India is home to over 60 million adults with diabetes (7.8% of the population), of which more than 30 million are undiagnosed or untreated, thus increasing the risk of developing complications and premature mortality.
Given the challenges in early detection and management of diabetes, it is imperative to seek innovative ways that help to expand the reach of health literacy and services among the general population and high risk groups, while also improving management and quality of life in confirmed diabetics.
One of the most promising new opportunities is afforded by the high penetration of mobile communications in India: the country now has over a billion mobile subscriptions. The delivery of healthcare services through mobile phones has increased worldwide over the past two decades and there is increasing evidence of the efficiency of this harnessing this opportunity. Therefore, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) in collaboration with the WHO Country Office for India and other partners, has launched a mobile health initiative for the prevention and care of diabetes – mDiabetes.
mDiabetes will contribute to improving awareness about diabetes and promoting healthy diets and active lifestyle, which are vital to the prevention of diabetes. mDiabetes will also enhance health care seeking and early diagnosis, contribute to better adherence to drug or dietary control, self-care, as well as prevention of complications among patients with diabetes.
mDiabetes is based on proven algorithms for diabetes prevention and care, and builds on previous international experiences in using mobile technologies to deliver these interventions.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
No. Diabetes cannot be cured. It can only be controlled. In certain cases of type 2 diabetics who are obese, weight reduction can achieve a normal state without use of drugs.
Indians have significantly high rates of diabetes when compared to other ethnic groups such as Europeans, Africans and the like. This is attributed to high genetic susceptibility and rapid change in life style. Recent studies have shown that the prevalence of diabetes in India is as high as 12 to 18% of the adult population especially in urban areas. The magnitude of the problem is likely to increase. Diabetes occurs at a younger age in India.
Yes. The common symptoms of diabetes are excessive thirst, excessive hunger and frequent urination. The person may also feel weak and exhausted. These symptoms are associated with severe diabetes. Very often many people do not have these characteristic symptoms even when the blood sugar levels are in the diabetic range. Many have vague symptoms and complain of body pain and lassitude, etc. Hence, it is difficult to detect diabetes by means of typical symptoms alone. A lot of personal variations are seen with respect to symptoms of diabetes.
In most population it is not very different. Women seem to have higher prevalence in certain population due to increased obesity. Today in India, diabetes is found almost equally in men and women.
Yes. This is a disorder either due to defective action or deficiency of insulin. It is life style disorder. When the blood sugar is kept under control, a diabetic can have a healthy, normal life.
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