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George Institute partners with Oxford University to assess relationship between diabetes and infection

In a meeting held recently at George Institute, it was discussed how it is important to bridge the gap between infection and diabetes and how collection and analysis of real-world data can enable knowledge sharing and pooling of resources to fight the diabetes-infection nexus

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The George Institute for Global Health India in collaboration with Oxford University has launched a unique diabetes and infection network to explore how real-world datasets can be used to evaluate the relationship between diabetes and infection in low- and middle-income countries.

In a meeting held recently at the George Institute for Global Health India office among researchers, clinicians, data scientists, health economists and ethicists from across the globe, especially those working together on the intersection between diabetes and infection, it was discussed how it is important to bridge the gap between infection and diabetes and how collection and analysis of real-world data can enable knowledge sharing and pooling of resources to fight the diabetes-infection nexus.

Some of the organisations which are being represented at the two-day meeting included the Norway India Partnership Initiative; Mahidol-Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit-Thailand; Centre for Study of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism, icddr,b, Bangladesh; Calcutta School of Tropical Medicine, India; Edinburgh University, UK; Christian Medical College, India and Manipal academy of Higher Education, India, among others.

“The major burden of diabetes is now being felt in low-and middle-income countries where the incidence of diabetes is increasing rapidly. Diabetes accelerates susceptibility to infection and exacerbates outcomes for other infectious diseases like tuberculosis, melioidosis and dengue,” said Prof Vivekanand Jha, Executive Director, The George Institute for Global Health, India.

“The workshop will result in the establishment of collaborations to tackle key questions in this domain and identification of specific funding calls to apply to for support,” he added.

“We hope that the diabetes and infection network will enable meaningful engagement with stakeholders interested in this domain, both knowledge users as well as beneficiaries. This engagement will also integrate best practices in collating diabetes and infection data for research and promote innovations in data research. It will encourage the use of big data and artificial intelligence approaches to diabetes and infection and influence the funding landscape,” said Prof Susanna Dunachie, Associate Professor and Consultant in Infectious Diseases, Oxford University and Mahidol-Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit, UK.

Prof S V Madhu, Director and Head of Department, Centre of Study of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism called the coupling of tuberculosis and diabetes in countries like India a double whammy. “The highest number of cases of tuberculosis associated with diabetes are reported from India,” he added.

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