Kerala's Pathanamthitta district has highest number of diabetics
The Union health ministry has released the findings of the results of the first round of the nation-wide campaign for screening diabetes in rural areas. Pathanamthitta district of Kerala has the maximum number of diabetics—16 per cent people in the district suffer from the lifestyle disease. Ratlam district of Madhya Pradesh has the least number of diabetics at seven per cent.
Under the national programme for prevention and control of cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and stroke, the ministry plans to screen men and women above the age of 30 in 100 districts, selected randomly, in 21 states. Till now, the screening has been completed in 30 districts, covering 500,000 people.
“Non-communicable diseases are the major killer now. With this campaign, we can identify people who are borderline diabetics and advise them to take precautions to avoid getting the disease. Those who are suffering from diabetes are advised to start treatment at the earliest,” says Union health secretary P K Pradhan.
The government plans to achieve the target of covering the remaining 70 districts by March 2012. If the government meets this target, the number of people who would undergo screening would be 50 million. The screening is taking place in 20,000 sub-centres and each sub-centre is screening between 2,000 and 2,500 persons.
Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh lagging
The Union government, however, is unhappy with the state governments for their slow response. Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh have not yet signed the memorandums of understanding (MoU) with the Union government, which is important to start the screening process in the states. Without signing the MoUs, the state governments cannot release their share of 20 per cent funds for the campaign. The rest 80 per cent is being given to the states by the health ministry.
“The states have to get approval from their finance departments. In some states, that took time. In Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh, the screening will start by the end of this month,” says Pradhan.
The health ministry has also allocated funds to the state governments to upgrade their tertiary care centres and have a special cell for non-communicable diseases in all district hospitals by March 2012. For diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and stroke, the health ministry released Rs 28.67 crore in 2010-11 for 27 districts and in 2011-12 it will release Rs 63.31 crore for 53 districts.