To view this page ensure that Adobe Flash Player version 11.1.0 or greater is installed.

Diabetes Special Report The Dhaka Declaration— Bringing Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) to Center Stage Faruque Pathan, 1 Sarita Bajaj, 2 Dina Shrestha, 3 Syed Abbas Raza, 3 Noel Somasundaram, 3 Tofail Ahmed, 4 Rakesh Sahay, 5 and Sanjay Kalra 3 1. President, South Asian Federation of Endocrine Societies; 2. Founder President, South Asian Federation of Endocrine Societies; 3. Vice Presidents, South Asian Federation of Endocrine Societies; 4. Founder Secretary, South Asian Federation of Endocrine Societies; 5. Secretary, South Asian Federation of Endocrine Societies Abstract This special report covers The Dhaka Declaration, an initiative of the five-nation South Asian Federation of Endocrine Societies (SAFES). Involving Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, this endocrine association aims to bring gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) to the center stage of clinical medicine as well as public health. The Dhaka Declaration provides guidance for advocacy, research, and guideline formation in the field of GDM. Through these activities, SAFES hopes to bring about universal screening, uniformity in diagnosis, optimal management, and regular follow-up of GDM. Keywords Advocacy, diabetes, GDM pre- and postnatal management, guideline formation for GDM, pregnancy, research, screening Disclosure: Faruque Pathan, Sarita Bajaj, Dina Shrestha, Syed Abbas Raza, Noel Somasundaram, Tofail Ahmed, Rakesh Sahay, and Sanjay Kalra have no conflicts of interest to disclose. No funding was received for the publication of this article. Open Access: This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License, which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, adaptation, and reproduction provided the original author(s) and source are given appropriate credit. Received: October 14, 2015 Published Online: October 25, 2015 Citation: US Endocrinology, 2015;11(2):81–2 Correspondence: Sanjay Kalra, MD, DM, Department of Endocrinology, Bharti Hospital, Karnal, India. E: South Asia—Diabetes Capital South Asia is known as the Diabetes Capital of the World, and justifiably so. Home to three of the world’s largest populations of people living with diabetes (India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan), it also includes nations with an equally high prevalence of diabetes (Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, and Sri  Lanka). With diabetes having entrenched itself in the South Asian populace, it is now considered an endemic, rather than an epidemic. 1 Gestational Diabetes Mellitus Epidemics of disease usually require interventions that are designed to show rapid control that may be short term. Endemics, on the other hand, need long-term measures that help contain the illness and lead to long- lasting benefit as well. It is in this context that the five-nation South Asian Federation of Endocrine Societies (SAFES) released The Dhaka Declaration in April 2015. Led by Professor Hajera Mahtab of Bangladesh, experts from Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal, India, and Bangladesh identified gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) as a focus area for the coming 2 years. 2 The Dhaka Declaration—From Thoughts to Words GDM was chosen because of its public health importance, 3 the opportunity it provides for interspecialty and interprofessional collaboration, and the Tou ch MEd ica l MEdia availability of evidence-backed nonpharmacologic and pharmacologic interventions that can favorably impact health-related outcomes. 4 Most importantly, GDM was identified to have a transgenerational influence on health, affecting not only the woman with GDM, during and after pregnancy, but also the offspring, in utero, in infancy, and later in adult life as well. The Dhaka Declaration lists various aims and describes the activities to be conducted across all South Asian countries. In the declaration, SAFES resolves to facilitate universal screening, uniformity in diagnosis, and optimal management and follow-up of GDM, including appropriate usage of insulin. It also proposes indicators or markers to assess progress in this field. From Words to Action Six months after the Dhaka Declaration was released, SAFES met again to plan a course of action. At a meeting held on October 1, 2015, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, 30 participants shared a situational analysis of GDM in their home countries and prepared a research map to help identify missing gaps in knowledge related to GDM. The South Asian girl child was at the center stage. Focused group discussions on preconception management, screening, and antenatal management, as well as postpartum follow-up, were held. Emphasis was laid on creating a research-friendly environment and facilitating pan-South Asian research in an inclusive manner. 81