People aged above 30 can undergo medical screening for four non-communicable diseases (NCDs) under the Tamil Nadu Health Systems Project (TNHSP) at any of the 76 NCD centres in Tiruchi district. Health workers and self-group members should sensitise people, especially those from the weaker sections to utilise the opportunity, said R. Manohar, Joint Director of Health Services, here on Saturday.

Speaking at an awareness programme on non-communicable disease, Mr. Manohar said persons over the age of 30 could undergo the screening for hypertension, diabetes, breast, and cervical cancer at any of the NCD centres, including 61 primary health centres, nine government hospitals, the Tiruchi K.A.P. Viswanatham Government Medical College in the district, four corporation health centres in Tiruchi and one health centre in Thuraiyur Municipality in the district. A trained nurse had been posted in each of the PHCs and two in the government hospitals for conducting the screening.

The screening has been under way for the past 18 months and of the 4.52 lakh persons screened, about 60,000 were found to be suffering from hypertension. About 4,700 out of the 3.27 lakh people screened were found to have diabetes. This apart, cervical cancer had been detected in about 5,900 people and breast cancer in 3,090 persons. Follow up treatment was being provided free of cost to the patients.

Non-communicable diseases accounted for 53 per cent of the deaths in the country, Mr. Manohar said and emphasised the need for sensitising persons above 30 to undergo the screening. Expressing concern over the rising incidence of non-communicable diseases, Mayor A. Jaya said studies had revealed that five to 15 per cent of the population in urban centres such as Chennai and Tiruchi were found to be affected by diabetes and 25 per cent by hypertension. She urged city residents to utilise the government schemes to undergo screening and treatment for the diseases. Corporation Commissioner V.P. Thandapani urged self-help groups in the city to carry the message to the people and ensure that they underwent the screening under the TNHSP project.