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  • Roche Bolster’s India’s Fight Against Diabetes

    Published on December 1, 2023

     This November, Roche Diabetes Care India  collaborated with public and private stakeholders in the Indian healthcare system to extend its commitment to improve access to care, commemorating World Diabetes Day celebrated on 14 November every year. This included enhancing education and awareness about diabetes and facilitating early diagnosis and sustained care programmes through transformative collaborations with key stakeholders.

    The current doctor to patient ratio in India is at 1:8341, and to bolster this healthy ratio there is a need for capacity building of healthcare professionals. Addressing this critical factor in improving access to care, Roche undertook on-ground initiatives to enhance education, awareness and screening of diabetes within the healthcare ecosystem. These initiatives, in collaboration with both public and private stakeholders, touched the lives of >5000 healthcare professionals and patients across the country in the last month. Collectively, these will help upskill healthcare professionals in the country and aid in early detection, thereby, providing sustained and significant support to those diagnosed with diabetes.

    First among these initiatives was the ‘Nurses on Diabetes’ initiative, a revolutionary online education platform in partnership with Endocrine & Diabetes Foundation (EDF). This platform provides healthcare providers, particularly nurses, with the necessary skills to effectively manage diabetes and provide e-health coaching, incorporating health coaching principles alongside basic diabetes teachings. Upon finishing the program, participants are awarded a certificate of completion. So far, this programme has been launched at 4 hospitals across Maharashtra and has already received 230 registrations. The team plans to take it to other cities including Kolkata, Chennai and Bangalore by the end of this year.

    Roche has also partnered with Maharashtra State Government with the aim to bridge the gap in healthcare accessibility for underserved communities by bringing essential medical services directly to them. Starting November 23, Roche is supporting Maharashtra’s National Health Mission (NHM) in organising multiple diabetes awareness and screening camps in Thane district on a massive scale under the central government’s ‘Ayushman Bhav’ campaign. These camps located at numerous local government hospitals including SDH Ambarnath, Central Hospital Ulhasnagar, Government Hospital Malvani, Pandit Bhimsen Joshi Hospital Mira Bhayandar, Maternity Home Ulhasnagar, and SDH Bhivandi, focused on early detection, prevention, and awareness about diabetes management and overall well being, contribute to the overall improvement of community health. By the end of November 2023, three of these camps have successfully facilitated the screening of ~1500 people for diabetes.

    This partnership was also extended to doctors and diabetes clinics through ~230 Doctor Support Centres (DSC) organised across the country. Through these DSC’s Roche team created direct engagement with diabetes nurse educators and more than 3000 people with diabetes to educate them about the need and benefits of structured self‑monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) which is the simplest and possibly the most practical tool to ensure glycemic control. This initiative not only educates the patient on the convenience of SMBG but the data generated through regular SMBG also empowers HCPs to make adjustments in their therapeutic regimen in response to blood glucose values and regulate the dietary intake, physical activity, and insulin doses to improve glycemic control on a regular basis.

    Commenting on the occasion, Omar Sherief Mohammad, Cluster Head – India Middle East and Africa, RDC said, “Access to diabetes care begins with the right knowledge about diabetes and its management. The second step is to enable wide-spread and regular testing to facilitate early diagnosis. Lastly a sustained programme is required to ensure continued support is provided to those diagnosed with diabetes.”

    “We believe that a concerted effort through private-public partnerships can aid in the country’s fight against diabetes. We are proud to partner the government and private healthcare practitioners in this drive to make India the Diabetes Care Capital of the World”, he added

    These initiatives by Roche Diabetes Care were complemented by a pan-India, mass awareness campaign called ‘Control Diabetes with Every Check’ launched during the month. The campaign, encompassing national and regional/vernacular print media and social media, highlighted the importance of self-monitoring of blood glucose and the role technology can play in empowering them and encouraged people with diabetes to take charge of their diabetes management.

    With disparities in the way in which diabetes affects different people and the socio-economic differences in the country, a one-size-fits-all approach is not conducive to combat the disease. Diabetes care needs a multi-faceted approach, that is unique to each community and it is only through consistent localised initiatives in early detection, education and awareness will there be a significant reduction in the disease burden of the country.

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