A series of health camps in Royapuram had revealed that 150 of the 1,500 screened had diabetes. They were referred to specialists for further treatment, and advised lifestyle modifications and diet changes, said speaker D. Jayakumar, who presided over the inauguration of a three-day advanced diabetes workshop for physicians on Friday.

The workshop, organised by the India Diabetes Research Foundation jointly with the Imperial College, London, will train 120 delegates from across the country in the diagnosis and treating of the disease.

Tamil Nadu has around 37 to 40 lakh diabetics and another 30 lakh people are in the pre-diabetic stage, said A. Ramachandran, whose Diabetes Hospital is jointly hosting the event. The fact that families spend up to 30 per cent of their income for treatment of the patient and the indirect cost through loss of productivity is the reason for holding the workshop, he added.

Desmond G. Johnston, campus dean of Imperial College said 10 per cent of the total healthcare expenditure is spent on treating complications related to diabetes.

The workshop will dwell on various aspects of treatment, including treatment of foot ulcers, stroke and cancer. There is a separate session on diabetes in women.

Health Minister V.S. Vijay, who released the workshop brochure, delineated the health schemes of the State government. He also stressed the need for training programmes for doctors and healthcare professionals.

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