OVER 100 Indian students have enrolled for a UK university’s online course on supporting diabetic people, and leading new research into diabetes.
Birmingham City University launched its new master’s degree in Advancing Diabetes Care in partnership with the University Hospitals Birmingham Diabetes Team earlier 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,” said Dr Shishank Vikram, consul general of India, Birmingham.
“Now we have seen the spread of this disease across all age groups, impacting people with different social backgrounds.
“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.”
According to data 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 practice 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 of 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.”
Professor Wasim Hanif, consultant physician and head of diabetes service at University Hospital Birmingham, said the new course was crucial as diabetes affected at least 463 million people across the world.
“Globally every seven seconds somebody dies from diabetes, including in countries like India,” noted the professor of diabetes and endocrinology.
“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.” Professor Wasim Hanif, consultant physician and head of diabetes service at University Hospital Birmingham.