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The Diabetes capital of the world

India accounts for nearly 69 million people living with diabetes according to a report published by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF). According to latest IDF estimate the worldwide 382 million people are living with diabetes. India is known as the Diabetes capital of the world. November 14 is observed as the World Diabetes Day. The North Eastern Diabetes Society (NEDS), a non-profit organization of prominent diabetologist and endocrinologist of the North-east is celebrating this day in Guwahati in a grand way. This day was chosen as the birthday of Fedrick Banting, a medical scientist who co-discovered Insulin and was the first person to use it on humans.

Diabetes in Indians is five times the rate of white population. Sedentary life style with lack of exercise and high intake of high caloric value food and salt leads to Central Obesity (apple shape of body) and insulin resistance and is the main reason for increase in diabetes in Indians. Diabetes patients have exceeded more than fifty percent from what it was in the year 1995. According to World Health Organization (WHO) diabetes would become seventh leading cause of death by the year 2030 and more than fifty percent rise would be seen in the next 20 years.

NEDS, in a press release issued to the media in Guwahati has said that one person dies of diabetes every 6 seconds or 6 in one minute and one in twenty deaths in the world is due to diabetes. It is number one cause of kidney failure in the world. It is responsible for five million blindness in adults and one million limb amputations. Fifty percent of the amputations occur in people who have diabetes. It is an important cause of heart disease, stroke and cataract. Keeping these facts in mind it’s clear that future of human race is in jeopardy. IDF has adopted the slogan to protect our future. Most of the diabetes cases can be prevented through dietary modifications weight loss and more physical activities. Ninety percent diabetes patients could be treated by using inexpensive life style changes. Regular exercise is a weapon against diabetes. Activities like jogging, running, cycling, swimming etc; at least five days a week helps cure diabetes. In India a low income group diabetic patient spends about 25 percent of his family income on diabetes care.

NEDS has taken up two ambitious projects (1) NEDS school health obesity prevention programme and (2) Peripheral doctors enlighten on diabetes programme. Everybody has a role to play and can join hands to combat this menace. Each and every individual in the society can be a role model and contribute to the awareness of diabetes. NGOs, self-help groups, media and government agencies may take the challenge in the right earnest to create the necessary awareness about diabetes.

NEDS has chalked out a number of programmes on the World Diabetes Day in the city with rally, drawing competition, diabetes detection and awareness meet and poster competition etc. It has plans to provide free treatment to some of the diabetes patients also.

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Daya Nath Singh's picture

Journalist; Guwahati Press Club office Secretary

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