As the world celebrated on November 14, 2022 the “ World Diabetes Day”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “ let us pledge to lead healthier lives so that we can overcome diabetes”.
It was decided in 1991 to celebrate World Diabetes Day. The decision was made by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) in response to growing concerns about the increasing health threat posed by diabetes.
It is observed on November 14 every year to mark the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, who co-discovered insulin along with Charles Best in 1922.
World Diabetes Day has been an official United Nations Day since 2006.
World Diabetes Day is the world’s largest diabetes awareness campaign reaching a global audience of over one billion people in more than 160 countries.
The main objective behind observing this day is to create awareness on diabetes and to take action to tackle this global health issue.
The theme for World Diabetes Day 2021-23 is Access to Diabetes Care. The theme of the second year of the World Diabetes Day 2021-23 campaign is “Education to Protect Tomorrow”. This year’s campaign focused on the need for better access to quality diabetes education for health professionals and people living with diabetes. Activities centered on highlighting the need for better access to quality diabetes education for health professionals and people living with diabetes.
Initiatives by Government of India to Tackle Diabetes
Recognising the importance of combating the threat to health posed by diabetes, Government of India has taken a host of steps ranging from promoting awareness and prevention, to diagnosis and holistic treatment:
Screening and Awareness
➢ The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, in collaboration with the WHO and other partners, has launched a mobile health initiative for the prevention and care of diabetes – mDiabetes. This initiative aims at harnessing the mobile network to tackle the disease. With a missed call to 011-22901701, the caller can get basic information about the disease and how to manage it. The programme’s main focus is on health promotion, early diagnosis, management and referral of cases, besides strengthening the infrastructure and capacity building.
➢ A population level initiative of prevention, control and screening for common Non-Communicable Diseases or NCDs (diabetes, hypertension and common cancers viz. oral, breast and cervical cancer) has also been rolled out under the National Health Mission (NHM) as a part of comprehensive primary health care. Under this initiative , frontline health workers such as Accredited Social Health Activists and Auxiliary Nurse Midwives, inter alia, are leveraged to carry out screening and generate awareness about the risk factors of NCDs including diabetes among the masses.
➢ The initiative is under implementation in over 215 districts across the country. Screening for common NCDs is also an integral part of service delivery under Ayushman Bharat- Health and Wellness Centres (AB-HWCs). Nearly 24 crore4 screenings have been done for Diabetes at AB-HWCs till November 13, 2022.
Diagnosis and Treatment
➢ NHM launched by Government of India has established special cells at state and district levels to tackle diabetes. Through early detection using inexpensive technologies and affordable medication, the government is trying to implement the programme to prevent and manage the disease.
➢ The treatment in Government Hospitals is either free or highly subsidized for the poor and needy. Under the National Health Mission – Free Drugs and Free Diagnostic initiative, essential drugs and diagnostics are provided free of cost in public health facilities.
➢ The treatment for in-patient care is also available under Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) for 10.74 crore families eligible.
➢ Quality generic medicines are being made available at affordable prices to all under ‘Jan Aushadhi Scheme’, in collaboration with the State Governments.
➢ AMRIT (Affordable Medicines and Reliable Implants for Treatment) stores have been set up in hospitals, where essential life-saving medicines are being provided at a substantial discount vis-à-vis the Maximum Retail Price.
Holistic Treatment using Indian Systems of Medicine
➢ The Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS), New Delhi, an apex organization for research in Ayurveda under the Ministry of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy) has developed Ayush-82, an ayurvedic formulation for prevention and management of diabetes at affordable price.
➢ In collaboration with the Ministry of AYUSH, an initiative to use the knowledge available in AYUSH system of medicines for prevention and control of Noncommunicable Diseases is also being implemented in six districts on pilot basis.