India is among the top three countries when it comes to the incidence of diabetes. According to a study by The Lancet magazine published earlier this year, nearly 65 million people in India have been diagnosed with the condition; many health experrts believe that this number may be greater, as thousands of people may not be aware that they have diabetes; the International Diabetes Federation says one-third of adults with diabetes havent been diagnosed.
There has been an alarming rise in the incidence of diabetes over the past several years. Rapid unplanned urbanization, which leads to unhealthy diets and lack of sufficient physical activity, especially among our young adults are perceived as major contributors to the incidence of diabetes. Many health experts have called India the diabetes capital of the world.
Government recognises this burden and has taken action with the launch of the National Programme for the Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke (NPCDCS). The primary objective has been to target the greatest risk factors contributing to diabetes — unhealthy diets, physical inactivity, and air pollution. The government is also committed to improving screening, prevention, and treatment.
It will need strong efforts by many groups working in unison – physicians, policy makers, health experts and government – to make a significant dent in reducing mortality from diabetes. We all need to act immediately to increase awareness, build institutional capacity and create treatment options together. In addressing diabetes, unity in strength will have the greatest impact.
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