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Updated: October 26, 2010 20:55 IST

Children against sugar rush

Radhakrishnan Kuttoor
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Walk to health
Walk to health

A hospital in Pandalam is on a campaign against the metabolic disorder.

“Walk to health and say no to diabetes.” A hospital near Pandalam is organising walks for schoolchildren to spread the message in connection with Global Diabetes Walk on November 12. As many as 1,00,000 students from schools in Pathanamathitta are expected to participate.

The children will be motivated to organise “family global diabetes walks” on November 14 and ensure participation of 4,00,000 people, the hospital says. The project managers have started distributing informative brochures in the district.

G. Vijayakumar, Director, Medical Trust Hospital and Diabetes Care Centre, Kulanada, and G. Dileepan, project manager, told The Hindu here on Tuesday that the “Walk to Health” programme aimed at spreading the message of Global Diabetes Walk and World Diabetes Day (November 14) with the help of schoolchildren.

The Denmark-based World Diabetes Foundation (WDF) supports the hospital's ongoing diabetes control and prevention programme.

Mr. Dileepan said the diabetic control programme was launched in 2008, in association with the district panchayat. The success of the project had prompted its supporters to extend the same to the adjoining Alappuzha district this year.

Dr. Vijayakumar said a study conducted in 2007 identified diabetes a major health problem in India with an estimated 40 million people having the disease. The affected people had to spend five-25 per cent of their income for managing the disease and evidence suggests that the prevalence of diabetes in Kerala was alarmingly on the rise. A 30-minute walk five days a week was enough to prevent diabetes.

The WDF-supported campaign aims at prevention of diabetes and other lifestyle diseases through a targeted approach. It targets schoolchildren, teachers and parents as an effective medium to address the community as a whole, creating proper awareness and a healthy environment at home, school and the surroundings in an attempt to reduce the risk factors.

Dr. Vijayakumar said that initially, “Walk to Health” forums would be initiated at 300 schools in Pathanamthitta. A diabetes prevention campaign launched on Gandhi Jayanthi Day would conclude on World Diabetes Day.

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