New Delhi: About 75,000 children in India suffer from juvenile diabetes, Union Minister Jitendra Singh today said as he urged medical practitioners to provide free insulin to especially those patients who belong to the weaker sections.
Singh, who has himself practiced medicine and is a diabetologist, said that the high-mortality rate for juvenile diabetes patients was mainly due to the inability of their parents to pay for the insulin for their life-long treatment.
The Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions added that ever since 1996, he has made it a rule to provide free insulin to every destitute diabetic child who was insulin-dependent, according to a ministry release.
In his inaugural address at the Afro-Asian conclave on diabetes in children, organised by Denmark-based Novo Nordisk Education Foundation, Singh said there is sometimes a tendency to ignore the fact that there are over 75,000 children with Type-1 juvenile diabetes in India who require life-long insulin for survival.
In Type-1 diabetes, which is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, the body does not produce insulin. Singh appealed to all medical practitioners to distribute free insulin to destitute diabetic children.
Referring to the Changing Diabetes in Children (CDiC) programme which was dedicated to the country by former President APJ Abdul Kalam, Singh said that to strive for the care of destitute diabetic children was one way of serving the nation through the medical profession.
Emphasising the need for self-management for better outcomes in diabetic care among children, he said that awareness programmes for children ought to be innovative and capable of capturing the interest of the young minds.
Singh, meanwhile, said that while the insulin injection remains the only viable option for such children for their survival, the hope is for a viable oral insulin option to become available very soon.