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Welcome to the press meet organized on the event of World Diabetes day 2008 by Research Society for Study of Diabetes in India (RSSDI), West Bengal branch and Diabetic Association of India, West Bengal

The prevalence of diabetes mellitus is increasing rapidly all over the world.
Research Society for Study of Diabetes in India (RSSDI) Research Society for Study of Diabetes in India (RSSDI)
India leads the world with the largest number of people with diabetes earning it the dubious distinction of being the diabetes capital of the world. Currently there are around 40 million patients with diabetes in India and the number is expected to touch 70 million by 2025. The prevalence of diabetes amongst urban Indians is around 12% – much higher than the global prevalence.

New findings
Recently two important epidemiological studies have been published in the prestigious Journal of Association of Physicians of India. The first one, a study amongst 2160 police personnel of Kolkata aged between 20 & 60 years has put the prevalence of diabetes at above 11% and that of impaired fasting glycemia (a prediabetic state) at above 6%.

The study from Chennai found the prevalence of metabolic syndrome (of which diabetes is a part) to be 53% amongst police personnel and 28% amongst general people.

Significance of World Diabetes Day
Since 2007, 14th November is observed by the United Nations as the World Diabetes Day. Fourteenth November is the birthday of Sir Frederick Grant Banting–one of the discoverers of insulin, the wonder drug to treat diabetes.

Realizing that type 2 diabetes is increasing alarmingly in children and adolescents and the various problems that children with diabetes have to contend with the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) has selected diabetes in children and adolescents as the central theme of this year’s World Diabetes Day celebrations.


Activities
In keeping with the worldwide celebrations of World Diabetes Day under the directives of IDF, RSSDI, West Bengal Chapter, & DAI, West Bengal have joined hands with The Asiatic Society to observe World Diabetes Day in a befitting manner.

The celebration will start on 14 Nov 08:00h local time with a walk for diabetes from main gate of Victoria Memorial Hall to Asiatic Society. The walk is expected to be flagged off by Dr Surjya Kanta Mishra, the Hon'ble Minister in Charge, Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of West Bengal. Doctors, patients and general people are expected to join the walkathaon.

The inaugural program at THE ASIATIC SOCIETY at 10.00am on 14 Nov is expected to be attended among others by Dr Ashim Dasgupta, Hon’ble Finance Minister, Govt of West Bengal and Prof Suranjan Das, Vice Chancellor of University of Calcutta.

You are cordially invited to take part in the walkathon and requested to cover both the walk and the inaugural ceremony

As a part of WDD Monument challenge the building of the225 year old Asiatic Society at Park Street in the center of the city of Kolkata will be lit up in blue . The President of The Asiatic Society has kindly consented to inaugurate the lighting. This is for the first time that Kolkata is joining all the big cities and small towns of the world in being a part of WDD Monument challenge in an endeavor to bring diabetes to light

For the patients the organizers have arranged for free blood testing on 14 Nov at The Asiatic Society, and an interesting interactive panel discussion featuring among others the noted culinary expert Rakhi Purnima Dasgupta. There will be interesting sessions on yoga in diabetes.

The two day scientific deliberations will involve stalwarts in the field of diabetes management including Prof M.S. Seshadri from Vellore and Prof S. V. Madhu from New Delhi. New developments in the field of diabetes and new treatment possibilities will be discussed.

Islet cell transplantation in the west may prove to provide cure for at least some patients of Type 1 diabetes. Buccal insulin will be launched in India very soon which holds the promise of doing away with painful insulin injections at least in some patients. A new class of agents–the incretinomimetics especially the orally active DPP 4 inhibitors have been a refreshingly new and effective addition to the therapeutic armamentarium of type 2 diabetes and Indian patients are getting benefits of the same.

On the occasion of World Diabetes Day 2008, RSSDI, West Bengal Chapter and DAI,WB as socially responsible organizations have put forward their recommendations to the government in an attempt to tackle the epidemic of diabetes and obesity at the community level. A few highlights of the recommendations are re–introduction of physical education as a compulsory marked subject at the school level and waiving off of tax on insulin.

On the occasion of World Diabetes Day 2008, the media can disseminate the fact that state of the art management of diabetes is possible in teaching government hospitals and private clinics of Kolkata and other towns and one need not spend time, money and energy attending referral institutions in distant states. RSSDI, West Bengal Chapter and DAI, WB solicit the help of the media in disseminating proper diabetes knowledge amongst the people

Contributed by
On behalf of RSSDI, West Bengal Chapter and DAI, WB
Dr. Nilanjan Sengupta
Co–coordinator, World Diabetes Day Celebrations