There are about 20 lakh patients of auto-immune diseases, but only 50 experts to diagnose and treat the ailment.
Auto-immune diseases are caused by disruption in the immune system, which starts destroying the body’s own cells. One such disease, Multiple Sclerosis, was portrayed by Vidya Balan in her movie Guru. Head of clinical immunology department in Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGIMS) professor RN Mishra says, “There is no major data available about the prevalence of auto-immune diseases in our country. To increase awareness and build a data pool about such diseases, the Clinical Immunology Society of India (CISI) is holding its first annual continuous medical education programme on Saturday and Sunday at SGPGIMS.”
Mishra is also the head of CISI. Top immunology experts will attend the programme to discuss ways to counter the spread of auto-immune diseases in the country and recent advances in immuno-pathogenesis of the diseases. Professor Vikas Agarwal of SGPGIMS says, “The meeting will also concentrate on collaborative research and development of standardised databases of patients with auto-immune rheumatic and immunological disorders.”