UK university offers new online diabetes course, 100 Indian students join

UK university offers new online diabetes course, 100 Indian students join
UK university's newly-launched online course ( Representational photo) Press Trust of India | Oct 3, 2020 - 7:26 p.m. IST
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LONDON: Around 100 Indian students have enrolled for a UK university's newly-launched online course focussed on supporting people living with diabetes and leading new research into the condition. Birmingham City University launched its new Master’s Degree in Advancing Diabetes Care in partnership with the University Hospitals Birmingham Diabetes Team this week.

The course is aimed at helping healthcare professionals develop specialist skills and techniques to enhance the level of care provided to people living with diabetes. The first cohort of students taking up their places on the course are based in India and are sponsored by Mumbai-headquartered pharmaceutical company Lupin Pharmaceuticals.

"When I was an undergraduate student of medicine, at that point in time in India we used to read about diabetes in the subcategory of lifestyle diseases. Now we have seen the spread of this disease across all age groups, impacting people with different social backgrounds,” said Dr Shishank Vikram, Consul General of India, Birmingham.

"At this particular juncture, the launch of the MSc is a very important step which will go a long way in not only providing quality training but in the exchange of best practice between the two sides. The students that are joining this course are all medical doctors and I wish them the best,” he said.

Diabetic patients in India

According to figures quoted by the university, India is home to nearly 77 million people with diabetes and the course has been designed to further research and development into diabetes care, particularly with COVID-19 causing a disproportionate mortality rate for people with diabetes.

It is open to healthcare professionals including general practitioners (GPs), hospital-based doctors, specialist nurses and practise nurses, midwives, dietitians, podiatrists, pharmacists, psychologists and other roles across healthcare sectors.

"By providing training to medical doctors who specialise in diabetes care, we know what this is going to do, is to reach out to those communities who are most impacted by diabetes,” said Professor Philip Plowden, Vice-Chancellor at Birmingham City University.

"The skills and knowledge that you develop on this course are going to result in evidenced-based effective diabetes care. We know the impact of this is going to be felt for generations," said Plowden. Professor Wasim Hanif, Professor of Diabetes & Endocrinology, Consultant Physician, & Head of Service in Diabetes at University Hospital Birmingham, said the reason the new course is important is that there are currently 463 million people living with diabetes globally.

"Globally every seven seconds somebody dies from diabetes, including in countries like India. To give you some perspective on these things, every day nearly 12,000 people die from diabetes. The aim of this course is to try and give the most advanced skills to healthcare professionals trying to manage diabetes,” he said.

The university says it hopes the brand new course will meet the needs of interdisciplinary healthcare practitioners working in partnership with people living with diabetes. 

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