The State and Central governments should consider developing a national-level diabetes control programme similar to those that were done for tuberculosis, malaria and leprosy, said K. Meer Mustafa Hussain, Vice-Chancellor of Tamil Nadu Dr. MGR Medical University.

In his convocation address at Dr. Mohan’s Diabetes Specialities Centre, Gopalapuram, Dr. Hussain said that awareness of diabetes should begin at school. He urged the Diabetes Specialities Centre to set up separate wings to screen pregnant women between 22 and 28 weeks for gestational diabetes and for juvenile diabetics.

Dr. Hussain, who also inaugurated the Diabetes Education Academy arm of the Centre, suggested that since the organisation was a centre for Ph.D. research it could apply to the Tamil Nadu Dr. MGR Medical University for validation of its syllabi and courses. This would bring in more research students from other States, he added.

S.K. Rajan, Chairman, Board of Studies for Higher Specialities at the University, commended the efforts of V. Mohan, the Centre’s chairman. He said that students should learn from their teachers qualities such as perseverance and team spirit. He lauded the team at the Centre for its efforts to reach out to the poor in the community. He gave away certificates and gold medals to the graduating doctors, nurses and paramedics.

Dr. Mohan’s Diabetes Specialities Centre had launched its educational arm with the aim of addressing the need for healthcare providers, Dr. Mohan said.

“We have three full-time courses, for doctors, ophthalmologists and nutritionists/dieticians and nurses. We are planning to start a diploma course in podiatry, certificate courses for diabetes technologies, ophthalmic assistants and physician assistants. These courses are aimed at “creating cadres of paramedical people who are essential to screen for and prevent complications associated with diabetes,” he said.

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