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Non-communicable diseases project for Kolar, Shimoga

Focus will be on diagnosis and treatment of cancer, diabetes

THE State health department will initiate preventive and treatment measures for cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and stroke in Shimoga and Kolar districts from July, under a Centrally-sponsored pilot project.

 Funded by the Union Health Ministry under the National Rural Health Mission, the National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular diseases and Stroke (NPPCCDCS) will be implemented in 28 districts across the country. The State will get Rs 2.85 crore from the Centre under the scheme, while itself contributing around Rs 70 lakh. People in the two districts will be screened for all the four diseases and given treatment. 

The one-year programme will cover 508 sub-centres and 17 community health centres. It will expand to another three districts in its second year, an official from the health department said. The programme aims at capacity building of human resources and setting up a surveillance, monitoring and evaluation system. Awareness programmes will be held at the community level. 

However, one of the biggest hurdles for the programme will be getting specialist doctors and technicians. Considering that the health department already has an acute shortage of specialist doctors, this will prove to be a daunting task for the success of the project. 

“The main problem is getting oncologists. Under the programme, we need one oncologist in each district. Even recruiting a cyto pathologist (a person who diagnoses cancer at the cellular level) is posing a problem,” the official said. 

Comprehensive care
The sub-centres will focus on awareness of the four diseases and conducting blood pressure (BP) and blood glucose tests. If the BP or sugar levels are high in a person, the centres will refer him to the non-communicable diseases (NCD) clinics at the community health centre level. 

Clinical and laboratory investigations will be conducted at these clinics. An amount of Rs 10 lakh has been allotted for capacity building of the labs.

The NCD units at district hospitals will look into severe cases. They will conduct detailed investigations. These NCD units will also have out patient, in patient and intensive care facilities. Apart from this, a corpus fund of Rs six lakh has been provided for additional drugs. These hospitals will not only focus on the management of the diseases, but also the staff of these hospitals will go on home visits to treat bed-ridden chronic cases. The doctors, paramedical staff and physiotherapists will get Rs 250 per visit. 

The Centre has allotted Rs six crore to Kidwai Institute of Oncology for purchasing cobalt machine for radiotherapy.  Meanwhile, a non-communicable diseases cell will be set up in both the districts and the district surveillance officer will monitor the progress of the programme.

(Published in Deccan Herald on 17th June, 2011)

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