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THE LANCET findings about Chandigarh having the highest prevalence of diabetes have confirmed what doctors in the city have suspected for a long time. Still, the administration has no major anti-diabetes initiatives, awareness programmes or screening camps. Like the rest of the country, the only programme running in the city is the combined National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke (NPCDCS).
Recently, the Chandigarh health department started non-communicable disease (NCD) clinics in four major hospitals in the city. “There is no major activity with regard to awareness or screening about diabetes in the city,” said Dr Anil Bhansali, head, Department of Endocrinology, PGIMER. He added that the administration should organise awareness programme for which his department would always extend support.
Dr Anil Garg, nodal officer for national programme for NPCDCS in Chandigarh, said that the administration had planned to conduct screening of all the households in the city once the department received funds from the Centre. “Under the NPCDCS, we have started house-to-house screening of city residents. We have started this exercise in Behlana and Indira colony areas of the city,” said Dr Garg.
“Diabetes is a major component of the NPCDCS programme.” At present, any patient over 30 years of age who arrives at the medical OPD of city hospitals and has symptoms of diabetes, hypertension, obesity is being referred by doctors to the NCD clinics. Doctors said the administration must wake up soon. “The administration should wake up before it is too late. They have to form a strategy on how to tackle the rising number of diabetes cases in the city,” said a doctor from GMCH in Sector 32.