‘50% Indians with diabetes not aware they have it’




India is home to 77 million people with diabetes and 80 million people with prediabetes. By 2030, the diabetic person in the country is close to hitting the mark of 101 million. Studies is demonstrating that almost all Indian past the age of 50 is a diabetic unless testify otherwise, and at this pace it could become the next diabetes capital of the world soon, outdistancing China. Dr V Mohan, who has done some stellar work over the last five decades in the field of diabetes care and research, says that half the afflicted person in India are not even aware that they suffer from the condition. In his recently-published memoir,’ Making Excellence a Habit’, the Padma Shri winner echoes his experience of setting up one of the world’s largest series of diabetes centres, Dr Mohan’s Group of Diabetes Establishments that began as a single clinic in 1991 and now has over 52 branches across 32 municipals. For someone who began researching on diabetes with his father, Prof. M. Viswanathan( considered the’ Father of Diabetology’ in India ), when he was just 18, Dr Mohan has investigated the evolution of the country; s healthcare system.Over its first year he has also seen the transition of Indian lifestyle into a most affluent and sedentary, carbohydrate-rich and sugar-heavy one with the population doing very little physical exercise. In an e-mail interaction with Lopamudra Ghatak of the Economic Times Digital, the 67 -year-old expert schedules the warning signs that we cannot afford to ignore for too long, and recommends steps to prevent the “twin epidemics of diabetes and obesity.” And when asked to choose between instinct and knowledge, he mentions Malcolm Gladwell, for a rationale. Excerpts: Lopamudra Ghatak: Your memoir -‘ Making Excellence a Habit’ – begins with wonderful threads by 3 enormous English poets – Shelley, Wordsworth& Tennyson, and the impact that the performance of their duties had on you. Seeming back, is there a hue of sadnes, at all, at not having engaged English Literature? Dr V Mohan: To be honest, in the initial years, yes, because I felt I was moving away from the dreamy-eyed, rustic living for a poet/ English prof towards the coarse actuality of a medical doctor. However, as I’ve mentioned in the book, since I converted my feeling for writing lyrics and papers into writing scientific research articles, I’ve felt a great deal of satisfaction.LG: The journal attends a non-linear narrative – and there are multiple personal pieces of contests that happened several years ago. They all read as though it happened recently. How did you manage to remember( so much better ), and recreate as well for the readers? VM: Thank you! A heap of the events were recorded in my diary and docket e.g.conference dates, pay a visit to various countries and hence, I was able to accurately pin down the times. Some of the feelings described in the book were so deep that they are lifelong impress and unlikely to be killed from my remembering. Of track, the recreating of those is the licence that the author takes when s/ he writes their story.LG: In all the years of being a medical professional, what has been the biggest learning for you? And your biggest failure, if any? VM: The greatest learning for me personally is that a medical professional and a researcher never stops learning. Things get outdated so quickly in the kind of work that we do, that we have to remain a student throughout our lives.I have had countless outages. The biggest repent is that I have not been able to find a heal for diabetes, despite labor 50 times in this field.LG: You have received worldwide acclaim and fame for your stellar work in the field of treating diabetes. How does it feel to be counted among the world’s top few medical professionals in the field? VM: It’s ever nice when one’s work is recognised, but in all humility, I would like to say that most of my achievements are due to teamwork. I am ordained to have a marvelous unit of doctors, scientists, technicians and collaborators and it is our combined effort that has led to all our achievers. Thus, I cannot make full credit for whatever I have achieved. 8376770 3LG: What are your views on the Indian healthcare system? What do you think can be done to produce more doctors and medicos in “the two countries “? VM: The Indian healthcare system is undoubtedly excellent. Our doctors are world class. By and massive, then there ethical and support huge feeling. There is still a shortage of good specialists in the country and hence we need to produce more doctors who are not only specialists in various fields, but too very good family doctors like “weve had” in the past. One of the problems with Indian healthcare is that because 80 per cent of the members of it is private( and therefore out-of-pocket ), the rich and well-to-do can open the very best of managements, while the poor tend to get left out. A more equitable delivery, perhaps through free policy and other measures would make this more balanced. It is my dream that we will achieve this in my lifetime.LG: It’s alarming but India is considered as the world’s capital of diabetes. The diabetic person in the country is close to hitting the mark of 101 million by 2030. Where have we gone/ going wrong? And how do you think we can fix it? VM: The gigantic number of people with diabetes in India is due to several factors: Our population itself is large. Very soon we will become the largest inhabited country in the world overtaking China in the next 4-5 years. When that happens, the maximum number of people with most diseases in the world, including diabetes, will be from IndiaAffluence, abridged physical undertaking, intake of meat which are high in calories, carbohydrates and harmful overweights, all contribute to the diabetes epidemic. As “the two countries ” progresses, we must prevent the twin epidemics of diabetes and obesity. We must encourage people to increase physical pleasure, to reduce stress by doing yoga and pranayama and to cut down on their carbohydrate intake( either rice or wheat) and increase the intake of veggies and protein. With these, we can slow down the diabetes epidemic. Of track, as the life expectancy of the population is also increasing, we may not be able to cut down on the growing number of people with diabetes. It’ll be fine as long as we can help them live a long and healthy life, despite diabetes.LG: There seems to be a clear link between mucormycosis and uncontrolled diabetes – what can we do to control this? VM: The rebut lies in the question itself. The most important cause of mucormycosis is uncontrolled diabetes. Hence, the first and the most obvious thing to do is to get the diabetes of everyone, under good ensure. For this reason, I simply started a nationwide safarus by declaring June 2021 as’ Diabetes Control Month’. If we try to control the diabetes of every one with the condition in India, I am confident that the incidence of mucormycosis can be drastically reduced. Also, we must remember the fact that 50 per cent of people with diabetes do not even know they have diabetes. Therefore, large scale screening of specific populations, to pick up those with undiagnosed diabetes, will also help to bring necessities like mucormycosis under control.LG: You’ve mentioned in a recent video that there are approximately 40 m parties walking around with diabetes who don’t even know they have it. How can this be addressed? VM: The one mode in which undiagnosed diabetes is impossible to identified is to do large-scale opportunistic screening. Luckily, to see diabetes all you need is a simple hand-held glucometer and a blood glucose strip. This type of screening can be done wherever there are a large number of parties. This includes institutions, colleges, universities, positions, organizations, religious regions like churches, schools, mosques, in ballparks, beaches, malls and any other place that parties going to see. Large-scale camps can be organised to detect people with diabetes. The other locate where such detecting can occur is in any doctor’s clinic, irrespective of which structure of remedy is being practiced by the doctor. If any person goes to any doctor for any illness, the blood glucose can be tested as the fifth vital sign in addition to their pulse, BP, temperature and breathing. This will help to detect those with uncontrolled diabetes who canthen be referred for proper treatment.LG: Your memoir has a chapter named’ Combining Entrepreneurship with Ethics and Empathy’ in which you have spotlit the times when you had to strike a balance. The pandemic and the precede locked-down life that we are resulting has manufactured many of us realise the need for empathy in public and professional life. How is impossible to, as a scoot, become more empathetic to others? VM: I foresee empathy is one of the most noble of all human honours. You must be sensitive to the needs and calamities currently facing others. If we are able to listen to their problems and help in whatever way, we can touch the lives of the people with whom we come into contact. The medical profession offers an excellent example of how this , not only can be done, but should be done.LG: What is next on your to-do list? VM: After Covid decides down, we have plans to expand all activities that we are currently engaged in. This includes expansion of our clinical facilities, taking up more research projects, instructing more doctors and training them in diabetes, give more free diabetes check-ups and medicine to those who cannot afford and finally, contacting out to beings with positive themes and therefore establishing them hope that diabetes is not a disease, but exclusively a disorder.LG: Instinct, suspicion or intelligence: which is your pick? VM: This is a tough one and you have cornered me! Clearly, all the three are knacks given by God. It’s nice if we can sharpen our intelligence as that will help us to think clearly. Nonetheless instinct and instinct are also important. Most often than not, if we follow our insight or’ gut feeling’, we tend to be right. This is beautifully explained by Malcom Gladwell in his famed journal’ Blink’. Hence, I contemplate these three are not mutually exclusive, but can be effectively mixed.’ Making Excellence a Habit’ has been published by Penguin Random House in India. 7200306 3




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