Varsity of Dundee brings diabetes screening van to TN villages

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Testing Blood Sugar Levels Diabetes
Testing Blood Sugar Levels Diabetes

The mobile screening van will drive through 25 villages in Tamil Nadu

Villagers in Cheyyar Tulak can expect a visit from the doctor this month. Researchers from Dr. Mohan’s Diabetes Research Foundation (MDRF) and the University of Dundee in Scotland will screen for diabetes from a mobile van.

The air-conditioned, telemedicine van, fully equipped to deliver next generation diabetes screening, will travel across 25 villages in the Kancheepuram district of Tamil Nadu. Tamil Nadu has a high burden of diabetes, show state level disease burden data.

“With diabetes affecting 1 in 12 in India, it’s crucial that something is done to help prevent it at its earliest stages. The mobile clinic has the potential to break the barriers to early diagnosis and we are excited to see the results.”

Dr Guha Pradeepa, Head of Research Operations at MDRF, said, “We are delighted to get back out on the road to help diagnose those who most need it. We began screening in October 2018 and we are building a vast body of knowledge on the impact of diabetes in the most rural areas in southern India. So far, our mobile clinic has also allowed us to gather vital information on data such as lifestyle, physical activity, demographic characteristics, diet and medical history. We can even genotype whole-genomes with the blood samples collected which means genetic factors leading to diabetes can also be identified early.”

The project, named the TREND study, is a sub study of the INSPIRED Project, a £7 million research collaboration between Dr Mohan’s Diabetes Research Foundation (MDRF) in Chennai and the University of Dundee.

As an internationally recognised centre of excellence in diabetes research, the University hosts more than 20 research groups that include some of the world’s most cited scientists.

In 2017 the University of Dundee was awarded funding from the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Global Health programme to establish a major new Scotland-India clinical partnership to combat diabetes, twinning its expertise with Dr Mohan’s Diabetes Specialities Centres and the Madras Diabetes Research Foundation in Chennai, the largest clinical network of diabetes care in India.

Dr Shona Matthew, Manager of the NIHR Global Health research team behind the project, said, “With diabetes affecting 1 in 12 in India, it’s crucial that something is done to help prevent it at its earliest stages. The mobile clinic has the potential to break the barriers to early diagnosis and we are excited to see the results.”