VARANASI: Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh, who is also a renowned Diabetologist and Professor of Diabetes, on friday launched Rural Diabetes Control & Prevention Campaign” in village Purana Ramnagar of district Varanasi, as a part of Village Adoption Program under the aegis of “Research Society for Study of Diabetes in India” (RSSDI) – Uttar Pradesh Chapter.
Speaking on the occasion as chief guest Dr Jitendra Singh said, the fast spread of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus in the villages is a matter of grave concern. This has prompted a mass campaign for prevention of the disease in rural areas, he said.
“It was found most appropriate to make a beginning from the auspicious city of ancient and holy place of Varanasi,” he said.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, the spread of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus is assuming epidemic proportions in India. Earlier this disease was confined to the affluent and in cities, but now its prevalence in rural areas is alarming, he said.
The disease, hitherto identified as afflicting mostly the rich and elite due to their sedentary lifestyle and a phenomenon prevalent largely in cities, Dr Jitendra Singh said, the probable causes of its upsurge in rural India is a result of commonality of eating habits such as rising penchant for fast foods, more automation in agriculture and a resultant lack of physical activity.
Lauding the efforts of RSSDI for taking this initiative towards diabetes prevention and management in rural India, he applauded the efforts quoting ICMR-INDIAB Study which says UP has 18% of its population in pre-diabetes stage.
“Such a large population, on the verge of being diabetic,can only be prevented if we start working for prevention in villages in the vicinity of big cities & progressing fast to urbanization. The idea of choosing Ramnagar for this initiative seems appropriate,” he said.
Dr Jitendra Singh also appreciated the efforts done by RSSDI UP Chapter by adopting four villages in Barabanki in 2019 where people’s lives are better and diabetes control is improved.
“This encourages us to continue efforts in the same direction, in fact in a more intensive manner,” he said.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, over the last two decades, India has seen a surge in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, which has now acquired pan-Indian proportions. He said, Type 2 Diabetes, which was till two decades ago prevalent mostly in South India, is today equally rampant in North India and at the same time, it has also moved from metros, cities and urban areas to rural hinterland.
Quoting from the Indian Council of Medical Research Guidelines, Dr Jitendra Singh said, the past three decades witnessed a 150 per cent increase in the number of people with diabetes in the country. He said, the main concern is the progressive lowering of the age at which Type 2 Diabetes is being diagnosed, with the disease prevalence becoming apparent in the age group of 25-34 years in both urban and rural areas.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, lifestyle management plays an essential role in managing Type 2 Diabetes, and understanding the effect of diet and physical activity on glycemia is essential for optimal management of the disease.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, this is also important because the Indian phenotype is different from the Westerners and the genetic preponderance is also quite different. As a result, the pathogenesis and progress of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and other related metabolic disorders is not the same as in the western population.
Referring to PM Narendra Modi’s support to indigenous medical research, Dr Jitendra Singh said that even during the pre-COVID era, it had been proven with evidence that in the treatment of non-communicable diseases, like for example, Diabetes-Mellitus, the dose of insulin or oral anti-diabetic drugs could be brought down with the adjuvant practice of certain Yoga Asana and lifestyle modifications available in Naturopathy.
Lauding PM Modi for the high priority given to healthcare, the Minister said that it was because of the personal interest and intervention of Prime Minister Modi that within two years, India not only managed the Covid pandemic successfully better than much smaller countries, but also succeeded in coming out with a DNA vaccine and providing it to the other countries as well.
“The roadmap for the next 25 years of Amrit Kal will witness the ascent of India as a front-ranking nation in the world in terms of best healthcare system,” he said.
On the occasion, Dr Jitendra Singh felicitated Padamshri Prof Kamalakar Tripathi and Shri Ritesh Pal, Gram Pradhan (Village Head) of Purana Ramnagar on this occasion.