An initiative to fight diabetes among children in India

KiDS (Kids and Diabetes in Schools)project aims to foster a school environment that creates a better understanding of diabetes and support children with this condition

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In India, diabetes is one of the major public health challenge and it is ranked at no. 2 globally. While Type 2 diabetes has received considerable attention in interventions, it has not been so for juvenile or type 1 diabetes, though 1 out of 5 children with Type 1 diabetes in the world would be an Indian. If Type 1 diabetes is not detected and diagnosed, it could pose a grave challenge for children and families, who need adequate knowledge and resources for effective management of the condition.

Sanofi, the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and Public health Foundation of India (PHFI) announced their first joint public health initiative in India, KiDS. For the children with Type 1 diabetes, the project aims to encourage a safe and supportive school environment to manage their diabetes and avoid discrimination. In addition, the program will raise awareness on diabetes (Type 1 and Type 2) and benefits of healthy nutrition and exercise habits among school children.

Launching the KiDS project in Mumbai, Chris Viehbacher, Chief Executive Officer, Sanofi stated "As a global leader in diabetes care, we focus on bringing real benefits to people with diabetes, not just providing a comprehensive portfolio of treatments and innovative patient friendly devices but also accompanying them in their daily life. With close support, we can really make a difference in patient outcomes so we are very committed to partnering with key stakeholders to create the best patient support programs possible."

"In a developing country like India, barriers to diabetes self-management at school are significant" said Michael Hirst, President of IDF. "By engaging with policy makers and education authorities, organizing meeting in local communities and providing educational resources to school."

Dr K Srinath, President - PHFI shared that "The program's first step was a feasibility study to understand the status of diabetes management by reviewing current policies on diabetes in schools, existing school guidelines and initiatives, any best practices - and identify gaps in the knowledge so that appropriate resources and dissemination routes can be developed. We found that there are no structured training programs, plan or activity, implemented in the school settings that focus on diabetes management."

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