ASSOCHAM organizes a webinar on “Diabetes Free India”

iNDICA NEWS BUREAU-

In India, diabetes is fast gaining the status of a potential epidemic with more than 62 million diabetic individuals currently diagnosed with the disease.

In 2000, India topped the world with the highest number of people with diabetes mellitus followed by China with the United States.

India currently faces an uncertain future in relation to the potential burden that diabetes may impose upon the country. Many influences affect the prevalence of disease throughout a country, and identification of those factors is necessary to facilitate change when facing health challenges.

As part of its ‘Illness to Wellness’ campaign the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), released a report on the findings of a National Level Survey conducted on the state of Diabetes in India.

This is to align with the ‘World Diabetes Day’ that was on Saturday, November 14.

Along with the launch of the report, doctors and experts gathered together for a webinar on “Diabetes Free India” with an aim to raise the awareness on diabetes management and its prevention.

The survey outlines the prevalence landscape of diabetes in that it accounts for 25 percent of all NCDs in India at a rate of 2.9 percent. The disease incidence increases significantly in individuals above 35 years of age and affects men more than women.

The report also finds that about 16.8 percent of the male adult population (15 years) and 14.6 percent of the female adult population (15 years) on average are estimated to be diabetic. Prevalence of diabetes is highest in southern states including Puducherry, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and lowest in Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.

In terms of sufferers seeking treatment for diabetes, the survey presented some important insights in this regard too. About 7 percent of the respondents who were suffering from diabetes stated that they were not seeking any treatment at all. However, more than 56 percent of the respondents stated that they are seeking treatment for more than one year, a fact testifying to the indisputable and inevitable morbidity of this disease.

In terms of sufferers seeking treatment for diabetes, the survey presented some important insights in this regard too. About 7 percent of the respondents who were suffering from diabetes stated that they were not seeking any treatment at all. However, more than 56 percent of the respondents stated that they are seeking treatment for more than one year, a fact testifying to the indisputable and inevitable morbidity of this disease.

Diabetes is proven through studies to be associated with a high risk of cardiac arrest and there have been substantial increases in new cases of diabetes during the Covid-19 pandemic due to various reasons.

Anil Rajput, Chairperson, ASSOCHAM CSR Council, said, “This year marks the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin. It is, however, unfortunate that diabetes has been underrated as a global public health issue. This needs to be addressed on priority and we as a nation need to take urgent important steps to address this challenge. It is a fact that diabetes is one of the top three NCDs in India and with each year the burden of this disease is rising.”

Dr. Banshi Saboo, President, Research Society for Study of Diabetes in India (RSSDI), said, “Diabetes prevention must be part of a larger national mission. Students should be taught ‘Health Science’ as a subject in schools which can help in preventing this disease and creating awareness about healthy lifestyles among our future generations.”

Dr. Dinesh Agarwal, Senior Consultant Internist and Head of Department, Department of Medicine Marwari Hospitals, Vice Chairman, RSSDI Assam Chapter, said: “One of the key risk factors and causes of diabetes is stress and junk food. Add to this the fact that lack of exercise among both children and adults lead to an onset of the disease which could have easily avoided by following simple steps.”

Dr. Rajesh Kesari, Founder and Director, Total Care Control, Delhi-NCR, said: “Diabetes free India is a dream for all of us. It is important to control this disease because not only does it cause many other diseases or co-morbidities and complications to take place, but also leads to a huge economic burden.”