The following article from The Hindu discusses the issues faced by rural peoples in India surrounding diabetes. Many of these issues are mirrored by rural peoples all around the world, including the United States. Diabetes is a major issue for the rural communities of Alaska, for example, and rural communities cannot be forgotten when we devise public health strategies for defeating diabetes.
MADURAI: The data obtained from ‘Varumun Kappom’ health camps being conducted across the State has revealed that the prevalence of diabetes among rural pregnant women is as high as 10 per cent.
Steps are being initiated to conduct diabetes screening for all pregnant women during their seventh month of pregnancy and take measures for preventing ‘gestational diabetes.’
The Director of Public Health, P. Padmanaban, told The Hindu here on Monday that the results obtained from State-wide camps indicated that diabetes was no longer an urban phenomenon and it had badly affected the rural population.
He said the prevalence of diabetes in urban areas was found to be 17 per cent.
“Diabetes is becoming a major health problem in all places,” he said.
Dr. Padmanaban was in the city to hold a review meeting with health officials from Madurai, Sivaganga, Dindigul and Ramanathapuram districts.
The Directorate of Public Health also found that hypertension was becoming a common disease in villages. Preventive steps were being taken at the health camps. Since the launch of ‘Varumun Kappom’ public health scheme on December 31 last year, the Government has organised 2,600 health camps out of the 9,000 planned.
The Directorate will analyse the data generated from all the camps and find out the ‘causative factors’.
According to Dr. Padmanaban, the analysis will be area and disease-specific so that the health administration can identify the districts according to its proneness to a disease.
The Joint Director of Public Health, S. Elango, pointed out that undetected diabetes among pregnant women could lead to ‘delivery complications’ and congenital disorders.