Abbott, ITS and FOGSI Join Hands To Raise Awareness On The Importance Of Thyroid Screening In Pregnant Women

The event was held at St. Regis is Lower Parel with Dr. Nandita Palshetkar, Dr. Shashank Joshi and Dr. Srirupa Das from Abbott addressing the audience.

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Abbott, Indian Thyroid Society (ITS) and The Federation of Obstetric and Gynaecological Societies of India (FOGSI) held a thyroid awareness meet at St. Regis in Lower Parel at Tuesday, July 22. 

Dr. Nandita Palshetkar kickstarted the event by saying, 

"Thyroid is as common as diabetes but not given due recognition."  

Dr. Shashank Joshi Secretary, Indian Thyroid Society (ITS) said, 

“Given how treatable thyroid disorders are, and how widespread they are, there is a need for greater awareness of this condition. One can liken thyroid disorders to an iceberg: what we see as physicians and patients are just the tip of the actual burden and implications of this often hidden and invisible condition. Low awareness results in low penetration of testing on-ground, despite the fact that advances in thyroid testing have made it more accurate, more accessible and more affordable than before.

Detection in the first trimester is particularly important. ITS guidelines recommend that testing should be conducted at the first prenatal visit or at the time of confirmation of pregnancy and that diagnosis should be based on trimester-specific TSH thresholds."

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Dr. Shashank Joshi further observes, “Late detection not only increases the chance that surgical intervention is required, but it also leads to a higher risk of irreversible damage caused by complications. Thus, ITS and FOGSI strongly advocate thyroid screening in the first trimester of pregnancy and in maintaining trimester-specific TSH at the upper threshold of 2.5 mI/L in the first trimester and 3.0 mI/L in the second and third trimester for better maternal and fetal outcomes.

Awareness plays a critical role in the fight against under-detection. Under its campaign, Making India Thyroid Aware (MITA) and in partnership with Abbott India, ITS seeks to drive awareness amongst doctors and patients for early diagnosis and treatment of thyroid disorders amongst women in the age group of 25 to 45 years. Through a range of initiatives driving education among doctors, making Indian women aware of thyroid disorders and facilitating early detection, MITA has reached over 50,000 doctors and 5.6 million patients nationwide since 2011. Recently, Abbott and ITS launched a digital campaign to procure pledges from doctors across India in support of MITA. In recognition of each pledge and to further diagnostic access for underprivileged women, Abbott will donate an equal number of free screening tests to an NGO. More than 8,500 doctor pledges have been received till date."

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Dr. Srirupa, Medical Director, Abbott adds, “Abbott is a thought leader in thyroid therapy and has been a knowledge and education partner to ITS to drive awareness of thyroid disorders in India. In the coming year, Abbott, ITS and FOGSI plan to educate another 20,000 physicians and gynaecologists, while also driving awareness among 10 million thyroid patients through digital, print and in-clinic initiatives. Combining the skills and resources of multiple stakeholders, this campaign can lead to greater awareness, strengthening of health services and eventually better disease control. With access to the physician and gynaecologists bodies to cascade changes swiftly, we can raise awareness through initiatives at scale, ensuring they reach both medical and patient communities.” 

The event was concluded by Dr. Nandita saying, 

Thyroid medication is simple and treatable what is needed is advocacy and awareness. 

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