There is no official data about the prevalence of diabetes in West Bengal, but people working in the field estimate that an alarming 28-30% of the people living in the rural areas have diabetes.
The eating habits of the indigenous, minority and other vulnerable residents of the villages in West Bengal are not healthy. People mainly consume rice as the staple food, and sometimes all three daily meals consist of rice only, as they cannot afford vegetables, meat or fruits on a regular basis. Due to a diet high in carbohydrates, residents of this area are prone to developing type 2 diabetes.
The income level of the majority of the inhabitants in the villages of West Bengal is very low, the school drop out rates are high, and only half of the adults can read.
The goal of this project is to prevent type 2 diabetes and other non-communicable diseases among poor West Bengal residents and improve access to diabetic foot care in the rural areas.
In the first phase of the project, the preparation phase, a steering committee to prepare project implementation and monitoring is formed, consisting of members from all stakeholder groups. In this phase the education/awareness materials are prepared and the trainers ToTs (training of trainers model) are selected.
In the second phase, capacity building takes place. Health care professionals are trained as ToTs in screening of diabetes and diabetic foot care and are given foot care kits. Subsequently, the trainers train the community health workers (CHWs) in basic prevention and care for diabetes. First year training lasts 3 days, in the second year the project follows up with a five day training including diabetic foot care training.
The idea is to develop a network of CHWs knowledgeable about diabetes detection and care, and especially diabetic foot care, who are in direct and close contact with the village population.
In the third and final phase, the actual screening and awareness takes place:
Awareness and educational camps are held where villagers learn about diabetes and its prevention, as well as other NCDs and healthy lifestyles. At the camps, people at risk for diabetes will be screened. People diagnosed with diabetes will be screened for diabetic foot complications, and referred to government hospitals for further care.
- 51,000 poor people reached through awareness raising activities on DM, related NCDs and healthy life-style
- 340 screening camps conducted
- 20,000 high risk people screened for diabetes
- 5,040 people detected with diabetes and screened for diabetic foot care
- 50 health professionals trained in diabetes detection, management and care
- 50 health care professionals trained in management of diabetic foot complications
- 100 community health workers trained on DM and detection, examination, management and primary care of diabetic foot