Time To Think Beyond Diabetes Day Brouhaha     

Every year on World Diabetes Day, there are numerous initiatives (walkathons, camps, offers) and social media messages from myriad doctors and healthcare companies alike. That syncopation of the sector is wonderful to observe, and I will admit that it does raise awareness about the ailment. But I will also argue that the days after Diabetes Day are just as – or perhaps even more important! Here’s why:

Diabetes is a protracted and complex disease. It’s a lifelong condition that seeks multidimensional management. For those diagnosed with it, diabetes is an everyday reality for the rest of their lives. This reality does not become more acute with a global celebration, nor does it diminish after those celebrations are over. We know that diabetes needs care and attention e.v.e.r.y.d.a.y. of the year.

Consider this: An average diabetic needs to consistently manage a set of 9-key touchpoints:

  1. Get quarterly diabetologist/endocrinologist consultations
  2. Get monthly blood tests
  3. Take daily medications
  4. Get annual ophthalmic check-up (eyes)
  5. Get annual derma check-up (skin)
  6. Get annual dental check-up (teeth & gums)
  7. Get annual podiatry check-up (feet)
  8. Manage proper diet and nutrition
  9. Ensure daily exercise

That’s a challenging, big list even for the most diligent of people. Unsurprisingly, many folks cut corners and focus on the bare minimum – the must-dos of diabetes management. Consequently, the current paradigm in diabetes management is only about diabetologist consultations and taking medications. We need to change this paradigm. We should make it easier for everyone to manage their diabetes comprehensively: total sugar and diabetes management. There has to be someone to whom you can outsource your diabetes management. That someone who would

  • Keep track and fixes your appointments with diabetologists, and other doctors
  • Build a customised nutrition plan for you (based on what you like, and what you don’t)
  • Teach you the best yoga exercises for diabetes, in-person
  • Deliver your diabetes medications at home,
  • Come home to collect samples for lab tests
  • Has a dedicated relationship manager – just a phone call away – to help with anything related to your healthcare

A few years ago, I was overseas, and my parents were diagnosed with diabetes. As I watched them cope from a distance, I wished there was a single-point solution to ‘outsource’ this disease management. Unfortunately, there was nothing like it. So, we built SugarControl to help thousands of families (like mine) who could stand to benefit from this service.

The brouhaha surrounding World Diabetes Day is always a good time for thinking and for action. But what is imperative is to make diabetes more patient-friendly in India and we should not fall short in that regard.

(The writer is the Director of the Ashwini Group of Hospitals and CoFounder of SugarControl)

 Views expressed here are personal.


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