The Coimbatore Corporation limits have been brought under a campaign to screen people above 30 years of age for the four non-communicable diseases (NCDs) of hypertension with cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and its complications, breast cancer and cervical cancer.
In the initial stages, this campaign was confined largely to the rural areas. However, with Coimbatore being a highly urbanised district, a request was made to include the Corporation limits, Deputy Director of Public Health R. Damodharan told The Hindu.
The total population of 32 lakh in the district was split almost equally among rural and urban areas, which necessitated such a move. Screening only the rural areas would result in a huge chunk of people being missed and a true picture of NCDs in Coimbatore could not be arrived at without including the urban areas, he said.
Hence, a request was made to the State Government in March and was accepted immediately. The screening process began in Corporation limits in April.
Further, he said that a large number of industrial and business ventures were located within the city limits and they employed a huge workforce, which would also have been missed.
The scheme was being implemented in rural areas through the 47 primary health centres and the District Headquarters Government Hospital and the eight taluk and non-taluk Government Hospitals.
Within the Corporation limits, he said that the 20 maternity centres of the civic body were being utilised.
Staff nurses were being appointed through an outsourcing process specifically for the NCD screening campaign. Dr. Damodharan said that so far seven nurses have been appointed and the rest would be posted shortly.
A total of 746 medical personnel in primary health centres including 100 medical officers, 274 village health nurses, 32 lab technicians and 114 staff nurses have been trained to screen for NCDs.