Health Comms Awards Prmoment India 30 Under 30

PRmoment Health Communications Review: Behavior change among youth, pharma innovation key to tackling Diabetes in India

PRmoment's weekly 'Healthcare Communications Review' column looks at the biggest healthcare trends every week and analyses the communications implications. In partnership with SPAG, A Finn Partners Company.

When you hear the words India is the diabetes capital of the world, do you worry or does it just slide as just another lifestyle disease for the old?

Fact is that diabetes is rising among the under 40 group globally, with people suffering from it in their 20's and 30s.

As per Hindustan Times, "According to Diabetes UK, the number of people under 40 diagnosed with diabetes in the United Kingdom has jumped 23% from about 120,000 in 2016-17 to 148,000 in 2020-21."

With World Diabetes Day (WDD) around the corner this 14th of November, under the theme “education to protect tomorrow,”, the WDD campaign is running a survey to get inputs on how to create access to education for diabetes prevention.

The biggest reason for Diabetes Type 2 remains obesity and eating sugary, processed food. With the rise of easy availability of such processed food in India and the sharp rise in eating out plus delivery of food, it's not surprising that diabetes among people under 40 is rising. The digital world has also landed another whammy in the shape of lack of activity.

Vidya Pawan Kapoor, AVP – Public Relations & Corporate Communications, Marengo Asia Healthcare explains,’’ It is not an unknown that India is the diabetes capital globally. With Type I diabetes on the rise, the youth are finding it challenging to come to terms with the disorder. Diabetes is no longer confined to genetic predisposition. It is a condition that is pre-empted by obesity, irregular eating and sleeping habits, bad lifestyle patterns, and unregulated dietary patterns. Diabetes is a disorder that cannot be reversed but can be very well controlled for a healthy life. The first discipline a diabetic must adopt is regular blood sugar monitoring, timely medications, a regular check-up with the doctor, and maintaining hypoglycemia awareness.

What does this mean for communicators?

1) According to this paper, 'From Individuals to International Policy: Achievements and Ongoing Needs in Diabetes Advocacy, written by 6 authors across medical and advocacy organisations, the following is a framework on conducting advocacy and behavior change for the challenge of diabetes:


2) There also needs to be greater education and awareness of better and cheaper treatments for diabetes, this remains an expensive disease to manage.

"Pharma innovations can change the canvass with innovation in technology, strategies, practices, and policies that we can take on local and global healthcare challenges. Having said that, the costs of medications must be brought down to meet the demands of all the economic strata of Indian society", added Kapoor.

In Other News

1) 50 million doses of Covaxin set to expire by early 2023 due to poor uptake, per sources quoted in this report in The Economic Times.

2) According to Government of India overall 219.72 crore doses of Covid vaccines have been administered so far under the national Covid-19 vaccination drive,\.

Reality Check

Faddy diets and weight loss tricks like the one suggested by Elon Musk, who consumed anti-diabetic medicines to lose weight, are not recommended for weight loss. And none of diabetic treatment meds are approved for weight loss in India. No easy answer here, improving eating and lifestyle habits is the way ahead to get fitter and diabetes under control.

That's it for this week. Special thanks to SPAG, a FINN Partner company for their ongoing support for this weekly column.

News for the column curated by Impact Research and Measurement

If you enjoyed this article, you can subscribe for free to our weekly event and subscriber alerts.

We have four email alerts in total - covering ESG, PR news, events and awards. Enter your email address below to find out more: