Ral­lies, screen­ing pro­gramme mark World Di­a­betes Day

Doc­tors stress im­por­tance of early de­tec­tion, timely treat­ment

The Hindu - - CHENNAI - Spe­cial Cor­re­spon­dent

On World Di­a­betes Day on Tues­day, hos­pi­tals across the city held pro­grammes to spread aware­ness among res­i­dents. This year’s theme is ‘Women & Di­a­betes — Our right to a healthy fu­ture’.

At the Ra­jiv Gandhi Gov­ern­ment Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal, State Health Min­is­ter C. Vi­jaya Baskar presided over an event to mark the day. The Min­is­ter said the gov­ern­ment had started a pro­gramme for the screen­ing of res­i­dents for non-com­mu­ni­ca­ble dis­eases in July 2012. As of Septem­ber 2017, a to­tal of 3,83,96,095 peo­ple had been screened and 16,44,577 di­ag­nosed with di­a­betes, who are now be­ing treated. The hos­pi­tal also held a rally and saplings were planted, a press re­lease said.

The Gov­ern­ment Kil­pauk Med­i­cal Col­lege Hos­pi­tal held a mini-rally, a hu­man chain and a pub­lic aware­ness pro­gramme, and re­leased pam­phlets for the pub­lic, said dean P. Vas­an­thamani. “Our main fo­cus was diet, ex­er­cise and early di­ag­no­sis,” she said.

At Ra­jan Eye Care Hos­pi­tal, a pro­gramme — Ro­tary Gift of Sight for Di­a­betic Retinopa­thy Screen­ing — was launched in as­so­ci­a­tion with the Ro­tary Club of Madras, T. Na­gar. Chair­man of the hos­pi­tal Mo­han Ra­jan said that 20% of di­a­bet­ics de­velop di­a­betic retinopa­thy, and they have a 25 times greater risk of go­ing blind com­pared to the av­er­age per­son. The con­di­tion is symp­tom­less, he said, but early di­ag­no­sis is cru­cial.

Use of AI

The screen­ing pro­gramme will use Remidio Fun­dus on phone, a por­ta­ble de­vice that a tech­ni­cian uses, and images which are sent via mo­bile data to the base hos­pi­tal for di­ag­no­sis. “We are now col­lab­o­rat­ing with Global Mantra In­no­va­tion to use ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence to help di­ag­nose di­a­betic retinopa­thy so that the di­ag­no­sis can be made faster at the field level, and treat­ment started,” he said.

Vi­jay Viswanathan, head of M.V. Di­a­betes Hos­pi­tal, Roy­a­pu­ram, who was also at the event, stressed the need for reg­u­lar check-ups of peo­ple, who have di­a­betes and also for hos­pi­tals to en­sure they fol­low up with pa­tients with re­gard to diet and ex­er­cise among other fac­tors. For­mer chief elec­tion com­mis­sioner of In­dia N. Gopalaswami was the chief guest.

State Health Sec­re­tary J. Rad­hakr­ish­nan in­au­gu­rated an aware­ness pro­gramme held by DIWWAAAS. BJP State pres­i­dent Tamil­i­sai Soundarara­jan also par­tic­i­pated. Founder of the or­gan­i­sa­tion Usha Sri­ram said they would raise aware­ness, and ed­u­cate and em­power girls and women on di­a­betes care with a fo­cus on pre­ven­tion. The pro­gramme will be held si­mul­ta­ne­ously in 100 ci­ties and a ded­i­cated so­cial me­dia cam­paign #BeFree has also been launched.

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