I am delighted to announce the launch of W2W [Women to Women] a much needed diabetes awareness initiative for women of all ages including women at -risk and women with diabetes.
1 out 7 women currently has diabetes and data reveals a trend that does not bode well for us. The window of opportunity is now and this pioneering program will equip women with the required information, motivation and tools to prevent diabetes and its complication – Heart Disease.
Why only women? This condition is more common, challenging and takes a nasty avatar in women compounded by the lack of health seeking behavior of women adding to the complexity of this treating and managing this disease.
A recent study done by our group ACEER Health [Associates in clinical Endocrinology, Education, Research and Health Promotion] has shown that awareness is seriously lacking among our patients and every effort needs to be made to fill the knowledge gaps. We also believe that more informed the person, the more engaged she is in her health and the outcomes are clearly better.
Women are the “main switch” in every family. They care, share, nurture, multitask and can be the true change agents that a community needs. Empowering a woman transforms the family, the community and the nation. With this in mind, W2W will focus on 4 distinct groups of women (Unique 4) with varying degrees of risk for diabetes.
Prevention is the cornerstone of this program with focus on Teenage and college girls who form our first group of the Unique 4, here health promotion includes healthy eating and active living to promote positive behaviors. Reaching out to the Gen Y, will be primarily through Social Media with in-person events periodically.
Gestational diabetes is reaching an alarmingly high proportion in India with one out of every six pregnant woman at risk for diabetes. Children of women with GDM are at very high risk for obesity, visceral adiposity and Type 2 diabetes. The follow-up of women with GDM is unacceptably poor. Targeting the women with GDM and their children is our one real chance at primary prevention.
Women of all ages have more diabetes both in urban and rural areas. This multiplies the burden of heart disease and other complications manyfold. Aggressive glucose control, attention to diet, activity, weight, stress and blood pressure are needed but is seriously lacking. This is our big chance.
W2W will work through all available avenues and with all the target groups. The internet, social media, TV, radio, newsletters, one on one, in groups and with many partners.
The date is September 14, 2013- be prepared and ready for an engaging, extraordinary show that will highlight the efforts to address this disease through the W2W Movement! The effort is woman centered and is meant to make women thrive without preventable health problems like diabetes and heart disease. By harnessing all available technologies and strategies, we hope to galvanize women and seize the moment!
Please join us, partner with us and be a part of the solution.
Dr. Usha Sriram