The State government will equip village health nurses with glucometers and BP apparatus for them to monitor blood sugar and blood pressure levels of residents in their locality, Director of Public Health S. Elango said here on Friday.

As the programme is being funded under the National Rural Health Mission, funds will not be a constraint, he told a gathering of diabetologists. The teams that were involved in self-care programmes of leprosy would be used for the programme. The Gestational Diabetes Mellitus programme has also been extended to the entire State as part of the maternal health care programme, he added.

Those requiring more tests and treatment would be directed to the nearest PHC. Only persons requiring further medical intervention would be referred to the taluk and district headquarter hospitals, said Dr. Elango, who was participating in a function organised by the Madras Diabetes Research Foundation and the University of Alabama, USA.

Earlier, J.S. Thakur of Cluster Focal Point, (Non-communicable Diseases and Social Determinants of Health), WHO India Country Office delivered the MDRF-UAB Gold Medal oration. He said if risk factors such as tobacco use, alcohol consumption, physical inactivity and diet were taken care of, then about 50 per cent of diseases could be controlled.

Dr. Thakur called for an integrated NCD control programme that would cover cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, accident related injuries.