Diabetes stalks rural areas too, camp finds

Staff Reporter
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Out of 1,550 persons screened for diabetes in a few rural pockets in the city’s western suburbs, 78 persons (5 per cent) were detected with diabetes, 191 (12.3 per cent) with high blood pressure and 202 (13 per cent) with high cholesterol levels.

Among the 78 diabetics — 36 men and 42 women — eight were aged between 20 and 30.

Persons in the age group of 20 to 82 years were screened at the diabetes screening and awareness camp conducted by the Institute of Diabetology, Madras Medical College (MMC) in areas including Mugalivakkam, Manappakkam, Kolapakkam and Gerugambakkam as part of events to mark World Diabetes Day. A total of 10 camps were held in these areas from October 22 to November 8.

Doctors said studies have shown that rural areas are catching up with urban areas when it comes to the prevalence of diabetes. “The results of the 10 camps were nothing out of the ordinary for a rural population. A follow-up of the newly-diagnosed diabetes cases will be taken up,” said P. Dharmarajan, professor and head (in-charge), Institute of Diabetology, MMC.

‘State, a trendsetter’

At the World Diabetes Day programme held at Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital (GH) on Tuesday, health minister C. Vijaya Baskar said, “Tamil Nadu will be the trendsetter in diabetic care in the country.”

He pointed out that insulin vials were provided free of cost to type I diabetics, while tablets were given to type II diabetics in the State. At GH alone, almost 1,400 insulin vials were issued every month to type I diabetics. More than 400 type I diabetics, who depended on insulin, are registered at the Institute of Diabetology.

Dr. Vijaya Baskar said the foot care clinic at MMC catered to treatment of diabetic neuropathy, thereby preventing foot ulcers and amputations. A total of 75 doctors have passed out of the two-year postgraduate diploma in diabetology offered at MMC, he added.

V. Kanagasabai, director of medical education and GH dean said the hospital received about 1,000 diabetics in the outpatient department everyday. The department has treated a total of 2,94,361 outpatients — 806 patients on an average per day — between November 1, 2012 and October 31, 2013.

He highlighted the importance of a healthy lifestyle, including a proper diet consisting of boiled vegetables, green leafy vegetables and fruits like papaya, guava and pomegranate. “Physical activity is important. Instead of using lifts, we can use the staircase. We can take up gardening, regular exercise, yoga, swimming and cycling. Leading a stress-free life is important,” he said.

The minister handed over glucometers and gift hampers consisting of free insulin vials, 10 disposable insulin syringes and travel pouches for insulin vials, to 50 diabetics. I. Periyandavar, professor of diabetology, and Anand Prathap, resident medical officer, also participated.




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