Cultural Competency in Medicine

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India is the largest democracy and the 7th largest country in the world. It covers an area of 32,87,263 sq. km, extending from the snow-covered Himalayas in the north to the tropical rain forests in the south.India's population stands at over a billion, making it the second most populous country of the world.

Introduction

The University of Nalanda, built in the 4th century, was also one of the greatest achievements of ancient India. Ayurveda, the system of traditional medicine, has its origins in India.
Today there are 28 states and 7 Union territories in the country. The Government of India has introduced various health programs and policies. But most of the development indicators paint a grim picture, especially of the remote rural parts, where access to proper health care is still a major challenge. Rural poor often resort to alternative medicines and home remedies, which are cheaper than visiting qualified and trained health professionals. Religious beliefs and superstitions also add to their reluctance.
Among many others, diabetes is one of the fastest growing health problems in India. Estimates show that India is home to around 40 million diabetics. This number gives India the dubious distinction of being home to the largest number of diabetics in any one country.
The high rate of prevalence of complications is disturbing. The picture becomes all the more gloomy with reports that many patients already have these complications at the time of diagnosis. It is a widely accepted fact that more than 35-40% of people show the presence of some diabetes related complications at the time of diagnosis.
India has a distinct need for a comprehensive diabetes care program. ...
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