IMA pushes for Covid-19 vaccine for all diabetes patients


PTI, Nov 14, 2021, 3:45 PM IST

Source: unsplash

New Delhi: Noticing their vulnerabilities, IMA on Sunday demanded Covid-19 vaccination for all diabetes patients, including a third dose, if needed.

The IMA on Sunday launched a campaign for early detection and mitigation of diabetes complications with organising of walkathon, marathon, screening camps, and a social media drive.

The campaign also included research paper promotion among young doctors and an ”intense” personal intervention at hospitals. The campaign, launched on the occasion of world Diabetes Day, will run for 10 days and will aim to reach one billion people, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) said in a statement.

As part of the campaign, the IMA has joined hands with the association of Physicians of India, RSSDI, Endocrine Society, and many other niche organisations.

As per the data from the 10th Edition of the IDF Diabetes Atlas, diabetes caused 6.7 million deaths in 2021, with 537 million adults (aged 20 to 79 years) around the world currently living with the condition. Their number is predicted to rise to 643 million by 2030 and 784 million by 2045, the statement said.

In India, more than 77 million adults are living with diabetes and researchers predict that this will increase to 134 million by 2045.

World Diabetes Day became an official United Nations Day in 2006 with the passage of United Nation Resolution 61/225. It is held every year on November 14 to mark the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, who co-discovered insulin along with Charles Best in 1922.

The theme for World Diabetes Day 2021-23 is access to diabetes care.

Even after 100 years of the discovery of insulin, millions of people with diabetes around the world do not have access to the kind of care they need, the doctors’ body said.

Its patients require continuous care and support to manage their condition and avoid complications, they said.

To make insulin accessible, IMA’s state and local branches will set up special centres to help people get insulin therapy at appropriate times, the statement said.

The World Diabetes Day logo — a blue circle — will be depicted by blue light and blue balloon during the campaign at all IMA branches. Also, special sessions will be organised during the week at ‘blue corners’ to make people aware about diabetes and complications caused by it, the statement said. According to a 2021 review, people who live in cities and metropolitan areas in India are more likely to develop diabetes than ever before. This is due in part to a city lifestyle that is marked by sedentariness, stress, junk food, smoking, and liquor consumption. All these factors lead to an increase in a person’s body mass index (BMI) – a major risk factor in causing diabetes, the statement said.

Overall, women have a higher risk of developing diabetes than males, but as both groups get older, the risk decreases, it said. Although diabetes figures are high, researchers estimate that 57 per cent of cases remain undiagnosed. This is particularly concerning, as the risk of serious complications increases when people do not take medication to control their blood sugar, it added. The IMA campaign includes holding programmes in both urban and rural areas to promote detection of these hidden and Pre-diabetes cases.

It also spoke about the diabetic foot, terming it a dreaded complication, and saying that 80 per cent of amputations of leg In India are due to this condition. The association said such complications are preventable if proper care is given.

To improve dietary habits of the patients, IMA has also joined hands with the Food Safety department of government of India and propagate an ‘Eat Right campaign’. Under it, IMA is organising a one-day training programme to teach the trainers in each state with the help of FSSAI, so that they can coach people on their diet further in their respective states.

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