Kolkata, 7 March
India is likely to overtake China and become the ‘Diabetes Capital of the World’ in the next 15 to 20 years, said the doctors attending ‘The Future of Health Care: A Collective Vision’ ~ a global health care conference in New Delhi recently.
The Union health ministry, however, emphasised on the participation of private companies to build up infrastructure in the primary health centres in rural areas. Mr Anshu Prakash, Joint Secretary, Union Ministry of Health said: “The Centre alone cannot handle the challenges posed by diabetes and other non-communicable diseases. Various stake holders should join hands with the government to provide accessible and affordable health care. We need to build up infrastructure for large scale screening under NPCDCS which has fallen in last two years."
Doctors are of the view that India will soon wrest the title after surpassing China in terms of total number of patients suffering from diabetes. Reports revealed that adolescents and children have been adopting the disease rapidly.
Poor people catching the disease in the rural areas will also have immense contribution to this. With some economic development in the rural areas, the lifestyle of the villagers have changed and this has contributed to diabetes which was once called a rich man&’s disease.
Diabetes Atlas, an effort of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) revealed that around 90 million people were suffering from the disease in China in 2011, while in India the number stood at 61.3 million, followed by USA with 23.7 million. The number in India is expected to rise to 101.2 million
by 2030 when China will reach to 129.7 million. Almost two million children below five years died of the disease in India in 2012 and more than half of the number died within a month after taking birth.
Dr V Mohan, President and Chief of Diabetes Research, Madras Diabetes Research Foundation said: “In the next 10 years, 25-30 per cent income of the people in India will be spent on the treatment for diabetes. The number will go up unchecked because the universal health care system is too weak in our country. The primary health centres are in bad shape which is why screening of these villagers are not properly done. Even if the patients are detected, they can’t be treated due to the the lack of infrastructure in the state-run primary health centres. Half of the people suffering from the disease do not even take treatment."
He added that Tamil Nadu serves as the best example where screening was successfully implemented. The project was started in Chunampet village in 2006. More than 78 per cent of the rural population have been covered in this village under the project. Dr Prathap C Reddy, Chairman of Apollo Hospitals Group said: “There has been some progress in health care services in the last 30 years, yet barriers of accessibility, quality and cost persist. Preventive health care, PPP partnerships, up-skilling man power and accelerating the pace of innovation are extremely necessary.”