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DiSHAA: to provide proper direction for diabetes and obesity control

By Punam

March 17, 2011
The Author is a health and development journalist. She has worked with several mainstream news papers in India. She can be contacted

India is currently undergoing a rapid economic and demographic transformation and is home to 50.8 million diabetics, i.e. globally 23% of the people with diabetes and this number would increase to 80 million by 2030. While it is clear that type 2 diabetes and heart disease are predominantly fuelled due to sedentary lifestyle and imbalanced dietary habits, it is unfortunate that both adults and children are largely unaware of correct diet and lifestyle practices.

In a major initiative, Emcure Pharmaceuticals Ltd, a leading pharmaceutical company and National Diabetes, Obesity and Cholesterol Foundation (N-DOC) in the presence of renowned cricketer *Padma Shri Dilip Vengsarkar,* announced the commencement of *Project DiSHAA*. The campaign aims to increase awareness about diabetes and obesity amongst children, adolescents & adults across 50 cities in India.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Satish Mehta, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) & Managing Director – Founder Member on Board of Directors, Emcure Pharmaceuticals Ltd., who is associated with DiSHAA since its inception, said, “CSR has always been an integral part of our vision and we are excited about this new partnership. Due to change in lifestyle and food habits, India has a large number of diabetic patients and the number continues to grow. With this initiative we hope to reach out to school children, parents and teachers and create awareness about diabetes”. Mr. A K Khanna, COO & Executive Director, Emcure Pharmaceuticals Ltd said, “We believe that DiSHAA health initiative would snowball into a major health movement and lifestyle modification. We are sure that that Project DiSHAA would initiate changes in nutrition and lifestyle of people, and would lead to prevention of T2DM and obesity”.

Under this project headed by Padma Shri Prof. Anoop Misra, Chairman, N-DOC, more than 500,000 school children (aged 10 and above) of 50 cities across India are going to be educated over a period of 18 months (July 2011-December 2012). A total of 500 schools are being targeted for the awareness program. Innovative and locally appropriate education strategies would be used to spread the awareness about diabetes and obesity with the help of 50 top diabetologists from across the country. In addition to schoolchildren, nearly 200,000 adults and paramedical workers will also be educated in above issues.

“Lack of awareness about diabetes is a major lacuna for any initiative to control Diabetes in India. For the first time this massive and consolidated effort from more than 50 top diabetologists from across the country would not only help in preventing diabetes and heart disease, but also strengthen important national initiatives taken recently by the Honorable Health Minister” says Professor Anoop Misra, Chairman, Fortis-C-DOC Centre of Excellence for Diabetes, Metabolic Diseases and Endocrinology, and Chairman, National Diabetes, Obesity and Cholesterol Foundation (N-DOC), New Delhi, India.

A healthy diet, regular physical activity, and maintaining a normal body weight can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes mellitus and heart disease. Clearly, a program focusing on the primary prevention of obesity and inculcation of healthy diet and lifestyle practices and diabetes prevention is much needed.

Posted on: March 17, 2011 09:31 AM IST


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