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

| Jan 20, 2008

Project HOPE, an international health education and humanitarian assistance organization, has launched The India Diabetes Educator Project. The four-year program will train 5,000 healthcare professionals to help counter the near epidemic level of type 2 diabetes in India.

With a population of 1.13 billion people, India has an estimated 40.9 million people with diabetes - the largest population of people with the disease of any nation.

As the country has entered an economic boom that has drawn millions of people to cities, traditional foods have given way to highly processed Western-style foods that can contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes. Project HOPE estimates 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 that predisposes them to the development of diabetes.

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

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

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