Health, Gandhinagar, Dr Dileep Mavalankar, said that it will also use the internet to spread awareness about the diabetes and guide people about it.
“Video chats using webcams and video conferences will be held between doctors and diabetes patients in rural areas where primary health facilities are not sufficient,” he said. He added that patients of diabetes should seek treatment for the disease at an early stage at primary health facilities.
“It is for this reason that the project involves participation by the state government. This two-year project will help Gujarat become a model state in management of the disease,” Mavalankar said.
The project is a joint initiative of Swasthya Diabetes Care; All India Institute of Diabetes and Research (AIIDR); Indian Institute of Public Health, Gandhinagar; and BMS Foundation and is supported by the Union government.
It will be implemented through public-private-partnership in Ahmedabad district and will involve the state government, the Ahmedabad municipal corporation (AMC) and private doctors.
Dr Pragnesh Vachharajani, president of Ahmedabad Medical Association, said that private doctors will be trained in providing guidance about diabetes to paramedical personnel and social workers who will then guide different groups.
“The project has been designed in such a way that trained doctors will further train paramedical workers and social workers in rural areas. The aim is to sensitise people about diabetes and provide information about it,” said Vachharajani.
He also said that the state government has been asked to supply diabetes medicines in larger quantities to primary health centres and hospitals so that rural people can have
access to the drugs.
Vachharajani laid great emphasis on greater social awareness saying that it is vital for reducing the incidence of the disease. “Without social awareness, doctors alone cannot be effective in checking the rise of diabetes,” he said.
Vice-president of Indian Medical Association, Dr Anil Nayak, explained how stress is among the major causes of diabetes. “High stress-levels cause anger, frustration and untimely food habits which lead to diabetes. People should learn to be less stressed and have a proper diet,” he said.