Magnitude of Childhood diabetes in India

Diabetes is our nation’s fastest growing chronic disease and unless action is taken now, it is expected to overtake heart disease and cancer to become the largest cause of disability and premature death in India. ICMR-IndDiab study provides new figures for diabetes in India (1911) is 62.4 million and it is been increasing and pre-diabetes (2011) 77.2 million. With the spread of the fast food outlets and more sedentary lifestyles, the prevalence of diabetes in India is rising alarmingly. But the subpopulations at risk and the symptoms of the disease differs from those from the West.

This present magazine focuses around childhood diabetes. Although the estimate of Type 1 (Childhood Diabetes, Insulin dependent diabetes) is around 1% of the total diabetics, the vast majority of the so-called Type 1 is differing significantly from their western counterparts. Only about one third of these would be considered obese. 10-15% would be underweight and the rest would be of normal weight or just slightly over the acceptable weight range. There is paucity of statistical reports in India on the prevalence of diabetes in the young, aged

KLES DIABETES CENTRE : Diabetes & pregnancy for all with GDM screening, Diabetes Foot care service, Diabetes Renal care service, Diabetes Retinopathy surveillance and prevention of Blindness program for type IDDM, Diabetes nutrition department – clinical services, diploma training and research under KLE University programmes, Diabetes specialists nurse educators’ service and training Certificate programme have been initiated.

NEW PAEDIATRIC DIABETES SERVICE : The Paediatric “Diabetes Outpatient Intensive Treatment (DO-IT)” programme has been strengthened with a specialist trained at the premier centre Barbara Davis Center for childhood Diabetes, University of Colorado, Denver and at Washington University, USA has strengthened the care to children with diabetes. Our Type 1 diabetes Children routinely speak to challenging motivators including Olympiad gold medalist like Mr. Garry Hall, Mr. Sebastian Sasseville who crossed the Sahara desert and scaled the Mt.Everest, and Mr. Jack T, the founder of our P.U Club, USA, despite they are Type 1 Diabetics.

India is a vast and diverse country. India has a distinct need for a comprehensive diabetes care program. Why it is that India does not have a diabetes care program? The Indian Government still does not consider diabetes and other non communicable diseases as a priority area. This should not only confine to report on the standards of diabetes care which are prevalent here, but needs to be more wide ranging. It has to be a continuous ongoing process, which approaches the problem from an all encompassing primordial, primary, secondary and tertiary approaches. At the same time, it should be workable and have short and long term aims and objectives in the quest to improve diabetes care in India. This concept of ” accessible, accountable, achievable, affordable and available, ‘5A’s diabetes-care®” is central to the successful implementation of any planned program. We must evolve our own program based on ground realities. In this quest, our centre has started Free Insulin Treatment (F.I.T.) ® programme to children with diabetes and summer camps for the children with diabetes for the last 14 years. Based on this and the perceived needs and lacunae in diabetes care, we can then draw up plans for improving the lot of our people with diabetes. Only such a plan will be workable. Else, we will be left with high sounding charters and programmes which look impressive on paper, but achieve little, if anything.

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