Six districts from K'taka among 100 selected for screening of 5 diseases

People to be checked for high BP, diabetes & three cancers

 Six districts of Karnataka would be among 100 districts all over the country, where the Health Ministry is set to roll out a universal screening programme for five diseases including three common cancers.

Udupi, Chikkamagaluru, Haveri, Gadag, Mysuru and Raichur would be among the districts that would witness the launch of the new programme in which community level health workers would visit every household to encourage its members to go for a screening for high blood pressure and diabetes as well as oral, breast and cervical cancers. 

 Taken together, these five non-communicable diseases account for almost 52% of mortality in India.
 “We aim to cater to 38% of Indian population, over 30 years of age. In the first step, the programme will be rolled out in 100 districts for which training programme is currently going on,” a source in the Health Ministry told DH.

 The screening for cancers will take place once in five years whereas for hypertension and diabetes, it should be done annually.

Four districts of Kerala, four from Tamil Nadu, eight from Telengana and three from Andhra Pradesh would also be covered under the programme, which would be rolled out within a couple of months.

 Once fully implemented, this is going to be the world’s largest disease screening programme. Those detected positive would be provided with treatment at health centres.

 In the last 30 years, diabetes has changed from being a mild disorder of the elderly to one of the major causes of morbidity and mortality for the masses. A new study by the Indian Council of Medical Research demonstrates that diabetes is now increasingly affecting the urban poor.

The three most commonly occurring cancers account for almost 34% of all cancers in India. Breast cancer has emerged as one of the leading causes of cancer among women (14.3%) with 1,44,937 new cases and 70,218 deaths in 2012.  This is followed by cervical cancer, which is the second commonest among women (12.1%). Every year around 1.23 lakh women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and 67,500 of them die. Oral cancer accounts for 7.2% of all cancers in India with 77,003 new cases. As many as 52,067 deaths were reported in 2012.

 As per the government’s plan, oral and breast cancer could be examined on the spot by a trained health worker whereas screening for cervical cancer would be done at the primary health centre by a staff nurse in the presence of a medical officer.

 A pilot programme undertaken by the Health Ministry last year in Gujarat showed that with some training, community health workers would be able to manage the screening programme.

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