Diabetes white paper calls for integrating schemes, early learning

The white paper also recommended introducing lifestyle management in school curricula


An industry report on diabetes has recommended teaching lifestyle management in schools. Photo: Anette Romanenko
An industry report on diabetes has recommended teaching lifestyle management in schools. Photo: Anette Romanenko

New Delhi: An industry report on diabetes has recommended teaching lifestyle management in schools and integrating various government schemes, among various measures to prevent and treat the disease.

The white paper, titled Synergizing efforts in diabetes care at the tertiary level was released at the third edition of the national non-communicable diseases (NCD) summit, organised by lobby group Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and drug maker Eli Lilly and Co. India Pvt. Ltd.

It recommended integrating the National Programme For Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke and the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme to ensure screening for diabetes and tuberculosis.

The white paper also recommended introducing lifestyle management in school curricula, deploying technology tools such as tele-medicine and mobile health to screen and manage diabetes, and beefing up primary health centres.

India was at risk of becoming the diabetes capital of the world by 2025, said Jagdish Prasad, director general of health services. “Rapid globalization and lack of precautionary measures is the leading cause of diabetes in the country. Education and preventive screening would be key to avoid the burden of diabetes,” he said.

“We realized that the increase in the cases of diabetes in the country has led to a growing burden on tertiary-level care hospitals,” said Edgard Olaizola Story, managing director of Eli Lilly India. “Hence, there was an urgent need for initiating a dialogue with stakeholders to strengthen the policies and practices around diabetes management in these facilities.”

There are 66.8 million diabetics in India and the figure is expected to rise by109 million by 2035, according to 2014 data by International Diabetes Federation (IDF), an umbrella organization of over 230 national diabetes associations in 170 countries.

The white paper, drafted with support from Population Services International, is based on the recommendations that emerged in discussions held in Hyderabad, Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai and Guwahati.

CII and Eli Lilly had convened the first such summit in 2013 and published a white paper. In 2014, the second summit was organized to help shape diabetes policies in public sector enterprises.

The latest summit aims to create a platform to strengthen public health strategies for comprehensive diabetes management, specifically at the tertiary level.

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