About Us


The Diabetes Unit (DU) of KEM hospitals, Pune, is Western India’s pioneering facility dedicated to diabetes research, care, management, diabuddy concept, social media interaction and patient adoption scheme. We are today 29 years old.

India is reputedly one of the world’s capitals of diabetes and coronary heart diseases. The Diabetes Unit of KEM Hospital(link to KEM Hospital website), Pune owes its origin to the pioneering ideas of Dr Chittaranjan Yajnik, who foresaw the epidemic of diabetes right from his student days at the BJ Medical College, Pune. Noticing a distinct difference in the characteristics of diabetic patients in India and the descriptions given in western text books, he felt it necessary to develop a deeper and more holistic understanding of Indians’ susceptibility to the disease. He felt only than it would be possible to plan appropriate interventions for treatment and prevention. That led to his realization that research had to be an integral part of a facility which offers treatment of the condition.

The story begins with the Welcome Diabetes Study which started in 1987. The study established that Indians get diabetes at a younger age and at lower body mass index (BMI, a measure of body weight in relation to height) but is associated with ‘central obesity’ as measured by a larger waist to hip ratio. Further research showed that Indians have higher fat in the body for each kg weight compared to the European populations. These observations at once explained the heightened susceptibility of the Indians to diabetes and related disorders. (Click here to know more about our research activities). It was suggested that this will all be explained by genes inherited from parents but research in the Unit showed that nutrition of the baby while growing in the mother’s womb has a substantial role in determining these factors.

Our research findings have made significant contributions to the management of diabetes. Our clinical services provide treatment and counselling appropriate to the disease profile of the patient and help him (or her) to manage his (or her) life with confidence and minimum dependence. In addition, we are active in spreading awareness in the community.

Why Is Our Work Important?

Did you know that?

1) India has 74 million people with diabetes; the second highest number in the world after China.

2) More than half of those who have diabetes remain undiagnosed!

3) Indians develop diabetes at a younger age and at lower BMI levels.

4) 24 million Indians have prediabetes.

5) India is home to the second largest number of children and adolescents aged 0-19 years with type 1 diabetes in the world (128,500), after the USA.

6) ~15% women in India develop gestational diabetes.

7) 1 million deaths in India are attributable to diabetes per year.

Worldwide, substantial resources (money, time and manpower) have been invested in research, a cure for diabetes remains elusive.

Those who have been diagnosed with diabetes experience significant health concerns. Diabetes affects nearly every crucial organ in the body and if not properly managed, it results in the deterioration of quality of life for not just the affected individual, but also that of his (or her) family. The financial, psychological and emotional costs can be high.

Therefore, at the Diabetes Unit of KEM Hospitals, we believe that it is vital for clinical management of diabetes and its complications to go hand in hand with research for a better understanding of disease profile to go hand in hand. Research helps in getting a more precise understanding of the disease profile which helps in guiding clinical interventions for better efficiency and effectiveness in the management of the disease.


Technically, diabetes has no cure. But with proper medication, adjustments to lifestyles and diet, and family support, affected individuals can lead normal and productive lives. The Diabetes Unit of KEM Hospitals takes a comprehensive and holistic approach to helping our patients. Our aim is to empower patients to manage their illness with minimum dependence on doctors and clinical support.

There is no one-size-fits all approach for the management of diabetes. The disease profile of each patient is unique, and it is necessary to consider the disease type, BMI of the patient, family history, family background, and various other factors to provide a balanced treatment and management schedule.


Diabetes is one of the most widespread medical problems of our time. The number of people affected by it is increasing at such a rate that many experts even tend to regard it as pandemic. Research is crucial to the endeavour to develop innovative and cost-effective approaches to treatment and management of the disease.

Diabetes research spans a wide range of sub-areas: Prevention, Treatment, Screening, Diagnostic, Quality of life, Genetic Studies and its Epidemiology At the Diabetes Unit, our research is focused on improving understanding of people’s susceptibility to diabetes and their response to treatment, which will help us to improve medication and care protocols, and mitigating risks to make day to day living easier for people with the disease.

Diabetes Awareness And Education

Knowledge Empowers

Education and awareness are indispensable to the prevention, care and management of diabetes. Through various lectures and seminars, counselling of patients and their families, peer support groups, and various outreach activities, we help to raise awareness among both patients, their immediate families and the larger community.

For Patients

1) We counsel patients on the importance of self-management and a long-term commitment to their good health.

2) Through education and information, we strive to enable patients (and their families) to participate in decisions regarding their health.

3) We motivate patients to take responsibility for their health.

4) We encourage patients to regularly attend education sessions that will help them to increase their knowledge of disease management and keep themselves informed of recent developments.

For the public

At the Diabetes Unit, we believe that it is important to invest in efforts to spread diabetes awareness in the community. Despite its high prevalence, there is insufficient awareness and understanding about the disease. The unfortunate fact is that for the most part, Type 2 diabetes is preventable. Thus, our community education programmes focus on

1) Increasing awareness of the disease, as well as its resulting complications.

2) Increase awareness of the risk factors.

3) Providing advice on lifestyle changes that promote good health and wellbeing.

4) Educating school and college students, and other young people, about the benefits of an active and healthy lifestyle and the.

5) Free screening camps in remote areas (Is this correct?)

Knowledge Empowers

Diabetes is one of the fastest growing non-communicable diseases in society today. The need for support and services to people with diabetes is a crucial healthcare need. At the Diabetes Unit, we are committed to providing patient-centred care and research to enhance our knowledge and understanding that will ultimately benefit those with diabetics. The people working with us are involved in

1) Treatment and Clinical Services

2) Research

3) Counselling

4) Diabetes Education

5) Nutrition and Diets

6) Fundraising