President Pratibha Patil on Sunday said preventive steps should be undertaken to tackle the rising threat of lifestyle diseases, and stressed on the need to hold awareness camps to combat diabetes.
President Patil, while speaking during a foundation stone laying function of a hospital here, sought to draw attention towards the number of diabetic patients in the country which is feared to rise to 80 million by 2030.
"The World Health Organisation has cautioned that India would become the diabetics' capital of the world. Diabetics in India are currently around 42 million, and it is estimated that this figure will almost double and rise to 80 million by 2030," said President Patil.
"A comprehensive approach is needed to combat the increasing prevalence of these lifestyle diseases. Our health system, therefore, must assume the responsibility of not only treating people but also advising and guiding them about how to deal and indeed prevent some of these medical conditions," she added.
The President said regular campaigns should be organized by the government and institutions to create awareness on a wide scale.
"The Cardiological Society of India has estimated that the country is likely to have 100 million heart patients. The World Health Organisation has calculated diabetes and heart disease in India would mean a loss of about 335 billion dollars over the next ten years," she added.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, who was also present on this occasion, said that the state could provide more hospitals.