Screening for Non-Communicable Diseases in next 5 yrs

New Delhi: The government intends to screen people above 30 years for Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), including diabetes and cancer, in the next five years amid fears that India may become one of the most affected countries.

Health and Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad told Rajya Sabha that the screening would also be done on all pregnant women.

The NCDs, for which the screening would be conducted, include diabetes, cardio-vascular diseases, cancer and stroke.

Citing a World Health Organisation (WHO) report in reply to a question, Azad said India could be among the countries affected most with NCDs by 2030.

The government has already launched national programmes for screening, early detection and treatment of NCDs as well as for healthcare of the elderly as a pilot project in 100 remote and backward districts, spread over 21 states at a cost of approximately Rs 1,230 crore.

Azad said that due to shortage of doctors, problems were being faced in screening cancer and cardio-vascular diseases.

As per a Planning Commission document, NCDs account for nearly half of all deaths in India. Heart diseases, stroke and diabetes are projected to increase cumulatively, and India stands to lose USD 237 billion during the decade 2005-15.

Replying to another supplementary regarding National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), Azad said independent evaluation of the scheme was being done.