Events >> Second Annual Meeting of Type-1 Diabetes

Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism
Christian Medical College, Vellore
Second Annual Meeting of Type 1 Diabetes

India being the diabetes capital of the world harbors a large population of young patients with type-1-diabetes mellitus (T1DM) who need lifelong Insulin. Numerous factors including multiple daily injections, economic burden, illiteracy and incorrect public perceptions make coping difficult for the entire family. One of the ways of improving the care has been to create support group meets involving the patients and their family. The group discussion is also a forum to ensure smooth transition of patients following their excellent management of type 1 diabetes under the care of pediatric endocrinology during childhood and adolescence. In this endeavor, the department of Endocrinology, Christian Medical College, Vellore, as a team has taken it as a mission to provide care that would make the management of type 1 diabetes less painful and more cheerful. The concept of peer-group began in the year 2011, and the 1st annual support group meet was held in May 2014. The second annual meeting was held in the Wheeler and Kutumbaiah Halls on 27th June-2015. About 100 patients of various age groups (16-40 years) with family members attended the meet from different parts of South India.

Prof.Nihal Thomas enlightened the group about the 6 key aspects of care in Type 1 Diabetes which included “healthy diet, regular exercise, self-monitoring of blood glucose, proper insulin administration, support from health care personnel, and inter-patient support”. He also informed the group that from 2010 the average HbA1c has reduced from 10% to 8.3%. Special thanks were given to the department of Paediatric Endocrinology for the wonderful support that they had given the patients in the days before they had been treated in adult endocrinology.

Dr.Premila Lee, Nursing Superintendent, CMCH was the Chief Guest of the event. She unveiled the specially designed T1DM annual calendar and spoke about the concept of support group meetings. This calendar has a group photograph of patients with type 1 diabetes, to highlight the message that they are not alone, and can cope well together.

Dr.Mahesh discussed about the life stories of famous personalities with T1DM viz., cricketer Wasim Akram, popular Actor Kamal Haasan, TV Anchor Gaurav Kapoor, Dr.Larry Hirch, Vice president, Diabetes Care at Becton Dickinson, olympic swimming champion Gary Hall Jr and athlete Sebastien Sasseville, first ever patient with T1DM to reach the summit of Mount Everest. Their stories demonstrate that with determination and optimism, anyone with T1DM can live an extraordinary life! The presentation also highlighted the need to set common goals for patient empowerment which are two fold-

  • Medical: Good glycemic control i.e. HbA1c < 7% without severe hypoglycemia and no recurrence of ketoacidosis, along with delaying all the complications [micro/macrovascular] and 
  • Social: Education [school/college], employment, marriage, children and professional work requiring freedom to travel without fear.  The importance of timely monitoring to blood glucose and maintaining the AFIST (Activity-Food-Insulin-Sugar-Time) diary was emphasized.

Subsequently, to best ensure that participants could relate to one another and provide emotional support and guidance, they were organized into groups of - students, those awaiting employment or marriage, married group, and the group with children, and their concerns were addressed. The meeting also gave an opportunity for some patients and parents to talk about their own success stories, which were immensely inspirational to the others. In the end, the key goal of the support group to encourage interaction and build friendships was achieved. The message that they are not alone and are united as a team in the management of diabetes was successfully conveyed. Dr.Asha concluded the meeting with a Vote of Thanks and reminded the audience of what Mother Theresa famously said "We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop."  

Back to Annual Meeting of Type-1 Diabetes