New Delhi: Inborn errors of Metabolism (IEM) is a life-threatening medical condition, in which the patient is unable to metabolize certain nutrients and thus suffers from cognitive and physical disabilities for life. IEM patients have special dietary needs, and without special diets, children born with IEM would often not survive infancy. IEM is estimated to affect over 30,000 – 40,000 children in India but in the absence of adequate screening facilities for this disorder, 30,000 diagnosed cases most likely represent only the tip of the iceberg.
To address the challenges faced by IEM patients, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare launched the ‘Diet4life’ initiative in partnership with various stakeholders comprising of IDA (Indian Dietetic Association), ISIEM (Indian Society for Inborn Errors of Metabolism), MERD (Metabolic Errors and Rare Diseases organization of India), IAP (Indian Academy of Paediatrics) NNF (National Neonatology Forum), ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) ISPGHAN (Indian Society of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition) and Infant and Young Child Nutrition Council of India (IYNCI). Diet4Life initiative is a collaborating effort that aims to provide a holistic service for IEM patients, with facilities of diagnosis, treatment and management of IEM.