With almost 63 million diabetic patients and 80 million prediabetics who are at great risk of acquiring the ailment, India is sitting on a diabetes time bomb that needs to urgent measures to be defused, said doctors on the second day of the 41st Annual Conference of the Research Society for the Study of Diabetes in India (RSSDI).
The three-day conference has brought together over 4000 delegates and experts on diabetes from across the world to discuss their latest observations and findings in the field at the India Expo Centre, Greater Noida.
“Diabetes is a major issue of concern in India with more than 63 million diabetic patients. What adds to the concern is the fact that we have as many as 77 million prediabetics, one third of whom may get converted to diabetes if preventive strategies are not implemented. Prediabetic is a stage when a person is not yet a diabetic but with glucose levels over 100, he or she is at a great risk of becoming a diabetic. The number of people in this group is huge in India. We are sitting on a diabetes time bomb. We need an urgent awakening to prevent this from turning into a disastrous situation. Large scale awareness campaigns are needed to bring about an awakening,” said Dr Rajeev Chawla, Organizing Secretary, RSSDI-2013, and Director, North Delhi Diabetes Centre.
IDF President Sir Michael Hirst spoke about the burden of the disease as well as the need to end discrimination against the victims.
With as many as 4.6 million deaths attributed to diabetes across the world, the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) terms it as one of the ‘century’s greatest health challenges’ that remains on a relentlessly upwards trajectory. At the 41st Annual Conference of the Research Society for the Study of Diabetes in India.
On the second day of the conference, Sir Hirst discussed IDF’s efforts in responding to the challenges stemming from the growing burden of the disease. He also discussed IDF’s Global Diabetes Plan 2011-2021 that sets out a framework of action for the next ten years to guide governments, healthcare providers and civil society to prevent avoidable deaths and improve the health of people with diabetes.
The former UK MP, who has actively taken up the cause of diabetes for several years, also stressed that besides improving health outcomes of people with diabetes, preventing the development of type 2 diabetes, stopping discrimination against people with diabetes is of paramount importance.
The Research Society for the Study of Diabetes in India (RSSDI) is India’s premiere organization in diabetes research whose objective is to promote indigenous research in the country that will enable the medical fraternity devise solutions more indigenous to the country.
Legendary Indian sprinter, ‘The Flying Sikh’ Milkha Singh also spoke from the platform of the conference in a session supported by Ranbaxy. He spoke about the importance of physical fitness and health.
“Diabetes is a major health problem worldwide, and especially in India. Despite this knowledge, and despite availability of a number of anti-diabetic medicines, more than 60% diabetes patients are poorly controlled and their glucose levels are much higher than control targets. This has led to ongoing research, looking for newer patho-physiological pathways for intervention and better molecules for treating diabetes, so as to help diabetes patients achieve better glucose control and reduce the risk of complications,” said Dr. B. M. Makkar, Director, Diabetes & Obesity Centre and Honorary Treasurer, RSSDI-2013.
The third day of the event will start with an early morning Walkathon in which as many as 5000 school children are expected to participate. The RSSDI Diabetes Walk is aimed at spreading awareness about the ailment and the importance of physical fitness.