Rise above all: Uttarakhand Diabetes Awareness Initiative

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Dateline Dehradun: In July 2018 when Rekha Negi set up Uttarakhand Diabetes Awareness Initiative (UDAI), a community support for those living with type-1 diabetes in Uttarakhand, little did she know that it would impact those they connect with.

A certified diabetes educator from NDEP, Rekha lives by example. A person with Type-1 diabetes herself, for three years the young lady struggled with health issues, wrong diagnosis and fluctuating sugar level. It took months for a doctor to pin it on a chronic autoimmune condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin making the body incapable of managing blood glucose levels i.e. Type-1 diabetes.

Recent studies reveal a constant rise in type-1 diabetes that appears in early childhood and young adults too. Rekha Negi tells me, “Diabetes management takes a great amount of learning and effort at the time of diagnosis when the parents along with the child have to accept and take on the challenge of this lifelong condition.” She further adds, “The stigma around the disorder makes it difficult for the person as well as their near and dear ones to cope up with a  condition which if not controlled can lead to other health complications.”

As a community UDAI emphasizes on making people aware about the type-1d condition, motivate others and help them master their diabetes management. Rekha says, “we educate our fighters and their families about diabetes management to make them stronger and more positive. We counsel them on physical, mental, and emotional health too. We as a community, support each type-1 warrior so that they can thrive and overcome hurdles.”

Over the years, Uttarakhand Diabetes Awareness Initiative (UDAI) despite fighting it own challenges due to geographical and economic conditions of the hill-state are putting their best foot forward to reach every individual with T1d and provide him or her with psycho-social and financial support as well.

This close-knit team of T1d members, parents of children with type-1 diabetes, diabetes educators, dietician, counselors and endocrinologist are living up to their motto “Rise above all.