Skip to content Skip to navigation

Not only the rich are at risk of diabetes

A media report labeled diabetes as a lifestyle disease. Rightly so, but it doesn't imply that poor and underserved communities are not at risk of diabetes. In fact, the World Diabetes Day (WDD) was created by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the World Health Organization in 1991, to draw attention of the world community towards escalating incidences of diabetes amongst the rich and poor, old and young alike. WDD is celebrated world wide on 14th November, on the birth anniversary of Fredrerick Banting, co-discoverer of insulin.

"Diabetes is affecting all classes of our society, be it rich or poor, high caste or low caste, urban or rural residents. So it is no longer the disease of the rich alone," said Dr Ambady Ramachandran, Director, India Diabetes Research Foundation (IDRF), Chennai, Tamil Nadu. In a recent study conducted by IDRF in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu, prevalence rates of diabetes were found to at par in rural and urban areas, dispelling the misconception that diabetes is only affecting the rich living in urban areas.

Dr Ramachandran further said that "Diabetes exerts a life-long financial burden for treatment. It is not only the cost of medicines but the recurring costs of ongoing home monitoring, laboratory investigations and hospitalizations also add to the financial burden. Also, the changing prevalence of disease patterns is likely to increase the burden of chronic diseases like diabetes in developing countries such as India."

According to Diabetes Atlas published by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), there were an estimated 40.9 million people with diabetes in India in 2007 which is about 16.7% of the global number of people living with diabetes. This number is predicted to rise to almost 70 million people by the year 2025. The countries with the largest number of people with diabetes will be India, China and USA by 2025. It is estimated that every fifth person with diabetes will be an Indian. The economic burden on India due to such a high incidence of diabetes is amongst the highest in the world.

India is, therefore, often referred to as the 'diabetes capital of the world'. Several studies have revealed that the prevalence of diabetes is increasing in rural areas too. However, there are no diagnostic tests available at Primary Health Centres for diabetes or diabetes-related complications. Dr Viswanathan Mohan, Director, Madras Diabetes Research Foundation, Chennai, Tamil Nadu said that "there is an urgent need to establish diagnostic centres for diabetes at every ante-natal clinic (ANC) especially in rural areas to detect and reduce the burden of diabetes at an early stage in children and adolescents".

Comparatively, the urban adolescents are more prone to type-2 diabetes than those residing in the rural areas. These urban adolescents have a higher intake of refined cereals as well as high fat and calorie-dense foods. Moreover, they are less likely to engage in regular physical activities. These factors lead to an increased incidence of obesity and consequently a higher risk for the onset of type-2 diabetes at an early age. Overall, patients with young-onset type-2 diabetes are only found in urban areas, and more so in affluent households. On the other hand, type-1 diabetes can occur equally in urban or rural areas. India is a land of famines, floods, local conflicts, large population and a high illiteracy rate. All these factors, coupled with uncertain economic conditions, are likely to impede the diabetes' prevention and awareness programmes.

It may be pertinent to mention here that the theme for World Diabetes Day 2008, (www.worlddiabetesday.org) as envisaged by IDF is 'Diabetes In Children and Adolescents', keeping in mind the increasing incidence of diabetes in youth. This is a matter of grave concern and needs to be tackled. No child should die of diabetes.

Dr Sharad Pendsey ,an expert on diabetes, runs a charitable trust - Diabetes Research Education And Management Trust (DREAM Trust, www.dreamtrust.org) operational in New Delhi/ Noida region which provides free insulin, syringes, blood glucose monitoring strips and complete health care to the poor children with Type-1 diabetes. Dr Pendsey said that "children should be routinely screened for diabetes at diagnostic centres and appropriate follow- up action should be taken , as agreed upon by the primary healthcare providers and the diabetes experts". Dr Pendsey emphasized on the role of boosting up primary prevention strategies to limit or delay the onset of diabetes which will prove cost-effective as well.

Without primary prevention strategies at the public health level, the number of undiagnosed and uncared for people with diabetes will increase, as also the number of complications arising out of this disease, thus requiring a higher technological input. This in turn will limit access to health care for a large numbers of patients.

Amit Dwivedi

(The author is a Special Correspondent to Citizen News Service (CNS). Email: amit@citizen-news.org)

Add new comment

Random Stories

ULFA cadre arrested in Sivasagar

26 Nov 2008 - 5:24pm | editor
A newly recruited ULFA cxadre has been arrested in upper Assam's Sivasagar distirct on Wednesday. According to information, the ULFA cadre is Dibanta Saikia, who was apprehended during a joint...

AASU hunger protest in city

20 Mar 2008 - 4:26pm | editor
AASU activists in the city staged a two hour long hunger strike on Thursday demanding exemplary punishment for those involved in the recent blast in Dhemaji where four people killed and as many as...

Drinking Water Distributed in NRC Seva Kendra's.

28 Apr 2018 - 9:06pm | Nikhil Mundra
HOJAI, 25th April: Keeping in mind the difficulties faced by the people coming from far flung areas to NRC Seva Kendras for Family Tree Verification,Nilbagan Yuva Samaj on Wednesday came forward and...

Kohima Volleyball Champs in Oct

16 Sep 2015 - 6:36am | AT News
Preparations are afoot for the 3rd Kohima District Volleyball Championship 2015. Organized by the Kohima District Volleyball Association, the tournament is slated to begin from October 22 to 24 at...

Other Contents by Author

The transfer and posting of a senior police officer, attached to the anti corruption cell has raised doubts over the Sonowal government's vision of a corruption-free society. In a bid that evoked sharp reaction across the state, the government has transferred Mukul Saikia at a time when he was firmly dealing with a few sensational investigations. The senior IPS officer is known for his firmness' and submitted many fearless revelations in the past. Of, late, he was heading the investigations of the multi crore scam social welfare scam apart from the cash for job scam in the Assam Public Service Commission. But suddenly the government issued a notification on Wednesday reposting him as...
Security forces had a narrow escape when on Sunday morning when an attempt by s joint ULFA-I and NSCN-K team missed the target in Tinsukia district. The incident took place on early in the morning when security forces were moving in the area and as they reached the Jagun area rebels indiscriminately targettef them from the dense jungle who managed to flee immediately. A massive operation is underway. But nobody has been caught so far.
 After days of will-they-won’t-they, police have arrested Akhil Gogoi on Sunday in connection with the recent protest in Kaziranga. A group of policemen caught the KMSS leaders from his residence in Chandmari in Guwahati in the morning charging him with aiding and abetting the people who staged protest against the eviction drive in the world heritage site where two people were killed in police firing. Gogoi, who took the leader allegedly fled from the scene and since then policemen in Guwahati and Bokakhar have been looking for him to be arrested.
Along with the rest of the nation the 70th Independence day was  celebrated in Tangla with three days long programme schedule with gaiety and fervour by administration of Harisinga Revenue Circle and local public. On Monday in the morning at 9 am Lakyhya Jyoti Das Circle Officer, Khoirabari Revenue Circle hoisted the tri-colour at Tangla HS field.Delivering his speech Das said," Along with the development and progress peace and fraternity is needed for which the co-operation of people is necessary. He further said that "Youths of the nation should join hands in Nation building. He also spoke on the urgent need of mitigating the Man-elephant conflict in Udalguri district, need for...
The shoot out in Karbi Anglong district seems to have mired in controversy as the authority has called it an incident of accidental firing where a policeman was killed. Official sources in Guwahati denied any militant attack on the Rongbongway police station where policeman Ratul Gogoi died in the wee hours. Earlier, it was believed to be a rebel attack in the run up to the Independence Day
In yet another landmark development in the Manipur’s poll political landscape, Irom Sharmila on Tuesday announced to end her fast to fight the upcoming assembly polls. Talking to reporters at the Imphal Court premises, she said that she is waiting for August 9 to break her 15 year long fast. She observed that during her 15 year long she got no response from the people in power and that there is hardly any hope a positive response in near future. She said that she has no option but to politically fight the draconian Act that empowers the armed forces to unleash reign of terror on the common people. The decision is bound to have a huge impact on the state’s political scenario in the north...
An health awareness programme was held at the conference hall of Tangla College on Wednesday. The programme was inaugurated by Dr. Prasen Daimari Principal Tangla College. It was presided over by outgoing vice principal B.M Singh. Convenor IQAC Anima Bhuyan Baruah spoke on the purpose of the programme. Dr. Hara Kanta Das Retd. District Joint  Director Department of health,Government of Assam was present in the programme as resource person. NRHM District Committee Mobiliser  Mousumi Kalita was also present in the programme. The programme was organized by Health care cell, IQAC Tangla College in collaboration with Health department govt. of Assam.
BTC Chief Hagrama Mohilary,who is also president of Bodoland Peoples Front(BPF) party files a defamation case against Abdur Rahim Khan,MLA of All India Democratic Front(AIUDF) of  No.43 Barpeta constituency of Assam  today at Chief Judicial Magistrate Court,Kokrajhar demanding strong punishment to Khan. Mohilary demanding strong punishment to Khan,MLA from AIUDF party files defamation with CJM court in Kokrajhar district of Assam,which was case registered with court 142/2016,under/section(u/s) 499/500/501/502 of the India Penal code(IPC),1860. Khan had commented defamtory words on Mohilary on February 1 last terming that Mohilary belonged to terrorist of blood,killer, BPF is...
The Theme Song of the 12th South Asian Games, 2016 was launched amid thunderous applause of thousands of people and volunteers, gathered for the Run for North East and the Torch Relay in Guwahati this morning. The theme song is one of Late Dr Bhupen Hazarika’s immortal creations ‘Ei Prithibi Ek Krirangon’.  Launching the theme song, Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports (I/C) Shri Sarbananda Sonowal said, “Bhupenda’s vision and universal appeal of humanity and brotherhood would keep inspiring us and the whole world.” He further added that the Theme song perfectly expresses the vision of the Games, that is, peace, progress and prosperity.  Minister of Transport, Excise,...
BTC deputy chief Kampa Borgoyary inaugurated the delegate session of the 19th annual convention of the Journalists' Union of Assam (JUA), which has got underway with two-day programme scheduled here at Basic Training Centre in Kokrajhar today.   Borgoyary, in his speech urged the journalist fraternity to be dedicated and devotion to the building of national integrity highlighting human resource as well social upliftment in the country. He said that BTC administration was working for all round development  since it's created under Sixth scheduled of Indian constituency through which region got ray of development and spirits of the social integrity. The convention has witness...