Juvenile diabetes has been discovered in the families of tea plantation workers and small growers in the Nilgiris.

“This is the first mega camp we are conducting in the Nilgiris. We have screened nearly 1,300 residents of different villages, mostly engaged in tea plantations.

“We are surprised that some juvenile diabetes has been detected requiring special attention. We have also diagnosed hyper diabetic adult case with sugar level 600 mg/decilitre”, V. Mohan, President, Madras Diabetic Research Foundation, who is engaged in conducting ‘India Diabetes Study’ of Indian Council of Medical Research, told Business Line.

The camp was organised by Tamil Nadu Sathya Sai Trust jointly with Dr Mohan’s Diabetes Specialities Centre at the tea-hub village, Yellanahalli near Coonoor.

“A high incidence of asymptomatic cases have also been discovered among tea workers.

“At least half the new cases were surprised to learn the presence of diabetes in them. We have, therefore, launched an education-programme to advise tea workers and small growers on food and lifestyle”, S. Ramu, President, Nilgiris Sathya Sai Organisation, who is also a Tea Board member, said.

“We have supplied one-month medicines free to the diabetic cases at this camp. A follow-up camp will be held on May 5 when review will be done. Necessary free treatment at speciality hospital will be extended to those requiring further intervention. All juvenile cases will be closely monitored. Our objective is to create a healthy tea community in Nilgiri villages”, Ramu said.

“India has world’s second largest diabetic patients totalling 62 million, next to China’s 92 million.

“However, since 77 million, mostly youngsters, have been identified as pre-diabetic, we are focussing on creating awareness through exhibition on physical exercise, demonstration on healthy food and weight maintenance”, Mohan added.

(This article was published on April 8, 2013)
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