Chandigarh health department starts screening for non-communicable diseases

The Chandigarh health department has started screening the residents in the age group of 30 and above for non-communicable diseases including cancer and diabetes in the city. Health officials said they have starting the programme on a pilot basis from Behlana area in the city.

The screening is under the National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases, and Stroke (NPCDCS).

“It is at an initial stage and in the future the entire population will be covered in the screening programme,” said a senior health official. “We have already sent a proposal regarding the budget for the programme. The department will also provide training to those who will screen the residents.”

The health department has been saying it is hopeful about completing the screening programme in 2-3 years. “Under the programme, the UT health department will screen the entire population in the age group of 30 plus in the city for NCDs,” the official said. Dr Anil Garg, nodal officer for the National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke (NPCDCS) in Chandigarh told Chandigarh Newsline that Behlana has been chosen on a pilot basis and the program will be extended further.

The programme, which was launched by the central government is aimed to prevent and control major NCDs, with focus on “strengthening infrastructure, human resource development, health promotion, early diagnosis, management and referral.”

Under the programme, NCD clinics too have been set up at district and CHC levels, so that services for early diagnosis, treatment and follow-up for common NCDs are provided. For the screening programme, health officials said Asha workers and ANMS would be roped in and will conduct a house to house survey.

“If they will find symptoms in any of the residents, they will be referred to NCD clinics,” said the health officials. Other than the house to house survey, clinics at civil hospital Sector 45, Manimajra and Sector 22 hospital have been set up, from where doctors from the medical OPD would refer any patient with symptoms of these diseases to the doctors deployed in the NCDs clinics.

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