New Delhi, Jul 1 (PTI) Chief Justice of India (CJI) N V Ramana on Thursday called upon the government to step in and put in place a comprehensive policy framework for prevention of diabetes, saying it today affects people across all age groups .
'For a country of our size with huge backwardness and poverty, it is going to be a huge task. This disease is a costly one for those who fall victim to it. If this disease is to be tackled effectively, the state has to step in, in a big way,' Justice Ramana said.
He was addressing the medical fraternity on National Doctors' Day at the launch of the Defeat Diabetes Campaign initiated by the Research Society for the Study of Diabetes. Doctors and researchers have aptly described diabetes as an 'opportunistic killer, and today it affects people across all classes and age groups. This alarming increase calls for immediate attention of all concerned, the CJI said.
He pressed on the need to design diabetes awareness campaigns on the scale of anti-tobacco and pulse polio campaigns, and augment medical infrastructure for testing, monitoring, guidance and cure.
Referred to data to stress on the seriousness of the situation, he said India has the 'highest number of diabetes patients with 65 million Indians being diabetic'. 'What is even more shocking is that nearly eight per cent of the population above 18 years of age is suffering from the disease. These numbers are projected to increase to 101.2 million by 2030,' the CJI said.
Justice Ramana suggested that a comprehensive policy framework should be put in place where the awareness campaign is also part of the diabetes eradication programme.
For the programme to be successful, the same has to be integrated into a free and universal public healthcare system, he said, adding that if it is left to individuals, the country will never reach the goal. 'These issues call for formulating public healthcare policies surrounding the prevention and management of diabetes in India based on intense scientific research,” the CJI said. He also spoke about the need to bridge the gap in awareness regarding the disease, its prevention and management in the country. Justice Ramana said that the degree of awareness is negligible in rural areas and amongst the vulnerable classes, which leads to quackery and myths being formed. PTI AAK SJK ANB ANB