More than 50,000 suffer from diabetes, nearly a lakh from hypertension
An exercise to estimate the prevalence of non-communicable diseases in the state has detected 58,652 people with diabetes and 98,989 with hypertension in the last six months. While the exercise covered rural areas of 19 districts, beginning 2020 the remaining areas will be included in the ambitious population-based screening programme.
The screening is being done as part of the Centre’s project on population-based screening for five common Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) which includes diabetes, hypertension and cancers of oral cavity, breast and cervix, Dr Sadhana Tayade, Director of Health, Maharashtra, said.
As part of the programme, Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) have been visiting homes with a checklist of seven to eight criteria that helps identify if the person is suffering from NCDs. While the programme has been under way in a phase-wise manner, Tayade said that the entire state will be covered from next year.
The commonly asked questions pertain to Body Mass Index, weight, tobacco consumption, waist circumference and such. A score of four and more would indicate that the person is at high risk for NCDs and would then be referred to the primary health centre. Of the 14,90,306 people who were screened for diabetes, a total of 58,652 were detected with the disorder. A total of 15,79,429 people were screened for hypertension, of which 98,989 were found to suffer from it.
A total of 354 women were diagnosed with breast cancer from among 5,92,652 who were screened while a total of 1,922 were detected with oral cancer from 14,66,546 people who were screened. Health officials admitted that expertise was required for screening cervical cancer, where visual inspection with acetic acid test is performed. So far 23,3407 women have been screened, of which 138 have been detected with cervical cancer.
Rural areas of 19 districts — Pune, Satara, Nashik, Nandurbar, Wardha, Gadchiroli, Chandrapur, Bhandardara, Osmanabad, Nanded, Sindhudurg, Ratnagiri, Jalna, Hingoli, Washim and Amravati and one tehsil each of Latur, Jalgaon and Ahmednagar — have been included initially in the screening programme.
The burden of NCDs has increased across the country and there was a need to step up the response by expanding the programme to all the districts. Dr Tayade said that the main aim is to reduce the morbidity and mortality due to NCDs through screening, treatment and follow-up of people reporting at government health facilities in the state. People above 30 years are being screened and, according to health officials, physical inactivity, stress, smoking and alcohol consumption are among the major risk factors for being susceptible to NCDs.