The War on NCDs in India
India’s National NCD Summit kicked off in New Delhi with a shared commitment among the nearly 300 participants to find better ways to combat diabetes.
Project HOPE’s Senior Vice President, Stuart Myers, and HOPE’s NCD experts in India Cheena Malhotra and Dr. Prasanta Bandyopadhyay are participating in the India National NCD Summit, which aims to boost efforts of the Central Government to manage the increasing burden of non-communicable diseases. The summit is organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Eli Lilly and Company, a global pharmaceutical company. The summit will raise awareness of the existing health care delivery systems, influence policymakers and prepare stakeholders to confront the challenges facing India from the growing threat of NCDs, especially diabetes.
India’s National NCD Summit kicked off in New Delhi with a shared commitment among the nearly 300 participants from government, NGOs, public health institutions, academia, science, think tanks and industry to find better ways to combat diabetes today, which delegates described as the “mounting pandemic of this era.”
Among the topics discussed at the start of the two-day summit are the government’s commitment to make NCDs a top priority of the national health system, and the relevance and role of partnerships in managing and preventing diabetes, and innovation in the biotechnology sector to control diabetes.
The most striking description of diabetes was offered by Dr. Karin Mazumdar Shaw, Chairperson of Biocon. She described it as a disease of “halves” — only half of the nation’s diabetics have actually been diagnosed and of those, only half are receiving treatment. And of those, only half have their condition under control.
I was honored to be invited to the summit to share different strategies that Project HOPE has successfully implemented in several countries including India. HOPE’s battle against diabetes began in 1998 in China, where HOPE is the only U.S. NGO administering a diabetes education program. In South Africa, we created the HOPE Centre in partnership with Eli Lilly and Company to address the needs of patients at risk of living with diabetes and hypertension. In India, HOPE’s award-winning Diabetes Educator Project (IDEP) has trained 3,621 health professionals, including nurses, nutritionists and physical therapists to encourage health lifestyles and to work with physicians to provide anti-diabetic medicines and insulin therapy.
In an innovative new approach, HOPE has partnered with the Cornerstone OnDemand Foundation and the Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, Ltd to extend the reach of IDEP through a new online diabetes educator course known as the International Diabetes Educator E-Learning Program that will have the potential to reach a multitude of health care providers for years to come.
With over 61 million diabetics in India, it’s crucial that we find new and innovative ways to reach people and to ensure that they balance their current condition better and to slow the rate of growth of type 2 diabetes in rapidly urbanizing India. The IDEEL program holds great promise in this effort for India and beyond. This program is an adaptation of the successful India Diabetes Educator Project. IDEEL is packaged as a self-paced online learning that can be accessed from anywhere with a click of mouse and can be completed in a period of four months. The program is enhanced by a two-week internship under the guidance of an endocrinologist. Once the student has successfully completed the online education and internship, he/she will have a substantial understanding of diabetes management across a broad range of age groups. The goal of IDEEL, which is scheduled to launch in June, is to train 4,500 educators annually in India and a total of 100,000 educators worldwide by 2018.