Education Project Will Try to Slow Epidemic Level of Diabetes in India

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By: Patrick Totty

Project HOPE, an international health education and humanitarian assistanceorganization, has launched The India Diabetes Educator Project. The four-yearprogram will train 5,000 healthcare professionals to help counter the nearepidemic level of type 2 diabetes in India.

With a population of 1.13 billion people, India has an estimated 40.9 millionpeople with diabetes – the largest population of people with the disease of anynation.

As the country has entered an economic boom that has drawn millions of people tocities, traditional foods have given way to highly processed Western-style foodsthat can contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes. Project HOPEestimates that 12 percent of Indians living in urban areas have diabetes,compared with 7 percent in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Complicating matters is a research finding that many Indians have a gene thatpredisposes them to the development of diabetes.

The healthcare trainees will include nurses, dieticians and nutritionists whowill fan out across the country bringing self-management skills to people whoalready have diabetes and teaching at-risk people how to avoid acquiring it.

Project HOPE's corporate partners, BD, Eli Lilly and Bayer Diabetes Care aresponsoring the program.

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