Ministry to launch screening programme for non-communicable diseases

New Delhi, Jan 21 (IANS) The Union Health Ministry is set to launch a population based prevention, screening and control programme for five common non-communicable diseases(NCDs), an official statement said on Saturday.

The programme that is being launched on February 4 will focus on five NCDs — hypertension, diabetes and cancers of oral cavity, breast and cervix.

“In the first phase, the population based screening component will be rolled out in 100 districts in 32 states and UTs with about 1,000 sub-centres undertaking screening before March 31,” said an official statement from the ministry.

The statement noted that ASHAs will also be capturing information on major risk factors so that persons at risk could be counselled on leading healthy lifestyles to prevent onset of NCDs.

“In subsequent phases, Chronic Obstructive Respiratory diseases will be included and the programme will be scaled up to cover other districts. Support to states will also be provided for community health promotion and prevention efforts, and referral and treatment,” the statement added.

NCDs account for over 60 per cent of all mortality in India. Of these, nearly 55 per cent are premature mortality. This imposes a financial and social cost on families and the country.

According to the World Economic Forum, India stands to lose $ 4.58 trillion (Rs 311.94 trillion) between 2012 and 2030 due to non-communicable diseases.

The ministry also said that training of frontline workers — ASHA and ANM — will be initiated and in some sub-centres, population based screening will also start. Detailed protocols for treatment, referrals and follow-up on these disease conditions will be provided.