India is experiencing a burgeoning epidemic of diabetes and related disorders. India is one of the diabetes capitals of the world because it has very large number of diabetic patients in any one country, only next to China.
The Diabetes Unit at the KEM Hospital and the KEM Hospital Research Centre is the first dedicated diabetes centre in Western India, started in 1987. We provide comprehensive diabetes care through our Pankuwar Firodiya Daycare Centre, and the Kamalnayan Bajaj Diabetology Research Centre which is specialised to investigate peculiarities of diabetes in Indians. We described the novel finding that the small looking Indians are thin by BMI criteria but fat when you measure body fat, and that this characteristic is present at birth (Thin-fat Indian baby). aternal nutritional and metabolic factors which contribute to this. We also described that maternal vitamin B12 deficiency and excess folate levels are related to 'fetal programming' of diabetes. This offers a novel approach to reduce fetal programming of diabetes, a trial is now in progress in the adolescent girls and boys in the villages around Pune. Our research activities fit nicely with the activities of the KEM Hospital Research Centre which was started with the vision of improving the health of the population, especially mother and babies by promoting research and local self-sufficiency.
It is not difficult to see why we believe that the health of young girls determines the health of the nation.