4th National Summit on NCDs: 123 million Indians estimated to be diabetic by 2040, says ICMR DG

Organized by the CII and Eli Lilly, the event witnessed the release of white paper on Best practices in Diabetes Management. The underlying message was that Diabetes is among the priority non-communicable diseases that requires evidence-based learnings and interventions


New Delhi: With the growing incidence of non-communicable diseases (NCD) such as diabetes in India, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in collaboration with Eli Lilly and Company (Lilly) released a National White Paper “NCD management: Translating BEST practices into NEXT practices” at the 4th National Summit on October 6, 2016. This summit has been supported by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Dr Soumya Swaminathan, Secretary Department of Health Research and Director General, Indian Council of Medical Research, released the National White Paper, which identified enablers and barriers to the implementation of best practices for the management of NCD in India, particularly diabetes.

Speaking at the Summit, Dr Soumya Swaminathan mentioned, “I congratulate CII and Eli Lilly for taking up NCD as a subject. Partnerships are required to tackle the burden of diseases in the country. By 2040, experts estimate that over 123 million Indians will be living with diabetes. Changing lifestyles along with reduced physical activity and lack of awareness are some of the key factors that contribute to the increasing burden of diabetes, which in turn leads to serious health complications. Today’s summit is vital to recognizing the best practices from different states, PSUs, corporations as well as private health facilities and working together to scale them effectively at the national level.” She stressed the importance of translating “best practices to next practices”, to ensure prevention and management of diabetes.

The White Paper released this year has been drafted with support from Population Services International (PSI) and is based on the recommendations that emerged from roundtable discussions held in Kolkata, Mumbai and Hyderabad. The objective of these roundtables was to get the states, PSUs and private organizations together and create a one-of-its-kind platform for learning and best practice sharing. More than seventy expert practitioners participated and brainstormed at these regional meetings.

Mr Edgard Olaizola, Managing Director of Lilly India, said, “Lilly is committed to making life better for people living with diabetes and we have been working to meet the needs of people with diabetes beyond medicines. The CII Lilly NCD Summit, a five-year plan, is based on a different theme every year. It was initiated to fight the rising burden of NCD and explore new models of care in partnership with government and other public organizations. The last three summits have received good feedback. The objective of this year’s summit is to share the findings from the state roundtables and to highlight the best practices for NCD and diabetes management that are already in use in some regions of the country, and to assess how
these can be put into effect on a nation-wide level.”

Welcoming the participants at the Summit, Dr Shubnum Singh, Member CII Healthcare Council and Chief Executive, Max Institute of Health Education and Research, said, “After this summit, we hope that more regions in the country will be able to implement some of the best practices. Key to this will be a better understanding of enablers and barriers. Awareness about NCD should start from adolescence and schools can play an imperative role in doing so. Our success in making a positive impact on diabetes hinges on how effectively we are able to make best practices the next practices, and we hope that this summit is instrumental in helping us reach that ultimate goal.”

Few of the highlights from the recommendations that were drawn from the regional roundtables which have been published in the National White Paper 2016 are:

  1. Routine blood sugar and blood pressure checking for all pregnant women during their
    antenatal check-ups
  2. Blood sugar testing for patients with tuberculosis, at all the treatment centers
  3. Screening for eye complications, especially diabetic retinopathy, in patients with diabetes
    across all districts
  4. Better education and awareness on foot examination, foot care and treatment of corns,
    fissures and ulcers
  5. Counselling of patients to help them avoid complications related to metabolic disease and
    follow a healthy lifestyle
  6. Mandatory NCD check-up camps focusing on diabetes and hypertension in public health
  7. Introducing employee score cards, based on screening of employees in public sector units
    irrespective of age, to assess their risk of NCD
  8. Digitalization of all dispensaries and maintenance of electronic records

CII and Lilly convened the 1st National NCD Summit in 2013 and published a National White Paper to suggest mechanisms for strengthening the NPCDCS (National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular diseases and Stroke) program. In 2014, the 2nd National NCD Summit was organized with the objective to shape Diabetes Policies in Public Sector Enterprises (PSEs). In 2015, at the 3rd National Summit, the purpose was to strengthen public health strategies for comprehensive diabetes management, specifically at the tertiary level. As per organizers, these three national White Papers received much appreciation from policy makers and practitioners.