Pune: A first of its kind Pan-India Certificate Course in Management of Thyroid Disorders was launched by Chellaram Diabetes Institute (CDI), Pune, with 42 participants enrolled at this centre, in consonance with Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) today. The course is a unique 4 months executive on the job program that aims to build capacity amongst primary care physicians to address management, counselling, referral and prevention of Thyroid Disorders.
Thyroid diseases are among the commonest endocrine disorders worldwide. In India it has been estimated that about 42 million people suffer from thyroid disorders, majorly because the entire population, and not just the Himalayan belt, is prone to iodine deficiency disorders (IDD) due to deficiency of iodine in the soil of the subcontinent. The overall prevalence of IDD is above 10% in India. IDD in pregnancy can lead to spontaneous abortions and stillbirths. It can have profound effects on the growing fetus and lead to congenital goiter and cretinism in the newborn. However, the effects can be observed during childhood when it can affect the growth and development of children, as also during adulthood when it can affect the productivity.
Hypothyroidism and Autoimmune thyroiditis are common disorders in India, and over the years its incidences seem to be on the rise. A cross-sectional, multi-center study in eight major cities of India noted the prevalence of undetected hypothyroidism of 3.5% among the adult population. It was thrice as common in females as compared to males. Subclinical or mild hypothyroidism was present in 8% of cases. Hyperthyroidism, though not as common as hypothyroidism, is still quite prevalent. In the above-mentioned eight-city study, the prevalence of subclinical hyperthyroidism was 1.27% and thyrotoxicosis was 0.72% among the adult population.
In the case of Autoimmune thyroiditis population studies have suggested that about 16.7% of adult subjects have anti-thyroid peroxidase (TPO) antibodies and about 12.1% have anti-thyroglobulin (TG) antibodies. In the same study, when subjects with abnormal thyroid function were excluded, the prevalence of anti-TPO and anti-TG antibodies was 9.5% and 8.5% respectively.
Thyroid cancer data available from the cancer registries reveals a prevalence of 0.1%–0.2%. The age-adjusted incidence rates of thyroid cancer per 100,000 are about 1 for males and 1.8 for females as per the Mumbai Cancer Registry, which covered a population of 9.81 million subjects.
Officially launching the second cycle of the course, Dr. A.G. Unnikrishnan, CEO, Chellaram Diabetes Institutesaid,“There is a need to empower physicians and primary care practitioners in managing thyroid diseases. The CCMTD is a unique endeavour to facilitate the appropriate diagnosis and management of common thyroid diseases. I hope that this capacity building program translates into better health for the millions suffering from thyroid diseases.”
Prof. D. Prabhakaran, Vice-President (Research), PHFIsaid, “There is a high burden of thyroid disorders in India with more than 42 million individual affected by some form of thyroid disorder. Hypothyroidism, the commonest form of thyroid disorder, if not detected early (particularly in children) can result in multiple health problems including severe mental retardation. Moreover, the awareness among the general public is poor and doctors at primary and secondary care level do not give enough attention to thyroid disorders.Early diagnosis and treatment is the cornerstone of management of thyroid disorders. We have therefore developed a comprehensive on the job training program for primary care physicians (PCPs) ‘Certificate Course in Management of Thyroid Disorders (CCMTD)’.This course is a timely and well-designed compendium that will help tackle the challenges of disease detection, management, and further familiarizing doctors with advancements in the subject. I hope that the successful doctors from this courseare adequately empowered to tackle this silent but important health problem of India.”
In his address Dr Sandeep Bhalla, Programme Director-Training,Centre for Chronic Conditions and InjuriesPHFI said, “Recently various studies have indicated that thyroid disease should be considered during routine evaluation of the India’ssusceptible group and should be followed by appropriate detection and treatment. The findings support the usefulness of training, screening and management for early detection that will benefit in preventing adverse health outcomes in the population such as Osteoporosis, Cardiovascular diseases and Hyperlipidemia.At PHFI it is our endeavour to help strengthen education, training, and research in the area of Public Health. During the course ofCCMTD Cycle I; there was a felt need in the healthcare sector; induced by Primary Care Physicians for the continuation as well as expansion of the program. CCMTD Cycle II is being designed on the same objectives and rationale and is being launched in 35 Regional Training Centres and will train around 1000 Doctors with the ultimate aim of improving the health outcomes of people.”
The Certificate Course in Management of Thyroid Disorder is an on-job training program with study modules spanning over four consecutive months, with once a month contact session. These sessions will be conducted at 35Regional Centres (covering 18 states,1 Union territory and 30 cities) across India. The course has been designed by a panel of 15National Experts and will be delivered by 35Regional Faculty across India. The program has been conceptualized to train Primary Care Physicians (PCP) with its main objective is to enhance knowledge, skills and core competencies of primary care physicians to address case management, counselling, referral & prevention of thyroid disorders in patients. This will enable early diagnosis and prompt referrals of patients and establish a referral linkage pattern. The course utilizes a variety of teaching/learning techniques. Training in management of thyroid disorders will be complemented by providing the participants with various distinct case studies and challenging assignments.The course will be interactive with the inclusion of hands-on activities for the participants. Videos to highlight certain points will be a distinctive feature of the course.It will be offered on a modular basis with judicious mix of case-studies, group discussion and direct teaching by eminent experts, with inbuilt flexibility to accommodate participant’s requirements.
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