HYDERABAD: Combating diabetes needs discipline and resolve. With an enhancement of diabetes awareness and proper medical care, India can become a fore runner in diabetes care, rather than in diabetes, say experts.
“Diabetes is one of the leading non-communicable disease, which can have a permanent effect on the lifestyle of a person. The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified diabetes as a major health problem in Asia. Asians in general are found to be a high risk race for the development of diabetes. In this context, prevention of diabetes has become a high priority of health policies,” explains Dr Sridevi Paladugu, consultant endocrinologist, Apollo Hospitals.
He was speaking at the 229th Monthly health lecture hosted by Public Garden Walkers’ Association at Indira Priyadarshani auditorium on Sunday.
Towards awareness about this ever increasing disease, World Diabetes Day (WDD) is celebrated every year on November 14. The World Diabetes Day campaign for 2014 marks the first of a three-year (2014-16) focus on healthy living and diabetes.
India has acquired the distinction of being the diabetes capital of the world. The risk of developing diabetes is increasing with a prevalence reported of around 62 million all over the country and an added 77 million are in the pre diabetes stage. The prevalence in AP is around 24 per cent. “In India, the age at which people develop diabetes is coming down. What was perceived to be a disease of old age or middle age is now no longer so. People are developing diabetes in their 20’s - 30’s. Another alarming feature is the increasing cases of childhood type 2 diabetes secondary to childhood obesity,” she says.
Apart from regular checking of blood glucose values, one needs to monitor for complications as well.
“There is a surge in diabetes among corporate employees. Corporate companies can keep a tab on working hours of their employees and incorporate exercise time in between long working hours. Screening programmes and corporate messaging are need of the hour,” says Dr Sridevi.
The government should look at providing enough breathing space for people by provision of more parks, stadiums, walking areas. It should take measures to see that schools have time allotted for physical activity everyday and provide healthy school lunches.