In a first-of-its-kind initiative, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and Indian Dietetic Association (IDA) – an umbrella body of registered dieticians – have come together to tackle diabetes via diabetes counselling.
As per the project, IDA will provide diabetes education in the dispensaries run by the civic body. “We plan to hold workshops where with the help of flip charts, educational modules and meal plans, we will educate the patients coming to these dispensaries,” said Naaznin Husein, President of IDA – Mumbai Chapter.
It is estimated that around 10 lakh people in Mumbai have diabetes. “If not controlled, diabetes can lead to life threatening complications and diet plays a key role in blood sugar management. With this initiative, we aim to build a healthy community which can positively contribute to the progress of the society,” said Husein.
Diabetes is a silent killer. The prevalence of diabetes has been increasing rapidly worldwide, especially, in low and middle-income countries like India. According to a WHO study done in 2015, around 8.7 per cent of the Indian population, i.e., over 69 million is living with diabetes. In over 36 million people it remains undiagnosed. Uncontrolled blood sugar levels can lead to stroke, loss of vision, heart diseases, kidney failure, diabetic neuropathy (Loss of Sensation) etc.
“IDA will provide dieticians to 174 BMC run dispensaries who will work with medical workers and conduct educational sessions,” said Sheryl Salis, convenor, Beat Diabetes. Apart from this, diabetes counselling and imparting of diabetes education will be a part of this programme.
For understanding its working, a pilot study will soon be conducted in the city. “The pilot study will be conducted in 28 BMC run dispensaries across Bandra and Andheri and 5 dieticians and one coordinator would conduct the educational sessions for the patients. We plan to start it by September,” said Salis adding “The idea is to help the society to become healthier and better.”