The government will launch a year-long action plan to create awareness of the importance of preventing lifestyle diseases as part of strengthening its programme for the control of non-communicable diseases called ‘Amrutham Aarogyam.’
At a press conference here on Friday, Health Minister V.S. Sivakumar said the awareness programme was being launched to coincide with World Health Day on April 7, which this year focussed on the theme ‘High blood pressure.’
Mr. Sivakumar said that according to various studies, over 40 per cent of Keralites were estimated to be suffering from high blood pressure. (Filtered data from Prospective Urban and Rural Epidemiology study, a multi-country study conducted among 35 to 70-year-olds between 2003 and 2009. A community-based study from Kerala, sponsored by the Indian Council of Medical Research in 2010, estimates the prevalence of hypertension at around 32.7 per cent in the State).
The State-level inauguration of World Health Day will be held at Alappuzha.
Under the State government’s non-communicable disease control programme, community-level screening of people above 30 years for lifestyle diseases and their treatment is being carried out with the help of health workers in all districts as part of primary healthcare.
Mr. Sivakumar said the State’s new Health Policy, which had been slated to be released on World Health Day, would now be released on May 19, on the occasion of the second anniversary of the United Democratic Front (UDF) government.
Adalats from June
The Minister said a series of adalats were proposed to be held by the Health Department in all districts from June to settle the public’s complaints regarding health sector services.
He said that admission to the Manjeri medical college was expected to take place in the next academic year.
The government was committed to proper implementation of the free generic drugs programme, which was expected to be extended to primary health centres by June this year, he added.
New Health Policy to be released on May 19
Policy draft to be placed in public domain for discussions