The campaign to screen people above 30 years of age for four non-communicable diseases (NCDs) is being strengthened in rural areas of Coimbatore.

All nine Government hospitals that serve rural and semi-urban areas have been provided with colposcopes, a diagnostic tool used to perform a second confirmatory test for cervical cancer.

Anitha Moses, Joint Director, Medical and Rural Services, told The Hindu here on Thursday that staff nurses have been appointed exclusively for this screening campaign in all primary health centres (PHCs) and urban health centres. Screening was performed free of charge. The village health nurses have been instructed to create awareness about this campaign in their localities.

The VIA-VILI tests were being performed in all 47 rural PHCs and at the seven urban health centres.

Those suspected of having cervical cancer would be referred to the Government hospitals for the confirmatory tests.

The other diseases covered by this campaign, under the Tamil Nadu Health Systems Project, were hypertension with cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and its complications and breast cancer.

Ever since the full-fledged implementation of the campaign began in April, Dr. Anitha Moses said that 43,849 women have been screened for cervical cancer and 70,022 for breast cancer.

Further, 1.86 lakh have been screened for hypertension, of whom 35,314 have tested positive and of the 1.35 lakh screened for diabetes, 17,267 tested positive.

Those found with hyper tension and diabetes would be given immediate counselling to change their lifestyle. Those found with cervical or breast cancer would be immediately brought for treatment to the GHs or the CMCH, she said.

Dr. Anitha Moses said that a scientist from the National Institute of Epidemiology, Chennai, took part in a review of the NCD campaign held here on Thursday for the medical officers and staff nurses.