If all the noise and hoopla generated this World Diabetes Day in Chennai were to be considered as a measure of how much attention is being paid to the metabolic disorder, then the city is indeed paying attention to Diabetes mellitus.

A series of seminars, free blood testing camps, awareness walks, human chains, even puppet shows were held in various parts of the city to observe World Diabetes Day. At Government General Hospital, nursing students and patients who participated in painting and quiz contests held as part of World Diabetes Day were distributed prizes. Diabetologists who participated in the event explained to the patients the need to control their glucose levels and to adhere to an exercise regimen. The event was organised by the Diabetes Association of India, Southern Chapter. On the occasion, free glucometers were distributed to poor patients with Type 1 diabetes.

At Government Stanley Hospital, Principal Secretary, Health, V.K. Subburaj launched a diabetic foot clinic, established in memory of the M. Viswanathan, a pioneer in diabetes treatment in the country. MV Hospital for Diabetes and Diabetes Research Centre donated equipment worth Rs. 1 lakh. Mr. Subburaj also launched the M.Ch. course in vascular surgery. Vascular surgeon M. Rajkumar said the introduction of the course would help to address the hospital’s need. Annually the hospital receives around 1,200 patients with various conditions requiring surgery, he said. Vijay Viswanathan, Managing Director, MV Hospital for Diabetes and Research Centre, said the most common expensive complication among people with diabetes is infection in the feet and subsequently, amputation.

Dr. Mohan’s Diabetes Specialities Centre organised free diabetes screening camps through the day and over 5,000 people were screened. Quiz programmes on diabetic retinopathy was conducted and demonstrations on physical activity and yoga were given to emphasise the value of physical fitness and healthy lifestyle in controlling diabetes. An interesting aspect of group therapy sessions conducted by nutrition and dietetics experts was the live cooking session of low-calorie, low-fat foods. Children with juvenile diabetes were taken for a trip to the planetarium in order to motivate them.

Piramal Healthcare, in association with Joslin Diabetes Center, the United States, organised a seminar on the subject of combination Triple Oral Therapy in the management of Type 2 diabetes. Over 100 physicians, and endocrinologists, including paediatric endocrinologists, from Chennai, participated in the symposium. David S.H. Bell, retired professor of Medicine, University of Alabama Medical School, A.Ramachandran, president, India Diabetes Research Foundation and Chairman and Managing Director, Dr. A Ramachandran’s Diabetes Hospitals, and C.R. Anand Moses, head, Dr. Ambedkar Institute of Diabetes, Government Kilpauk Medical College, made presentations.

Agarwal Eye Hospital organised a human chain to mark the occasion.

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