Community Health Interventions and Education:
Health Initiatives for Economically Disadvantaged Population Living in Urban Slums
for Non-communicable Diseases:
Team of DFI, for the first time, highlighted
in slum dwellers and advised preventive measures.
Largest Campaign Against Childhood Obesity in South Asia:
The community health initiatives undertaken by DFI involve the activities of education
of schoolchildren, teachers and parents regarding diabetes and obesity.
Three large-scale multi-centric intensive health education programs
The MARG program (funded by World Diabetes Foundation, Denmark) is the first large
scale community intervention project in South Asia which focuses 100% on primary
prevention of not only diabetes, but also on non-communicable diseases in general.
Dr. Priyali Shah at MARG lecture
Children chefs at the inaugural function of "MARG" at
Delhi Public School International, New Delhi.
- Recent update on MARG Program
A visit by 7 media persons was experienced by the schools initiating MARG in New
Delhi. The following persons along with their respective publications are mentioned
Navbharat Times Delhi - Ms Neetu Singh -India
UNI-Varta - Ms Arati Kapoor - India
Dainik Jaigran - Mr.Ashutosh Kumar Jha - India
Dainik Jagran, Punjab - Mr Jagdish Kumar - India
Bihar Times - Ajay Kumar - India
The Daily Prothom Alo - Dr Md. Iqbal Kabir - Bangladesh
Media Indonesia - Ms Rosmery Hutomo Sihombing - Indonesia
The visits were planned in government and private schools initiating MARG. The children
participated in various educative activities wherein they disseminated information
on prevention of obesity and diabetes amongst their peers. These activities were
fun filled such as drama, skits, cookery, healthy snack making, poster making, extempore
competition etc. These activities clearly demonstrated the ways in which MARG is
spreading awareness amongst all.
Tagore International School, Vasant Vihar disseminated messages on western and Indian
junk foods to their peers by enacting 2 skits. The skits also showed how unhealthy
and erratic eating could be causes for non-communicable diseases as diabetes. The
activity was organized by students of classes 6 – 8.
St Paul’s School, Safdarjung Development Area organized an interaction with
the student volunteers who are peer educators of the school. Through various activities,
like drama and healthy recipe demonstration, these educators / volunteers demonstrated
how unhealthy eating and no physical activity can affect the health of the young
generation, the school children. They even showed how unhealthy foods brought in
the school tiffins can affect their health. The media persons were also introduced
to the canteen of the school where as a decision of the school management, the unhealthy
foods sold were replaced by healthy Indian lunch foods. The activity was organized
by students of class 11.
Visit to the government schools observed a very enthusiastic participation by the
students in activities of healthy food making competition, poster making competition
and extempore competition. These activities were organised by teacher and student
volunteers of the school who have taken the initiative for the sustainability of
the project. Cooking competition observed a variety of preparations by the children.
These included preparations utilizing fruits, vegetables, brown bread, healthy fruit
drinks, curd, etc. Posters made by the children were very colourful and displayed
messages on healthy and unhealthy foods, importance of physical activity in daily
life, dietary impacts on causation of diseases, etc. At the extempore competition,
the children confidently spoke on the topics like balanced diets, importance of
fruits and vegetables in daily diet, diabetes, obesity, fitness and fatness, ways
to improve your health status, etc. These activities were organized by students
of classes 6 – 9.
Overall it was a fun filled day wherein it was clearly demonstrated that through
the school approach, we can very conveniently spread the awareness messages to all
without disturbing the academic schedule of the curriculum.
Diabetes Foundation (India) and Rotary Club of Delhi South-East, through the Rotary
South-East Charitable Foundation have initiated CHETNA-- “Childrens’
Health Education Through Nutrition and Health Awareness”, a program for the
prevention of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, in order to inculcate healthy
lifestyle and nutrition habits in school children, the first such program of its
kind in India. This program aims to impart health education on the above issues
through lectures, posters, group discussions with children, parents and teachers,
and by conducting health camps. Our main aim is that each child should be made aware
of a healthy lifestyle so that he/she does not suffer from obesity related disorders
like diabetes and heart diseases later in life.
Swati Bhardwaj giving a lecture
Poster Making Competition
Another multi-centric project by DFI being undertaken in schools is Project TEACHER
(Trends in childhood nutrition and lifestyle factors in India), covering 4 major
cities of India to obtain in- depth understanding of nutrition and lifestyle behaviors
that affect the health and well being of urban Indians , particularly children,
through detailed knowlege attitude and practice survey questionnaires, group discussions
and anthropometric measurements of children and their mothers
Mrs Rekha Sharma, Secretary, DFI
Anthropometric measurements for schoolchildren in Delhi and several cities of northern,
western and southern India have been initiated and are being carried out.
The children are given correct diet and physical activity advice, and made aware
of the various chronic diseases with emphasis on diabetes, obesity and heart diseases
which are due to incorrect lifestyle. These programs aim to create awareness about
diabetes, obesity, lipid disorders and heart disease, and to act as agents of change
for healthy living in society.
Dr. Seema Gulati interacting with mothers
Dr. Misra and Mrs. Rekha Sharma
with Principal, KV INA
These programs are expected to cover almost
- 150,000 children, and are being expanded to include
- 9 more cities in India, to cover 500,000 children,
making it the largest initiative against childhood obesity and prevention of diabetes
in south Asia.
A Major Health Education Program Focusing on Women's Health and Nutrition:
With the help of a grant from the Department of Science and Technology, this project
has been initiated in 8 cities in India. In this project, women in the age more
than 30 years are targeted for proper nutrition and lifestyle advice and early detection
of various diseases such as diabetes, obesity, heart problems and cancer. This is
the first nutritional education program in India focusing on middle aged and elderly
Mass awareness camps towards early detection and proper treatment of diabetes among
general public as well as among the medical and para-medical fraternity has been
initiated. Several diabetes health camps have been organized for poor people at
Delhi, UP and Haryana and given medical counseling, medicines and insulin free of
charge. The aim of these interventions is to spread awareness about high-risk early
screening for diabetes.
‘Independence From Diabetes’
- 'Independence From Diabetes' was organized as part of PANKH event, on 14 August
2007 on the eve of India’s 60th Independence Day at the Indian Medical Association,
New Delhi, and was attended by schoolchildren and media representatives in large
numbers, as part of a month-long endeavor to create mass awareness towards Diabetes,
Obesity and Heart Disease.
Dr. Anoop Misra speaking at the event, while
Ms. Manjushree Roy, Director, SAI and former
Hockey team captain, Mr. Zafar Iqbal, look on
Children at the Independence from Diabetes event
‘‘Ban on Commercial Use of Trans Fats’
Panel Answering The Queries
- Experts of DFI and Health Essayists and Authors' League (HEAL) organized two workshops
on "Fats and Trans Fatty Acids in Indian Diets - Recent Aspects and its Implications',
at Delhi on 10 April, 2007 and Hyderabad on 9 June, 2007, calling for a complete
ban on Trans-fats for commercial use.
According to Dr. Anoop Misra, 'Trans fatty acids
are one of the strongest poisons affecting human metabolism today.' Trans Fats are
found in fast food products made with hydrogenated oil in an unregulated market,
a time bomb waiting to explode, even as the Union Health Ministry is contemplating
for processed food manufacturers to list the Trans-fat content on nutrition basis.
Diabetes Foundation India,
Plot No. 3 Pocket B-11, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi 110070 INDIA
Tel: +91-11-4134 5550
Diabetes Foundation (India) (Regn no.- S/16551/8) is a non-profit organisation registered
under the Societies Registration Act, XXI of 1860 on 24 April 1986. FCRA approved.
All donations are exempted according to the Income Tax Act 80 G of the Government