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Health screening for 30-plus: Azad

Special Correspondent
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Entire population above 30 years will be screened for non-communicable diseases in five years, says Health Minister

Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad interacting with delegates at the World Allergy Organisation’s four-day International Scientific Conference in Hyderabad on Thursday.— Photos: Mohammed Yousuf
Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad interacting with delegates at the World Allergy Organisation’s four-day International Scientific Conference in Hyderabad on Thursday.— Photos: Mohammed Yousuf

Under a massive programme, the entire population above 30 years in the country would be screened for non-communicable diseases (NCD) such as diabetes, cardiovascular ailments and cancer in the next five years, said Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad here on Thursday.

‘Major challenge’

Inaugurating World Allergy Organisation’s four-day International Scientific Conference-2012, he said that the scourge of diabetes, CVDs, cancer and chronic respiratory diseases, the four NCDs were posing a mounting challenge to healthcare practitioners, administrators and policy-makers in terms of increasing complexity of treatment, life-long management and rising demand for more resources.

He said the screening for NCDs was launched in 100 districts on a pilot basis in 2010 and it would be extended to cover the entire population above 30 years in the next five years.

There was no problem for the programme as far as finances were concerned, but lack of human resources was coming in the way. He said that almost half the healthcare services in the United Kingdom, USA and Gulf countries were being provided by Indian doctors.

Asthma cases rising

Mr. Azad said that currently about 20-30 per cent of people in India were having one or more allergic diseases and their prevalence was rising dramatically. Taking children and adults together, there were nearly 30 million asthmatics in the country today, which constituted 10 per cent of the global asthma burden.

He said that a study sponsored by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in 2012 revealed that asthmatics above 15 years alone number more than 17 million. “This is commonly associated with allergic-rhinitis. Food allergies as well as skin allergic disorders are also seen in India,” he added.

He declared that India would join hands with other nations, international organisations and scientific and professional bodies to collectively address the serious public health issue of NCDs and added “we shall do our very best for constituting a healthcare system which is equitable, affordable and accessible to all sections of the society”.

Pollution control

Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy hoped that the deliberations at the conference would help in setting the right standards in pollution control and biodiversity protection.

WAO president Prof. Ruby Pawankar said that 30-40 per cent of the world’s population was affected by some form of allergy and called for concerted effort from all stakeholders in tackling the problem.


  • ‘There is no problem as far as finances are concerned’

  • But lack of human resources is a worry, says Azad



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