Educating women may help control diabetes: Survey

Published: 07 November, 2011 06:49 IST | Astha Saxena |

Research shows only 47 per cent of diabetics manage the illness on their own. Of the rest, 89 per cent depend on women

Research shows only 47 per cent of diabetics manage the illness on their own. Of the rest, 89 per cent depend on women

Women, always being the centre-point and caretakers in the family, have now started playing a pivotal role in stemming the tide of diabetes in the country as well. Realising the inexplicable influence of women on family and believing that educating them can help prevent and manage the disease is the need of the hour. A recent survey conducted across 500 families in Delhi brought to the fore that women needed to be educated against the disease in order to prevent it from multiplying.

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The figures
The survey, initiated by Heal Foundation and conducted by Saarathi Healthcare, has found that only 47 per cent of diabetics manage the illness on their own. Of the rest, 89 per cent depend on women (wife, daughter, sister, and daughter-in-law) of the family. This means that women should not miss out in terms of awareness on important aspects of diabetes management and that educating women may have a visible impact on the burgeoning incidences of the disease.

"Women should be the nodal point of all awareness and prevention campaigns as their role is indispensable when it comes to management of lifestyle diseases like diabetes", said Dr Anoop Misra, chairman, Fortis-C-DOC, director, Centre of Internal Medicine (CIM), Fortis Hospital, Chairman, National Diabetes, Obesity and Cholesterol Foundation (N-DOC), director, Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases, Diabetes Foundation.

In the study, it was revealed that 64 per cent women manage the diet of patients and 81 per cent remind the patients about their medication. About 77 per cent women caregivers accompany the patient for visits to doctor and 81 per cent motivate the patient to take up physical activities.

Saying no to docs
The study also presented some contradictory findings. Although 70 per cent of the people are aware of the ill-effects of poorly formulated dietary regimens, 71 per cent people do not seek professional help in planning their diet.

"Lifestyle changes and simple interventional strategies such as eating nutritious small meals at regular intervals and exercising regularly go a long way in managing diabetes in the long run. Since women are the primary health coordinators of healthcare in the family, they should be educated first to help inculcate these practices in their family", said R Shankar, president, Heal Foundation.

"Women should also be educated about different types of diabetes and measures to manage and prevent them. Gestational diabetes (GD) is one condition which is highly prevalent in the country and growing astronomically every year. GD affects women during pregnancy and also put her child at the risk of it. Women should also take care of their health since a healthy woman makes for a healthy family," said Dr Manika Khanna, Gaudium IVF and Gynae Solutions.

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