Updated on 8 August 2012
New hope for diabetes: BMS grants $1.6 mn to India
Singapore: Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) Foundation will provide $1.6 million in grants to four healthcare institutions in India to help improve diabetes education, prevention and care, increase healthcare worker capacity in rural and tribal areas and among the urban poor. BMS Foundation has employed a similar capacity-building approach with its 10-year-old ‘Delivering Hope' initiative to address hepatitis B and C in Asia.
The prevalence of diabetes in India has grown roughly four-fold since the early 1970s, from about two percent of the population in 1972 to 8.3 percent today, due to factors ranging from genetic predisposition to lifestyle and dietary changes. The International Diabetes Foundation (IDF) reports that 61.26 million people in India are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, ranking India second only to China in total cases and third behind the US (10.9 percent) and China (9.3 percent) in terms of prevalence. By 2030, India will have 101.2 million people with type 2 diabetes, IDF projects.
In an interview to BioSpectrum, Mr John Damonti, president, Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, said that, "Stemming the rising tide of type 2 diabetes in India will require a concerted and sustained effort at the community level to ensure adults have access to the education, preventive measures and care they need to effectively self-manage their disease. The grants we are making today through our Together on Diabetes initiative will test new ideas about how diabetes control efforts can be best designed and implemented to help adults in a variety of settings."
BMS' ongoing work to address unmet medical needs, reduce health disparities and build community health care capacity was recognized in late July by CMO Asia with an 'Asia's Best CSR Practices Award' in the 'Concern for Health' category.
The various organizations that will receive the 'Together on Diabetes' grants, include Mamta Health Institute for Mother and Child (a national New Delhi-based organization and operating in 14 Indian states, will receive $706,995 over three years to pilot a study to determine the feasibility of involving India's lay community health workers and integrating various systems of medicine including modern); and AYUSH (to prevent and control non-communicable diseases, especially type 2 diabetes).