Soon, the government of India plans to start door-to-door campaign to screen non-communicable diseases like cancer, heart disorders, hypertension and diabetes among citizens in 100 districts of the country. Depending on the success of the programme, the government may expand it to other districts later. Times of India reports that cancer, diabetes and hypertension account for more than 35% deaths and 55% of premature mortality in 30-69 year age group. “The Centre has already issued guidelines to states for the programme. Some of the states have also started submitting their proposals. We are targeting to roll out the programme in all 100 districts by the end of this year,” ToI quoted a health ministy official as saying.
The programme — Prevention, Screening and Control of Common Non-Communicable Diseases — will be rolled out under the National health Mission and the first phase will cost about Rs 232 crore, the daily said. For implementation of the programme, Accredited Social Health Activists (Asha) and Auxiliary Nurse Midwife (ANM) workers would be equipped with required equipment. ToI reported that the training of the workers has already started.
Earlier on July 21, the Indian Express reported that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked the ministries of health, family welfare and AYUSH in March to come with a “framework for a nationwide screening programme for cancer, diabetes and heart diseases” withing three months. The report said that the prevalence of diabetesm hypertension, Ischemic Heart Disease and stroke was 62.47, 159.46, 37 and 1.54 respectively per 1,000 people in India. Also, there are about 25 lakh cancer patients in the country.