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Spotlight on kids with Type I diabetes

By Our Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI, APRIL 3. The problems and myths surrounding diabetic children with Type I diabetes were discussed threadbare at a "picnic" organised for such children and their parents by the Delhi Diabetic Research Centre at Children's Park at India Gate today.

The four-hour event, which began around 10 a.m., witnessed participation by over 100 children, who were accompanied by their parents. The event as per the president of DDRC, Dr. A.K. Jhingan, had been organised to felicitate these special children and to provide them a change now that their examinations had ended. While almost all the children presented were felicitated in different ways, about 20 of them who won various competitions organised as part of the event were also awarded.

The children participated in various games - "lemon and spoon" being one of them -- besides races and a painting competition. Folk dances, and puppet and magic shows had also been organised on the occasion. And while the awards to the winners were presented by the Secretary of Delhi Tourism, V.C. Pandey, international table tennis player, Manjit Singh Dua was on hand to encourage the children.

The highlight of the day was an interaction in which the children narrated their problems. While one of them lamented that his school teacher did not allow him to participate in various sports, another claimed that he was often left out of incursions since he was diabetic. Some parents also stressed the need for educating children about diabetes and one of them said that his child, who takes insulin before going to school, had fallen unconscious due to hypoglycemia -- caused by falling blood sugar levels -- and had to be hospitalised as the teachers were not aware that simply administering him one spoon of sugar would have solved the problem.

Dr. Jhingan admitted that this was a general problem and there was a need for the schools and teachers to be informed about the needs of diabetic children. A number of other medical experts also attended the meet and addressed the children. A senior endocrinologist of AIIMS, Dr. Nikhil Tandom, said while a lot of research was taking place on Type II diabetes there was a need for more work on Type I diabetes as well.

And while a visiting psychiatrist stressed the need for understanding the problems of diabetic children and their parents and for finding ways to overcome them, a senior dental surgeon and Head of Department of DDU Hospital, Dr. Zahiruddin, spoke on the need for maintaining dental hygiene to minimise various side-effects of diabetes.

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