A high incidence of diabetes and blood pressure are no longer the bane of only urban areas. In a worrisome trend, the two have made inroads into rural pockets in Andhra Pradesh as well.
Statistics from an ongoing massive house-to-house screening programme of people above 30 years in eight districts in the State so far showed the incidence of hypertension to be 7.73 per cent and that of diabetes to be 7.29 per cent.
In all, 20 lakh people were checked for the two conditions in the districts of Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Krishna, Prakasam, Nellore, Chittoor, Kadapa and Kurnool under the National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke (NPCDCS).
The highest incidence of both diseases was reported in Nellore district. Of the 1, 72, 482 people screened, 11.71 per cent turned out to be diabetic and 12.45 per cent had blood pressure. In Vizianagaram district, 11.54 per cent of nearly three lakh people suffered from hypertension, while 9.81 per cent had diabetes.
In Krishna district, the incidence of diabetes was 10.36 per cent, while blood pressure was 8.7 per cent. The following are the details for diabetes and BP respectively in the other five districts—Srikakulam (4.07 per cent and 5.34 per cent), Prakasam (6.5 per cent and 5.45 per cent), Chittoor (4.75 and 5.60), Kadapa (7 and 10) and Kurnool ( 4.72 and 4.68).
Dr. Geetha Prasadini, Additional Director, (Disease Control Programme), Directorate of Public Health and Family Welfare, said those diagnosed with diabetes and hypertension were being referred to the nearest Community Health Centres (CHCs) and Area Hospitals for further investigations and medical management. They were also being given anti-hypertensive and anti-diabetic medicines free of cost at PHCs and sub-centres.
The patients were also issued referral cards to enable them to undergo regular check-ups.
In the next phase likely to begin in April, 2013, screening would be undertaken in five more districts—Karimnagar, Medak, Ranga Reddy, East Godavari and Anantapur.
The remaining 10 districts were expected to be covered in 2014.