Imphal, August 1: The Indian Medical Association under its Rise and Shine campaign organized a continued medical education (CME) program in Imphal to discuss the growing epidemic of Vitamin D deficiency amongst the Indian population. The CME was attended by over 50 leading doctors of the city.
Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin plays a crucial role in calcium and bone metabolism. It protects the body against cognitive disorders, diabetes, cancer and CVDs like congestive heart failure and left ventricular hypertrophy. The major problem area lies in the fact that that a large section of the population is not aware of this deficiency and its causes, symptoms, and consequences. As the deficiency is found to be present in over 80-90% of Indians, it has become a huge cause of concern amongst the medical fraternity.
The Rise and Shine campaign is a National movement initiated last year by the Indian Medical Association under an unconditional educational grant from USV. It aims to create sensitivity amongst its 2.5-lakh members across 30 states and 1700 branches over a period of two years about the need to raise awareness of Vitamin D deficiency. The campaign aimed at providing soft skills training to all doctors on topics such as public speaking, managing patient records online, adapting to the new mobile app culture, how to break the news of death to a patient’s family has received an overwhelming response till now.
Addressing the CME, Dr. Salam Ranabir Singh, Assistant Professor of General Medicine, Regional Institute of Medical Sciences, Imphal said, “The constant rise in the incidence of Vitamin D deficiency is a major cause of concern for the medical fraternity. Majority of the patients who come to me with symptoms such as fatigue, muscle pain and weakness, muscle cramps, joint pain, weight gain, high blood pressure, restless sleep, poor concentration, headaches, etc are diagnosed with hypovitaminosis D deficiency. Adding to this, Dr. S.S Agarwal – National President and Padma Shri Awardee Dr. KK Aggarwal – Honorary Secretary General of the Indian Medical Association in a joint statement said, “One of the common causes of Vitamin D deficiency is inadequate sun exposure and the consumption of a poor and predominantly vegetarian diet. Heart health is closely associated with Vitamin D. Its deficiency is a risk factor for various cardiovascular ailments such as ischemic heart diseases, congestive heart failure, heart attacks and strokes.Most of the tissues in the human body have receptors of vitamin D and its deficiency is bound to interfere with the normal functioning of organs.People must be encouraged to consume Vitamin D-rich foods, spend more time out in the sun, and take supplements as and when required.”
Dr. Ambrish Mithal, Chairman, Metabolic Disorders & Endocrinology, Medanta – the Medicity and Dr. Sachindra Laishram, Hony. Secretary, IMA Manipur branch in a joint statement said, “There’s very little source of Vitamin D in our diets and thus sunlight is the main source of Vitamin D for humans. There are various factors which are responsible for the synthesis of vitamin D in the body: duration and time of exposure to sunlight, latitude, atmospheric pollution, and skin pigmentation. All doctors must counsel their patients on the importance of sunbathing, consuming Vitamin D rich food and taking necessary supplementation to cure the ailment. This can help in preventing the rising incidence Vitamin D deficiency which is fast becoming a global and national health issue.We are extremely happy that this initiative has been taken by the IMA National body to educate doctors .