ARTIST partners with ASSOCHAM, FIGO & FOGSI to tackle diabetes in rural India

New Delhi: The Asian Research and Training Institute for Skill Transfer (ARTIST), an organisation focused on advocacy and awareness campaigns, participated in an ASSOCHAM conference as a Knowledge Partner on 14 November, World Diabetes Day.

ARTIST reportedly received the honour as it has been working to improve the capabilities and competencies of Obstetrics & Gynaecologists (ObGyns) in India.

ARTIST conducts training, teaching and research in order to fill knowledge gaps. Having conceptualised and implemented ARTIST work, Hema Divakar, the CEO and Chairperson of ARTIST said as the keynote speaker of the ASSOCHAM conference, “Let us talk solutions, move from awareness to action.”

Divakar is an obstetrician and gynaecologist, technical advisor to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, IDF (International Diabetes Federation) spokeswoman for South Asia, and Co-Chair of non-communicable diseases (NCD) Committee FIGO (International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics).

The ‘IDF Atlas’ publication data released on 14 November estimates that 3 out of 4 people with diabetes are in low- and middle-income countries, and 1 in 6 live births (about 20 million) is affected by hyper glycaemia in pregnancy.

Divakar explained the importance of the numbers, saying “The Atlas records that one in two adults with diabetes are undiagnosed. Women of Indian ethnic origin are 11 times more prone to gestational diabetes, and estimated prevalence is 10% to 14%. We are yet to implement the gestational diabetes guidelines on universal testing of all pregnant women in India. Even then, we have 4 million cases of high blood sugar in pregnant women in India each year.”

“We are not yet able to document the overall figures in the Indian population. We should have credible data based on research and this will help improve collaborations and efficacy in existing programmes,” she added.

Gender influences vulnerability to diabetes, affects access to health services and health seeking behaviour for women, says the data. This amplifies both the short-term and long-term adverse impact of diabetes on women’s health.

Unless urgent action is taken to systematically address the issue, it has the potential to undo the gains in maternal and new-born health achieved in the last decade and further worsen the ongoing diabetes and obesity epidemic, said a press release from ARTIST.

Indus Dictum earlier reported the Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) of India has declined by 8 points in one year. This decline is important as it translates to nearly 2,000 additional pregnant women saved annually,

Divakar said, “IDF has joined hands with FIGO & FOGSI (The Federation of Obstetric and Gynecological Societies of India), which are the international and national professional organisations of obstetricians and gynaecologists, to spread awareness about gestational diabetes among the rural communities of India.”

Satyendar Jain, Minister of Health, Govt. of NCT of Delhi unveiled the ARTIST knowledge partner brochure in ASSOCHAM, New Delhi.

Last week, ASSOCHAM conducted an exhibition on ‘Technologies in Food Processing’ with CSIR and the Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI), and also organised the 21st ASSOCHAM JRD Tata Memorial Lecture in New Delhi on 11 November.

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The ID Staff

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