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Pilot project for prevention of diabetes, cardio-vascular diseases to be extended

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All about them: S. Elango, Director of Public Health launching an updated report of the Diabetes Research Centre at a function to present the “Prof. M. Viswanathan Gold Medal Award” to N. K. Sethi, Advisor (Health), Planning Commission (second from right) and B. S. Kasinath, professor of Medicine, University of Texas, in Chennai on Sunday. Vijay Viswanathan, managing director, M. V. Hospital for Diabetes, is in the picture.
All about them: S. Elango, Director of Public Health launching an updated report of the Diabetes Research Centre at a function to present the “Prof. M. Viswanathan Gold Medal Award” to N. K. Sethi, Advisor (Health), Planning Commission (second from right) and B. S. Kasinath, professor of Medicine, University of Texas, in Chennai on Sunday. Vijay Viswanathan, managing director, M. V. Hospital for Diabetes, is in the picture.

Special Correspondent

Prof. M. Viswanathan Gold Medal Award presented

CHENNAI: The Centre proposes to extend the pilot project for prevention and control of diabetes, cardio-vascular diseases and stroke across the country in a phased manner, N. K. Sethi, Advisor (Health) Planning Commission of India said on Sunday.

In his “Prof. M. Viswanathan Gold Medal Award” oration instituted by the M. V. Hospital for Diabetes and Diabetes Research Centre (DRC), said that the project that was piloted across 10 districts in ten States would be expanded nation-wide on the basis of the epidemiological data emerging from the study.

“If required, the Centre will also increase allocations for the programme which has been allocated Rs.16,650 crore under the Eleventh Plan,” said Dr. Sethi.

The Centre had allocated Rs.30 crore this fiscal for the project piloted in 2008. The multi-site pilot also includes Kancheepuram in the State.

Pointing to diabetes, cardiovascular disease and stroke as the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in India, Dr. Sethi said these chronic diseases accounted for 53 per cent of all deaths and 44 per cent of the Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALY) lost during 2005.

Alongside diabetes and stroke, cardio-vascular diseases were on the rise in India and was tipped to become the largest cause of death and disability by 2015, he said.

Dr. Sethi said that the current thinking of the Centre was to form Public Private Partnerships as a way of going forward on the health front. He suggested that health interventions engage civil society and NGOs to fit in with the Government’s advocacy of low-cost high-impact programmes.

He also stressed the importance of adopting standard clinical guidelines. The way forward was to avoid creating new verticals in the health sector through increased integration of programmes as the National Rural Health Mission had done, he said.

S. Elango, Director of Public Health, said that the State Government looked to increasingly engage research institutions and post graduate researchers for strengthening preventive health programmes.

In the second DRC gold medal oration, B.S. Kasinath, professor of Medicine, University of Texas, San Antonio, US, stressed the need to detect and treat Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) at an early stage to prevent patients from developing cardio-vascular disease.

“The increase in CKD is now clearly linked to diabetes prevalence, which in turn is set off by the burgeoning obesity problems.”

The sad part of the CKD situation was that many patients never even reached the stage of benefiting from dialysis as they succumbed to renal failure, Dr. Kasinath said.

The other facet to the alarming situation was that expenditure for treatment of end stage renal disease was sky-rocketing. American patients were spending an estimated 35 billion dollars a year which was something even a country like the US could ill afford, said the specialist in diabetic nephropathy.

Vijay Viswanathan, managing director, MV Hospital, said the DRC’s “COP” (Chennai Official Police) study found that 36 per cent of the city’s police force was diabetics while 56 per cent of personnel had metabolic syndrome.

The Life Time Achievement Awards instituted by the DRC were presented to diabetologists Binode Kumar Sahay and C. Munichoodappa by V. T. Balaraman, former professor, Madras Medical College, and S. K. Rajan, Board of Studies, The Tamil Nadu Dr. MGR Medical University respectively. Earlier, Dr. Elango launched an updated report of the Diabetes Research Centre.

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