The Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Sh. Ghulam Nabi Azad today launched the Campaign for Screening of Hypertension and Diabetes in Urban Slums in Delhi. The Chief Minister of Delhi Smt. Shiela Dixit, Health Minister of Government of Delhi, Members of Parliament representing Delhi, Members of Legislative Assembly of Delhi, Mayor and Members of Municipal Corporation were present on the occasion.Speaking on the occasion, Shri Azad said that India is faced with the triple burden of the persistence of communicable diseases, new and emerging infections and the increasing incidence of non-communicable diseases. He informed that alarmed by the rising incidence of the non-communicable diseases all over the world and its impact on the health care delivery, the United Nations General assembly is convening a summit meeting of Heads of States and Heads of Governments in September this year on Non-Communicable Diseases. The Minister said that keeping in mind the need for early detection of NCDs for effective treatment & management of these diseases, screening for Diabetes & Hypertension has been included in the “National Programme for Prevention & Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardio Vascular Diseases (CVDs) and Stroke (NPCDCS)” started by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India for implementation in 100 districts at a cost of Rs.1230 crores in July 2010.
Shri Azad elaborated that in the identified cities such as Delhi this screening is meant for the urban Slums because the population in slums is vulnerable to Diabetes and Hypertension due to poverty, poor socio-economic conditions, lack of awareness and stress due to urbanization. Lack of adequate medical services in un-organized slums compounds the problem since people remain un-diagnosed and continue to suffer silently from these chronic diseases.
He added that opportunistic screening for diabetes and high blood pressure will be provided to all persons above 30 years, including pregnant women of all age groups at 20,000 Sub-Centres. Home based care will be provided for bed ridden cases in 100 districts. Support will also be provided for contractual manpower and equipment at 100 district hospitals & 700 Community Health Centres for management of NCDs including health promotion activities. School health survey has been initiated in selected districts, which includes screening for childhood (juvenile) diabetes, he noted. Government of India has selected 33 Metros/Cities, with more than 10 lakh population, where screening for diabetes and hypertension will be undertaken.
Shri Azad also said that Gluco-meters for the purpose of Diabetes screening will be provided by the Government of India and the manpower and infrastructure by the State Governments. “We have already provided 120 Glucometers and 6 lakh strips to the Government of NCT of Delhi and have requested them to select 20-25 slum clusters for intensive screening in the 1st phase, which should be completed over the next two months” he said.
There are 28.5 crore Diabetics in the World and 70 lakh additional persons get Diabetes in a year. India has 5.1 crore persons with Diabetes, the second largest population of diabetics in the World after China. The situation is worsening by the day due, in large part, to unhealthy diets, physical inactivity and the harmful effects of tobacco and alcohol. The country is experiencing a rapid increase of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) which are emerging as the leading cause of death in India accounting for nearly 50% of all deaths.