The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi in association with The George Institute for Global Health is hoping to reduce the burden of acquiring gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM).
As per a recent report in the Hindu, the partnership hopes to initiate a research to understand in principal if a lifestyle modification program can delay the onset of Type 2 diabetes in women with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) in South Asia. The initial random trial has a single-fold purpose of making the treatment available and affordable in countries such as Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and India.
GDM is diabetes that develops during pregnancy, and requires lifelong treatment as it can lead to further serious complications, subsequently putting women at high risk of type 2 diabetes. The low middle-income countries already suffer from a high concentration of people suffering from Type 2 diabetes; thus making it almost essential to make the program available for treatment in such countries.
Under the auspices of the Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases (GACD), the Indian arm of the research is being supported by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), while the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council is funding the research in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
In a separate press statement issued by AIIMS, the GACD grants will make an enormous difference in treating, preventing and managing Type 2 Diabetes, especially in areas with limited resources and poor access to essential healthcare.
“It has been shown in research settings that healthy diet and physical activity aimed at weight reduction can delay or prevent the development of diabetes in women with GDM, but we do not know how to best achieve such behavioural changes,” said Professor Nikhil Tandon, head of the Department of Endocrinology at AIIMS.
Professor Anuskha Patel, chief scientist of The George Institute for Global Health and Professor of Medicine at the University of Sydney, said that if the intervention is found to be effective and scalable, the development of Type 2 Diabetes could be delayed or prevented in more than a quarter of a million young South Asian women over a five-year period.