World Diabetes Foundation (WDF) in collaboration with Center for Diabetes in India -M.V. Hospital for Diabetes & Diabetes Research Center (DRC) Chennai, launched its DRC-WDF Project on Prevention of Diabetes among Tuberculosis patients. The project was launched on Sunday by Mr. V. K. Subburaj, I.A.S., Principal Secretary for Health, Government of Tamil Nadu, India, in the presence of an august gathering.
Stressing the need to spread awareness and prevent diabetes among Tuberculosis patients, this project will focus on creating an environment ensuring and enhancing public and professional awareness, and prevention and treatment of diabetes among patients with tuberculosis. Educational materials and aids to 'prevent and control diabetes in patients with tuberculosis'were also released on the occasion.
Speaking on this occasion and about the scope of the project, Dr. Vijay Viswanathan, Managing Director of M.V. Hospital for Diabetes & Diabetes Research Center,said "Evidence suggests that frequency of tuberculosis occurrence in patients with diabetes is 3-4 times more than that of non-diabetic subjects. It is imperative to screen every patient with tuberculosis for the presence of Diabetes and thereby target primary prevention of diabetes amongst them. We have realized that the medical community that is responsible for the prevention and control of tuberculosis in our country needs more support in understanding and detecting early signs of diabetes, and this initiative of ours will surely help in spreading awareness and also educating the medical community to prevent and control diabetes in patients with tuberculosis."
Dr. Anil Kapur, Managing director of the Denmark-based World Diabetes Federation observed that though the nexus between diabetes and tuberculosis is well-known, the rising prevalence of the combination posed a serious health challenge world over. There were approximately 7 million new cases of diabetes added each year and about 3.5 million deaths because of the disorder. 9.2 million TB cases and about 1.7 million deaths due to TB were recorded annually. "In fact, the increasing prevalence of diabetes threatens to counteract the positive improved treatment for TB," Dr. Anil Kapur said.
The DRC-WDF project will be screening 2500 TB patients for co-morbid conditions of diabetes over a period of three years. The project would be rolled out in Chennai in the first year, Kancheepuram in the next year and Tiruvallur in the final year. The healthcare personnel involved in screening, diagnosing and treating tuberculosis—around 1000 doctors, 300 paramedics, 350 TB heath workers, besides lab technicians, health workers and health educators would be trained in diabetes detection and prevention through one day training and education programmes, workshops and seminars on diabetes prevention.