The Telegraph
Wednesday , August 22 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Health watch scheme starts

The state government has started implementing the Centre’s intervention programme to curb non-communicable diseases.

District-level cells for executing the scheme have started functioning at Vaishali, Rohtas, East Champaran, West Champaran, Kaimur and Muzaffarpur. A Bihar State Health Society (BSHS) officer said a state-level monitoring cell was made operational on August 7.

“We have started the state-level monitoring cell to implement, monitor and regulate the scheme undertaken under the National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardio-vascular diseases and Strokes (NPCDS),” said Dr N.K. Mishra, the state programme officer of BSHS.

The districts have been allotted Rs 5.15 crore collectively in the first phase to launch the initiative. Dr Mishra said blood sugar-level and several cardiac tests had begun in the six district hospitals.

“An interview of probable candidates was conducted recently and 12 of them have been selected for six districts. Their names will be notified soon. Also, there are plans to start full-fledged cardiac care units in these districts,” said Dr Mishra.

The government was also in the process of hiring oncologists and onco-pathologists for the treatment of cancer patients, he said.

In a bid to control non-communicable diseases, the Centre had initiated the country’s biggest intervention programme in 2010 to reduce various diseases through timely detection and treatment. Rs 1,230.9 crore is being spent in 21 states across the country at a 80:20 cost-sharing basis with the states.

In Bihar, the programme aims at screening around 50 lakh adult people (30 years and above) for early signs of cancer, diabetes and hypertension. People found with risk factors would be advised to take precaution early, thereby reducing the overall prevalence of diabetes, heart diseases and stroke.

“Under the scheme, financial assistance has to be made available for chemotherapy and drugs required for 100 cancer patients in each district at the rate of Rs 1 lakh per patient,” Mishra said.

A significant chunk of the allocated amount has to be spent on building awareness on the diseases through a massive campaign.

With a successful implementation, the Centre expects to achieve behavioural changes in the community to adopt healthy lifestyles, including dietary patterns, enhanced physical activity and reduced intake of tobacco and alcohol, resulting in overall reduction in the risk factors.

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