SAHF Lifetime Achievement Award 2017

The Lifetime Achievement Award is awarded annually at the SAHF Annual Diabetes Conference. This year the Rt Hon Keith Vaz MP presented Professor Nikhil Tandon the Lifetime Achievement from the South Asian Health Foundation for devising and implementing quality improvement strategies for improving the care of people with diabetes.

Professor Nikhil Tandon is Professor and Head, Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India. His research interests include epidemiology of chronic disease across the life course, translational research in the delivery of diabetes care and collaborative research in the area of genetics of type 2 diabetes. He has more than 400 peer reviewed publications which have been cited more than 16000 times.

In the field of clinical intervention studies, his group has been involved in innovative use of technology and quality improvement strategies to facilitate care delivery for people with diabetes, keeping in mind the resource constraints of a country like India, but with scope for generalizability in other economies. These strategies include, but are not restricted to use of a care coordinator, decision support software, clinic flow modifications, opportunistic screening and task shifting for non-physician health care providers. The intervention is focused on treating to meet recommended care goals. The first major study using these mutli-factorial interventions in more than 1100 patients of diabetes in tertiary care centres across India and Pakistan, showed a significant impact on achieving multiple targets of control - for blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol. A similar approach has also been tested in governmental primary and secondary health care institutions in India with extremely successful outcomes. These results have prompted two states in India, namely Tripura and Mizoram, to incorporate this strategy of care across all their secondary health care institutions - an example of a successful translation and scale-up of a research study to the health system.

This care delivery model is applicable for patients with a variety of chronic conditions, and offers lessons for LMICs but also developed countries. Our intervention requires basic training, simple guidelines, and low-cost technology, providing a model of care that can be integrated into existing health systems.

The South Asian Health Foundation is very proud of the phenomenal work and researchers conducted by Professor Nikhil Tandon and are honored to award him this prestige prize.

Well done and congratulations Professor Nikhil Tandon!