Staff Reporter –
Research Society for the Study of Diabetes in India (RSSDI) along with Sanofi India Limited (SIL) have shared that their collaboration for SIL’s social impact program for Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is delivering positive outcomes. The program has created a universal standard-of-care for the diagnosis and management of this auto-immune chronic condition, generally impacting the paediatric population and young adults. It also provides funding for free insulin, syringes, lancets, and glucose strips to 1,300 underprivileged children living with this condition.
These 1300 children are receiving better education on T1D management and have access to insulin; and are thus demonstrating much improvement in their ability to manage hypoglycaemia and hyperglycaemia. Over the last 9-months (September 2022 to June 2023), the program’s intervention has reduced the number of children experiencing hypoglycaemia (1 to 4 times per week) by 46% (vs. 70%) and children experiencing hyperglycaemia (1 to 4 times per week) by 25% (vs. 52%).
Of the 1300 children living with Type 1 diabetes and enrolled in RSSDI and Sanofi India’s T1D social impact program across India, 34 children are from West Bengal.
Referred to as juvenile or insulin-dependent diabetes, people living with Type 1 diabetes and their caregivers in India continue to face challenges in diabetes management. This is because there are very few dedicated doctors and educators trained to treat and manage T1D. Other challenges are poor public awareness about T1D, the socio-economic burden, and access to proper healthcare facilities, particularly in semi-urban and rural areas. Other complexities include delayed diagnosis, poor cold-chain management for insulin, and insufficient education for patients and caregivers. Furthermore, it is also observed that Type 1 diabetes results in social isolation, particularly for girls. If everyone in India affected by Type 1 diabetes could be promptly diagnosed, 3 years of healthy life per person could be restored. Similarly, if everyone in India had access to insulin, test strips and good self-management, 21.2 years of healthy life per person could be restored.
Despite all the above-mentioned complexities, people diagnosed with T1D can have a good quality of life if equipped with specialized care, including diabetes education, continuous access to insulin, blood glucose monitoring, ongoing screening to manage chronic complications, and psychological and societal support.
Hence, RSSDI, India’s leading research organisation for diabetes, and Sanofi India joined hands in January 2021 for a three-year social impact program to improve the standard-of-care for timely and better diabetes management in children and young adults. People-to-People Health Foundation (PPHF) is the implementing partner for this social impact program.
Dr. Sanjay Agarwal
Secretary – Research Society for the Study of Diabetes in India (RSSDI)
“With an estimated 8.6 lakh T1D patients in India , we cannot afford to overlook the urgent needs of children living with this condition. By equipping healthcare professionals and educators with the necessary tools and knowledge, the program is enabling timely diagnosis and appropriate diabetes management required for the children to thrive. For this program, RSSDI and Sanofi India are combining their respective experience and expertise to create a universal standard-of-care that provides access to treatment across India as per global recommendations. RSSDI is dedicated to transforming the landscape of T1D care in India.”
As per the global Type 1 diabetes Index, in India T1D is growing at 6.7% each year compared with 4.4% for Type 2 diabetes.
RSSDI and Sanofi India’s social impact program is aimed at improving the health status of T1D patients by creating a support program through a network of both trained healthcare professionals (HCPs) and T1D educators across India. Training doctors will enable correct diagnosis and management, leading to reduction in the occurrence of chronic complications. RSSDI has created two sets of modules to build capacity amongst doctors for timely diagnosis of T1D, and for T1D educators in care and management skills for those affected by T1D and their caregivers.
Ms. Aparna Thomas
Senior Director, Corporate Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility, Sanofi India Limited
“We are hugely motivated to see the impact of our social program’s intervention that is very quickly improving the quality of life in so many children living with Type 1 diabetes in India. The program is designed to create the standard-of-care that is much needed in Type 1 diabetes for its diagnosis, education, and counselling. The program facilitates T1D training to increase the number of doctors and educators and in turn, access to T1D diagnosis, treatment, and care. Sanofi India’s social impact program also provides funds for free insulin to 1300 children who need the financial support to access treatment to manage their T1D optimally.”
Dr. Arundhati Dasgupta
MBBS, MD, DM, ENDORINOLOGIST
“Like Type 2 diabetes, Type 1 diabetes is also experiencing an upward trend and while the prevalence may not be as significant, it is still a cause for alarm. Thus, comprehensive training and education on treatment, monitoring, dosage, and titration is crucial in addressing the challenges faced by children with Type 1 diabetes. By equipping healthcare professionals and educators in West Bengal at 1 centre with the necessary tools and knowledge, we can make a significant difference in the lives of these children.”
To learn more about coping with Type 1 diabetes better and bust deep-rooted myths about it, visit: Type 1 Diabetes Videos | RSSDI