New Delhi: Apollo Hospitals on Monday announced that it has signed a MoU (memorandum of understanding) with Stanford University for the Stanford South Asian Translational Heart Initiative (SSAATHI) related to South Asians and Chronic Disease.
Together, both parties will attempt to delve deeper into the causes associated with cardiovascular risk in diabetic and pre-diabetic South Asians. The MoU is the first step towards a long-term partnership that will develop and grow over time, according to a statement.
Conceptualized with the overall objective to reduce cardiovascular mortality in South Asians, the study will capture data on pre-diabetes and insulin resistance, help physicians understand early patterns of glycaemic imbalance, help them understand the epigenetic impact on genetically similar populations, and achieve targeted lifestyle and medical therapy.
The collaboration will at a later stage look at moving towards a larger Framingham type study that was developed with the objective of identifying common factors or characteristics contributing to chronic vascular diseases in Massachusetts.
Studies have indicated that South Asians have four times higher rate of myocardial infraction (MI) and 40% higher rate of mortality after first MI. A WHO report states that there could be over 100 million diabetics by 2030 and South Asians will have 60% higher diabetes (DM) rates in US.
Both the organizations are driven by the same objective of strengthening and broadening research on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), while also promoting the need for healthy living.
Apollo’s rich experience in public health service and research expertise associated with guidance from Stanford will help physicians unravel more details on the NCD conundrum and devise necessary preventive interventions to deal with the same, the statement said.
Apollo Hospitals has already embarked on a journey to promote healthy living in India by actively driving the Total Health initiative in a place called Aragonda in Chittor district of Andhra Pradesh. The foundation aims to provide holistic healthcare for the entire community of around 70,000 people across age groups, starting from the birth, through their journey into childhood, adolescence, adulthood and in the latter years of their life. Based on the World Health Organization’s “STEP” approach, the Aragonda programme has covered more than 24,050 people and classified them according to their ten-year risk of getting an NCD, into three basic groups of low risk, moderate risk, and high risk.
Apollo Hospitals has also conceptualized several other unique initiatives including the SHINE Students Health Initiative, a comprehensive programme covering more than 150,000 school children, to promote wellness and preventive health in children.
While initiatives like the collaboration with Stanford are aimed at fighting the rising incidences of NCDs, Apollo Hospitals has also been emphasizing on the need to control communicable diseases, which is also a growing concern. The WHO emphasizes hand hygiene as the one single practice that can reduce diarrheal morbidity by 30%.
In an effort to promote hand hygiene, Apollo Hospitals reportedly set the Guinness World Record in Handwashing when 1,711 staff members of Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, Delhi, recently took part in the Handwash Relay in the hospital practising handwashing using the 7-step method.