IMA pushes for Covid-19 vaccine for all diabetes patients

Greater Chennai Corporation health workers test diabetes level before administering COVID-19 vaccine to beneficiaries   | Photo Credit: VELANKANNI RAJ B

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Sunday demanded COVID-19 vaccination for all diabetes patients, including a booster dose, if needed. The association launched a campaign for early detection and mitigation of diabetes complications.

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The campaign, launched on the occasion of World Diabetes Day, will run for 10 days and aims to reach one billion people, the IMA said in a release. As part of the campaign, the IMA has joined hands with the Association of Physicians of India and other organisations.

The IMA says that millions of people with diabetes do not have access to the kind of care they need and that patients often require continuous care and support to avoid complications.

To make insulin accessible, the IMA’s State and local branches will set up special centres, the statement said.

The World Diabetes Day logo — a blue circle — will be depicted by blue light and blue balloons during the campaign at all IMA branches.

Special sessions

Also, special sessions will be organised during the week at ‘blue corners’ to make people aware of diabetes and complications caused by it, the statement said.

Also Read: Study sheds light on intensity of COVID-19 in type-2 diabetics

“In India, more than 77 million adults are living with diabetes and researchers predict that this will increase to 134 million by 2045. World Diabetes Day became an official United Nations Day in 2006 with the passage of the United Nations Resolution 61/225. It is held every year on November 14 to mark the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, who co-discovered insulin along with Charles Best in 1922. The theme for World Diabetes Day 2021-23 is access to diabetes care,” said the association.

City lifestyle

According to a 2021 review, people who live in cities and metropolitan areas in India are more likely to develop diabetes than ever before. “This is due in part to a city lifestyle that is marked by sedentary, stress, junk food, smoking, and liquor consumption. All these factors lead to an increase in a person’s body mass index (BMI) — a major risk factor in causing diabetes,” the statement said.

Overall, women have a higher risk of developing diabetes than men, but as both groups get older, the risk decreases, the IMA said.

Although diabetes figures are high, researchers estimate that 57% of cases remain undiagnosed. This is particularly concerning, as the risk of serious complications increases when people do not take medication to control their blood sugar, it added.

The IMA campaign includes holding programmes in both urban and rural areas to promote detection of hidden and pre-diabetes cases.

Diabetic foot

It also spoke about the diabetic foot, terming it a dreaded complication, and saying that 80% of amputations of leg in India are due to this condition.

The association said such complications are preventable if proper care is given. To improve dietary habits of the patients, the IMA has joined hands with the Food Safety Department of the Government of India and propagated an ‘Eat Right campaign’. Under it, the IMA is organising a one-day training programme to teach the trainers in each State with the help of FSSAI, so that they can coach people on diet in their respective States.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2022 1:47:12 PM |

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