The face of DIWAS
Dr Usha Sriram – Founder, Physician, leading Endocrinologist and Diabetologist, Medical Ethics Practitioner, Women’s Health Advocate.
Dr Usha has been practising in Chennai, India and is a renowned speaker in many conferences. She plays an active role in capacity building of physicians and in community education programs. Her achievements as a physician are not limited to a successful clinical practice but includes significant contributions to research activities in the areas of osteoporosis, diabetes, paediatric endocrinology in addition to her own initiatives on gestational diabetes, osteoporosis, childhood obesity and polycystic ovary syndrome.
Dr Usha is a recipient of the Otto Schwartz teacher of the year award in the first year that she began her career.
Women’s health has been an area of focus and interest of hers since she began her fellowship in endocrinology. Her belief that women’s life course has great impact on all aspects of their health (mental & physical), has been a guiding principle in her approach to women’s health issues. She started at the Kalyani Medical Centre (the oldest and most revered institution for all things related to women’s health), and this has shaped her thinking to focus on critical issues like gestational diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome, menopause and non-communicable diseases in women.
Dr Usha Sriram has been a strong voice for women’s health and empowerment and she believes that her work has just begun and much needs to be done.
She strongly believes that “It is truly a blessing to be able to be a part of someone’s life and be of some help and comfort during their most vulnerable times”.
What Diwas does for women in India
Team Diwas is committed to improving women’s health through several programs, both long-term and short-term, with a specific focus on promoting the diagnosis and prevention of diabetes in women.
Sahodaris, a program for women from low-resource settings, has been underway and supports prevention and care of diabetes for women.
Women from the lower strata of society in urban India, between the ages 20 to 75+ years, with type 2 diabetes are at increased risk from diabetes and its complications.
The Sahodaris program aims to provide standard diabetic care for a community of about 1000 women from this segment, completely free of charge.
The program also supports the development of a community support group through education, awareness and capacity-building, and empowers this group to take the work forward in the future in their community.
Diwas has been participating in, and conducting conferences and meets to create awareness, disseminate findings from its programs and educate healthcare providers on the various facets of Diabetes in Women. Diwas had trained over 1000 women physicians on the nuances of diabetes care, prevention of complications and provided them with toolkits to do community awareness.
In 2020, we launched a pregnancy planning toolkit called 'Be Ready'.
We are increasingly becoming aware that the first 1000 days and particularly the first 9 months of a person’s life will shape their health for life.
The young women of today in their reproductive years have many health issues due to changing lifestyles, urbanization, globalization and stresses of modern living. This makes them particularly susceptible to diabetes, high blood pressure, overweight and obesity, depression, and many develop complications during their pregnancy.
'Be Ready' will serve as a pregnancy-preparedness toolkit for young women.