New Delhi: Urban India seems to be in the grip of an epidemic of non-communicable diseases with a latest government survey revealing alarming trends of one in every seven people suspected to be suffering from hypertension and one in nine from diabetes.
Screening of almost 75 lakh people across the country till date, under the Government`s National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, cardio-vascular Diseases and Stroke (NPCDCS), has revealed that while almost 6.5 per cent of the population is suspected to be suffering from diabetes, over 5.5 per cent are hypertensive.
The survey results in urban areas of the country, including Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai and Kolkata, have given disturbing trends with almost 15 per cent people are suspected to be suffering from hypertension and 11 per cent from diabetes.
The latest survey of the Government, covering 91 districts in 20 states of the country and supported by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, is touted as the largest ever conducted so far across the world.
Health officials said the programme aims to screen the entire population comprising of all adults above 30 years of age and all pregnant women in 100 districts across 21 states of the country during the current year.
In the 12th plan, the programme aims to cover the total population comprising of all adults and pregnant women in all the 540 districts of the country for screening.
It proposes to cover each of the health facility for prevention, early detection and management of Diabetes, Cardiovascular disease and Stroke, besides Cancer, and aims to support these health facilities with generic drugs also.
"This is the first ever survey being carried out at such a large scale across the country.
We hope to survey around four crore people this financial year and a total of 15 crores people in all the 540 districts," says a senior Health official.
They added that the programme aims to help strengthen health facilities and provide referral service for cancer and non-communicable diseases, including chemotherapy treatment and free generic drugs for below-poverty line patients.
A sum of Rs one lakh per BPL patient and a total of Rs one crore for each district is being earmarked.
Besides, screening of cervical, oral and breast cancer will also be done, apart from screening of various non-communicable diseases at various sub-centres and district hospitals across the country, the official added.
Officials in the Health Ministry said a total of Rs 775 crore has been earmarked for current financial year under the NPCDCS.
Besides, total funds of 15,855 crore for carrying out the Cancer component of the Programme and another Rs 5,880 for the DCS component are required under the 12th Five Year Plan.
The Government had launched the National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases Stroke (NPCDCS) in 2010 to cover 100 districts in 21 states during 2010 to 2012 and screening of population aged 30 years and above and all pregnant mothers for early detection of suspected cases of diabetes and hypertension is part of the programme.
The government has announced extension of the programme to cover all districts in a phased manner and strengthen the tertiary cancer care facilities are envisaged during 12th Five Year Plan.