Diabetes has become a modern epidemic that is silently taking over the world. In 2017, about 425 million adults globally had diabetes. By 2045, this number is projected to rise to 629 million.1
More worrying is how in 2017, one in two people worldwide with diabetes were undiagnosed.2 Early detection of diabetes is crucial for managing diabetes and reducing the risks.
QNet India with Lions Club decided to take action. This World Diabetes Day (14th November), in association with Lions Club, we organized a Free Diabetes Camp for the underprivileged communities in Bengaluru. Held at Lions Urban Family Welfare Health Centre, the camp was organized under the aegis of National Urban Health Mission.
Impact of Diabetes Globally3
Impact of Diabetes in India4
In 2017, 425 million adults were living with diabetes
India has 49% of the world’s diabetes cases
In 2017, diabetes caused 4 million deaths
In 2017, there were estimated 72 million cases
In 2017, 352 million people were at risk of developing type 2 diabetes
By 2025, the number of cases is expected to double to 134 million
Building awareness among the urban poor
Diabetes poses a greater threat for the less privileged members of the society who are unaware of the disease and the ways to fight it. So, the camp was designed with the main aim of increasing the awareness level of the slum dwellers, thereby equipping them with the knowledge to counter diabetes at an early stage. “Unmonitored diabetes can increase the risk of cardiovascular, renal, neural and visual disorders. Lifestyle modifications and medication can play an important role in controlling it from an early stage,” remarked Lion G Venkatesh, Region Chairperson, Lions Clubs International, Dist. 317 F.
The 500 families that visited the camp were educated by Lion Dr. N.M. Raju on how to lead a healthy lifestyle by following good food habits, doing regular exercise or yoga, and going for regular health check-ups. According to Dr. N.M. Raju, “India needs more such camps to help the economically backward communities learn more about diabetes and help break few ingrained myths about the disease.”
Among the people at the camp was B Surender, a daily-wage earner. Since his work requires him to leave home early he would often miss his breakfast. At this session, he realized how skipping meals was affecting his body functions and learned the value of healthy living.
Conducting related check-ups
The camp also included retinopathy check-up and body mass index (BMI) test. Apollo Sugars conducted the diabetes check-up while Minto Hospital took charge of retinopathy and BMI (body mass index) check-up. To make it convenient for people living in nearby slum areas, a pick up and drop facility was arranged.
Follow-ups of patients diagnosed with diabetes
The camp didn’t end with the check-ups. We have also put in place a dedicated follow-up system to keep a track of the patients detected with diabetes, retinopathy and other health issues.
“The approach of an on-ground activity for the underprivileged sections of the society with a dedicated patient follow-up system can set the ball rolling for other medical centres to take up similar community development activities. I hope we take forward more such engagements with QNet and contribute to the national health mission,” said Lion Sathyanarayana Raju, District Governor, Lions Clubs International District 317 F.
Family support in diabetes management
Though early detection and increased awareness levels are the first steps toward diabetes management, family support has also proven to be equally important. This year’s theme for World Diabetes Day – ‘The Family and Diabetes’ also highlights the crucial role family plays in helping patients manage the disease and live healthier.
Hence, it is necessary to make the knowledge needed for diabetes management accessible to both the patients and their families. This would help create a more holistic approach towards managing the disease.
QNet has been working along similar lines to build a healthier and fitter future for India. As part of its efforts, various health camps have been organized in association with Lions Club for Community Development. QNet India is looking forward to undertake more such activities in the future.
Also read: Exercise for Diabetes Management