Delivering the keynote address at the “National Gestational Diabetes Awareness Day” Summit, being virtually hosted from Bengaluru, Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh, who is also a noted Diabetologist, said here today that prevention of diabetes in pregnancy is crucial to protect the next generation from Diabetes.
On the occasion, Dr Jitendra Singh also released the Guidelines for “Management of Diabetes in Pregnancy” prepared by Diabetes in Pregnancy Study Group of India (DIPSI), of which Dr Jitendra Singh is one of the founding members and the group is headed by Professor V Seshiah, one of the founding fathers of Diabetology in India and, Emeritus Professor and Founder Head of first-ever Department of Diabetology in Madras Medical College, Chennai
Recalling his several decades long association with Dr Seshiah, whom he also described as one of his mentors, Dr Jitendra Singh said, it was way back in 1970s that Dr.Seshiah first gave the concept of “Spot Test” for pregnant women, which in other words meant that any pregnant woman coming to hospital at any stage of pregnancy, fasting or non-fasting, should be subject to a blood sugar test. Many of his contemporaries at that time would not understand what it was all about, but it was in fact not only a revolutionary concept in clinical Medicine but also a novel concept at the social level considering the heterogeneity and socio-economic constraints prevailing in the Indian society, he said.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, it has taken almost a quarter century of intense research to institutionalize the concept given by Dr Seshiah and he felt proud to have conducted one of the earliest studies to test the outcome and benefit of tight blood glucose control in pregnant women. He said, it is a matter of pride that the guidelines for the “Management of diabetes” prepared under the guidance of Dr Seshiah are now being followed worldwide and even the World Health Organisation has recommended the same.
The entire concept, said Dr Jitendra Singh, revolves around the fact that a woman with Gestational Diabetes Mellitus is prone to increase the risk of future diabetes in the progeny and, therefore, the aim should be to ensure a tight control of blood glucose level so that her metabolic milieu and intra-uterine environment is as normal physiologically as that of non-diabetic pregnant woman and the baby grows inside the womb without even realising that its mother had ever gone through diabetes.
The Diabetes in pregnancy guidelines being released today, said Dr JitendraSingh,will not only contribute to serve the cause of Diabetes but also a humble contribution to Narendra Modi’s “New India” because the “New India” is comprised of 70% of the population below the age of 40 years and the challenge faced today is increasing prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes Melitius in the young. New India’s strength will be determined by its youth and it cannot afford this youth energy to go underutilized because of diabetes-mellitus, he added.