400 Units of vitamin D recommended daily for all infants – deliberations at national Pediatric Endocrinology conference

Medanta LogoThe Indian Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Endocrinology (ISPAE) has been conducting its national conference from Nov 27 to 29th, at the Epicentre, Gurgaon. The conference was  organised by the Endocrinology division of the Medanta Hospital, in association with the Indian Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Endocrinology (ISPAE), the European Society for Pediatric Endocrinology (ESPE) and the Asia Pacific Pediatric Endocrine Society (APPES). Dr Ganesh Jevalikar, pediatric endocrinologist at Medanta hospital, is the organising secretary of the meeting, under the chairmanship of Dr Ambrish Mithal, Chairman of Endocrinology Dept at Medanta, and Dr PSN Menon, Advisor and former President, ISPAE. The chief guest at the inauguration, Dr Naresh Trehan, Chairman, Medanta Medicity, announced the plans to start a new super speciality children’s hospital in the national capital region.

There were international speakers from Germany, France, Australia and New Zealand, and a galaxy of national speakers. The subjects being deliberated upon included matters of crucial public health importance. Dr Craig Munns from Sydney spoke on rickets due to nutritional deficiency of vitamin D and calcium, while sharing the recommendations of the new global consensus guidelines on treatment and prevention of rickets, and informed the audience that all infants must get 400 Units of vitamin D daily in the first year of life. Dr Sudha Rao from Wadia hospital Mumbai spoke on the long term consequences of childhood cancer therapies, highlighting the role of the endocrinologist in assuring a bright future in terms of reproductive and bone health, among other issues.

Dr Anju Virmani from Delhi and Dr Jean-Claude Carel from Paris highlighted that due to the high young population of our country, a significant proportion of the world’s diabetic children live in India. The needs of the child with diabetes are different from those of adults; multiple insulin injections, and finger pricks for blood sugar testing have to be integrated with school, play, birthdays and festivals. Dr Meena Mohan from Coimbatore explained that many families become the support source for newly affected families. The intensive support requires generation of a lot more trained manpower in India than what is available at present.

Dr Paul Hoffman from New Zealand shared his large body of research on the long term consequences of low birth weight. He highlighted that in addition to immediate neonatal issues, these babies are at risk in the future for diabetes, cardiovascular and hypertensive disease.  Good nutrition to the pregnant woman safeguards against low birth and prematurity, and is the need of the hour in our public health programs.