Sanofi India Spreads Awareness About Diabetes and Enables Healthy Lifestyle Among Students & Adults

Diabetes is one of this century’s most significant global health emergencies, ranking among the ten leading causes of mortality and cardiovascular disease (CVD), respiratory disease, and cancer. India is known as the 'Diabetes' capital of the world. 

In November 2021, reports said over 74 million people in India have diabetes, reference a study by the International Diabetes Federation. 


Another 40 million adults have impaired glucose tolerance and a high risk of developing Type-2 diabetes.


Additionally, more than half which is 53.1 % of people living with diabetes in India are unaware of their condition. 


Earlier type 2 diabetes was prevalent among adults but now it is witnessed frequently among children. According to the Diabetes Altas, in 2021 there were 282,832 children and adolescents reported to be suffering from Type-1 diabetes in India. 


A healthy lifestyle is key to delaying or preventing the onset of Type 2 diabetes. Awareness about healthy lifestyles among school children including the need to follow a healthy diet and be active needs to be addressed to prevent the risk factors for type 2 diabetes. 


To do the same, in 2019 Sanofi India Limited launched the KiDS (Kids & Diabetes in Schools) program that provides diabetes education and promotes a healthy lifestyle in the school environment and the communities. The aim is to ensure a healthy tomorrow for future generations. 


Through various engaging activities, the initiative spread awareness about the prevention of diabetes amongst students and adults alike. For their efforts and impact on the ground, Sanofi India Limited won the Healthcare (Non-COVID) award at the 8th CSR Impact Awards, India CSR Summit. This is Asia’s largest CSR Forum hosted by CSRBOX and Dalmia Bharat Foundation.


Implementation methodology


Launched in 2019, Sanofi India aimed to build awareness of diabetes, and engage school children and the public to enable behavior change. For this, they conducted orientation in schools and spread principals to build ownership and better execution. 


Awareness campaigns at schools.


They built the capacity of Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK) doctors in Non-Communicable Diseases, namely – Diabetes, Hypertension, Cardiovascular diseases, and Cancer, and trained to educate children. 


Behavior change activities were conducted for children to engage with their families. The STEP Challenge & Sakhar Free Shukrawar were a part of this. The STEP challenge encouraged students to live a healthy life by incorporating walking into their routine and covering 10,000 steps daily for three months. 


The Sakhar Free Shukrawar program engaged students through cooking. Students were taught recipes with healthy substitutes for sugar and promoted healthy eating.


Further, public awareness was raised through social media and mass media campaigns, and other engaging events. 


Impactful change


Through mass media campaigns, KiDS initiative reached approximately 21.4 million (over 6 months, repeat listeners) people. The organization partnered with local FM channels – BIG FM & Indigo Radio and reached 9.5 lakh people out of the total population of 16 lakh in Goa. 


The awareness programs impacted 150,000 schoolchildren. The STEP challenge had 2400 participants with 1200 parent-child teams. Together, the teams walked over 160 million steps. 


Working closely with the education department has allowed the KiDS program to be the most active among students. The initiative drives home diabetes awareness and preventable risk factors. 


Roshini Muthukumar

Roshini Muthukumar, a native of Chennai, started her career as a content writer but made a switch to journalism to pursue her passion. She has experience writing about human interest stories, innovative technology, entrepreneurs, research blogs, and more. Previously, Roshini has done internships with The Hindu, Metroplus and worked as a correspondent with The Better India.