Improving Diabetes Care Pathways in India-A Feasibility Study from Vellore

Prof. Poobalan started the talk by discussing her professional journey and transition from a Clinician to becoming a Professor of Public Health at University of Aberdeen, UK. The objective of the talk was to understand the feasibility of improving diabetes care pathways in rural Vellore. The burden of diabetes in countries such as India has increased manifold. However, people with diabetes in resource limited settings often receive less than optimal care due to a poor understanding of the disease, fragmented healthcare delivery systems, shortage of trained healthcare professionals and also due to poor financial resources particularly in rural areas. The focus of the talk was on understanding the feasibility of task shifting to frontline community health volunteers in order to improve access to diabetes care in Vellore District. It became clear from the study that the trained community health volunteers within the health service area of the Department of Rural Unit for Health and Social Affairs (RUHSA) of Christian Medical College, Vellore were very effective in increasing awareness of diabetes, in early diagnosis of diabetes, helping patients in avoiding complications and thereby contributing in effective management of diabetes in rural communities.