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Diabetes bleeds India

Thursday - October 11, 2018 9:58 am , Category : WTN SPECIAL

WTN- Diabetes is a growing urban crisis in India which has also started spreading its wings in villages. It is estimated that the country is home to no less than 7.5 million diabetes patients and the more alarming fact is if the trend continues, by 2040 we are likely to have around 15 million people suffering from this chronic ailment.

In the last 25 years or so, there has been a rise of at least 65 per cent in the number of diabetics in the country. Another aspect of this crisis is the cost burden that the country is bearing due to the disease. In 2017 alone, people had to spend at least 2.15 lakh crore rupees in treatment and control of the disease, which is more than 10 per cent of the country’s total annual budget. On an average a person afflicted by diabetes spends at least Rs 7,000 per year on medicines and care.

A report released by Lancet says as against the general belief, people even as young as 30 years old are getting diabetes, which was not the trend two decades back when it gripped only the old or people beyond a certain age threshold like the 50s. Though diabetes is largely a hereditary inheritance, the incidences of the disease spreading due to stressful lifestyle and faulty food habits are rising fast, which is why white collar professionals yet not out of their 30s are getting them more often today. Long sitting hours, lack of adequate exercise, uninformed food choices, bingeing on sweets, work pressure, poor life-work balance, lack of adequate sleep etc are leading to heightened risk and prevalence of diabetes among the urban class.

Due to more technological intrusion in life and lessening physical activities, rural India too is gradually falling in the grip of diabetes. Rural Indian populace has a further impediment of lack of exposure and availability of early treatment options, which their urban counterparts get. In urban societies there is more awareness and early intervention due to this, but in villages, there is lack of awareness which delays treatment and accentuates the intensity of the problem. Lack of early detection and reporting can lead to widespread prevalence of this silent killer in the hinterlands which can only make the crisis more worrisome.

Even the urban population needs more awareness and more than that, more action and steps to actually stem the disease before it goes out of hand. Even where there is awareness, people are not pro-active in reversing the onset of the disease by taking the needful steps like changing food habits or hitting the gym. Many people take it casually and worsen matters before waking up to the reality. Handling diabetes needs immense discipline and control which many of us fail to adopt in our life. Drastic changes and adjustments are to be made in lifestyle and habits by dumping old preferences and likings, which don’t come that easy.

There is need to be more campaigns, regular checkups and workshops in offices and workplaces as well as greater ‘presence’ (visibility) of diabetes in the channels of mass media to exhort people to be more cautious and active. Stress should be on prevention rather than cure. We as a nation cannot afford to lose so much of money ever year on this disease burden.

-Window To News
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