Tamil Nadu has started a new project this year to screen and treat people for hypertension. It started with a pilot project in Sivaganga and Virudhunagar districts during 2007-2010. About 11,31,000 people were screened in 98 healthcare facilities during the pilot project.

The Tamil Nadu Health Systems Project (TNHSP) has scaled up the pilot project in 16 districts. “This year, we have been implementing Phase I of the programme to screen and treat people with hypertension in 16 districts,” said Dr. Jerard M. Selvam, Deputy Director of TNHSP, Chennai. “Preparatory activities, including training, are underway in the remaining 16 Phase II districts.”

“Positively, by March-April 2013, the remaining 16 Phase II districts will also be implementing the project,” he stressed. With that the entire State will be covered. According to him, in the third quarter alone (July to September 2012), 8,57,616 people who came to healthcare facilities (in the 16 districts) for other ailments were screened. Of these, 60,517 were found to have hypertension. The percentage of people testing positive for hypertension was 7.06 per cent.