Empowering Women to Beat Diabetes

As part of its Delhi pilot project, women2women initiative organised an awareness and empowerment program to educate and train about 100 women physicians and dietitians on prevention and management of Diabetes at India Habitat Center.

The highlight of the project is to control the rising epidemic of diabetes in
India through this community-based approach where women physicians will be trained by coalition of women endocrinologists and diabetologist and will be provided with the necessary tools to implement the programme in their respective areas and communities.

Women2women project is headed by its central coordinator Dr Usha Sriram from Chennai and its Delhi coordinators are Dr Meena Chabbra and Dr Shalini Jaggi.

Eminent Diabetologist and member of women2women initiative Dr Meena Chabbra says, "Our focus is primarily women because they are prone to have diabetes at various stages of their life, especially during pregnancy as gestational diabetic mothers give birth to babies who because of intra uterine environment are prone to develop Type 2 diabetes. Also, healthcare of women in India has usually been neglected. So, we aim to inform them well and educate them about the complications that can arise due to diabetes. And most importantly, if woman in the house is healthy and informed, she can take care of her family more efficiently."

According to a survey, on an average one in Ten pregnant women in Delhi were found to have GDM and the studies reveal that women with GDM are at a higher risk of developing diabetes later in life. Also, medical researchers believe that the disease earlier considered an ailment of the rich, is on the rise in India. Nearly 70 million people - half of them women in a population of 1.21 billion have diabetes, and the number is predicted to rise to 101 million by 2030. Surprisingly nearly 60% of diabetics have never been screened or diagnosed due to lack of awareness. Therefore, alarmed by these figures, the first phase of the programme is designed to reach 2,500 women physicians across the country and 50 lakh women in the community. "We would train these 100 physicians through practical demonstrations, audio-video aids, educational material and awareness talks by eminent doctors," informs Dr Chabbra.

These trained women would further roll this plan out to senior school girls, colleges, residential welfare associations and corporate, etc. "This preventive and empowerment program is a necessity because it's important to educate women at early age so that they don't face any problems related to obesity, PCOS, gestational diabetes and type 2 diabetes, etc. We aim to educate them about benefits of adopting healthy food and healthy lifestyle and also, how junk foods and sedentary lifestyle can make them a diabetic in future," adds Dr Chabbra.

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