Britain wants to work with India to combat diabetes

October 8th, 2008 - 8:04 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Oct 8 (IANS) The British government wants to work with India in combating the slow killer disease diabetes.”We believe that in a globalised world, protecting the health of our populations involves action beyond our borders as well as at home. Reducing the threat from epidemic or pandemic disease or increasing access to medicines and innovation are important issues on which we want to work closely with India,” said Anne Keen, parliamentary undersecretary of state, Department of Health, at a seminar here Wednesday.

Painting a grim picture, she said: “Diabetes mortality cost India approximately $210 billion in 2005 due to its mortality and it is expected to touch $333.6 billion in 10 years.”

“Globally, about 194 million people have diabetes. By 2025, that figure is expected to rise to some 333 million. According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and WHO estimates, an estimated 40 million people are living with diabetes in India in 2007.

“This number is predicted to rise to almost 70 million people by 2025. By then, it is estimated that every fifth person in the world with diabetes will be Indian,” Keen pointed out.

Endeavours of Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) since 2001 and the publication of the National Service Framework for Diabetes resulted in the start several methods to combat the disease, Keen revealed.

One of its encouraging results is a specialised islet transplantation service which will help patients live without fear of the disease’s side-effects including hypoglycaemia, Keen said.

According to Keen, the UK Government Strategy launched last week with the slogan ‘Health is Global’ entails a strategy of the methodology of the British government’s cooperation with international partners like the World Health Organisation, other governments, business and civil society - to improve global health, including the treatment of diabetes.

Keen is heading a 25-member delegation of industry captains and officials, which is visiting several cities in India to look for cooperative ventures.

Among other premier organisations, the delegation is in discussion with Apollo Hospitals and M.V. Diabetes Centre, a press statement said.

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