Diabetes and health awareness in India : Journal of Family and Community Medicine

Secondary Logo

Journal Logo

Letters to Editor

Diabetes and health awareness in India

Roy, Manas P.

Author Information
Journal of Family and Community Medicine: Jan–Apr 2018 - Volume 25 - Issue 1 - p 52
doi: 10.4103/jfcm.JFCM_104_17
  • Open


The recent article on pre-Ramadan education on diabetes stresses the need to raise public awareness about this lifestyle disease.[1] As emphasized in this study, the complications could be mitigated if patients and physicians were oriented toward the need of timely dissemination of relevant knowledge. This holds true for India, the so-called “diabetes capital of the World.” With an estimated 69.1 million cases of diabetes in 2015, the country faces an immense challenge in its health sector.[2]

To address the challenge, the government recently came up with a population-based screening program for noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), including diabetes, for people above 30 years of age. The strategy of equipping frontline health workers with glucometers is expected to promote health monitoring, early diagnosis, and treatment. The influx of the health workers into the community is also expected to promote the much-required awareness of a change in food habits, physical inactivity, smoking, and alcohol misuse,– and thus endorse the promotion of health. The screening will also address the problem of poor health-seeking behavior and reduce complications. This approach signifies a paradigm shift, as previous community-based activities were largely limited to maternal and child health, and communicable diseases. For NCDs, the previous strategy was “opportunistic screening” since the doctor at the health facility usually screened patients who presented with some other complaints for NCDs.[3]

With the introduction of this community screening and the expansion of NCD clinics in most districts, the National Program for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke will synchronize the efforts at the district level and below. Since diabetes is spreading fast among low socio-economic groups,[4] we need to pledge to forestall this escalation as declared at the high-level meeting of the United Nations General Assembly. The projection is that there will be 140 million cases by 2040 in the country. Our task, therefore, is to mobilize the community, increase their awareness of the disease and make a coordinated effort to stem the tide.[2]

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

1. Al-Musally RM, Al-Sardi MA, Al-Elq ZA, Elahi AH, Alduhailan RK, Al-Elq MA, et al Health education to diabetic patients before the start of Ramadan: Experience from a teaching hospital in Dammam J Family Community Med. 2017;24:111–7
2. . International Diabetes Federation. IDF SEA Members: IndiaLast accessed on 2017 Jul 24 Available from: https://www.idf.org/our-network/regions-members/south-east-asia/members/94-india.html
3. . Directorate General of Health Services. National Program for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke: Training module for Medical Officers for Prevention, Control and Population Level Screening of Hypertension, Diabetes and Common Cancers (Oral, Breast and Cervical) 2017 New Delhi Ministry of Health & Family Welfare
4. Anjana RM, Deepa M, Pradeepa R, Mahanta J, Narain K, Das HK, et al Prevalence of diabetes and prediabetes in 15 states of India: Results from the ICMR-INDIAB population-based cross-sectional study Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol. 2017;5:585–96
© 2018 Journal of Family and Community Medicine | Published by Wolters Kluwer – Medknow