Ever since the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) initiated a programme in February 2013 to screen Mumbaikars for diabetes, maintain records of diabetics and extend free life-long treatment to them, as many as 26,460 people have tested positive for diabetes, the civic body’s data shows.
Combined with data from private healthcare centres, the number could be higher in the city.
As per BMC data, of the 522 dabbawallahs screened, 27 per cent (142) had high sugar levels while 13 per cent of the traffic policemen and taxi drivers screened had diabetes. The BMC screened 2,391 traffic policemen and 1,377 taxi drivers.
According to the civic health department, of the 26,460 diabetic patients recorded, 21,460 are undergoing treatment in public hospitals (18 peripheral and three major) and the remaining 6,000 are visiting the 55-odd dispensaries for diabetes across the city.
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Although the BMC had provided for 55 dispensaries to treat diabetes, they were equipped with only glucometers for testing blood. The civic health department is now in the process of increasing the facilities at the dispensaries. In the coming financial year, 30 dispensaries will have auto-analyzers with trained staff to test for cholesterol, serum triglycerides and sugar tests.
“We have already procured the auto-analyzers. Right now the staff is under training. Once they are trained, 30 dispensaries will have advanced facilities,” said Dr S S Palkar, deputy executive health officer, BMC.
“We are currently focusing on type 2 diabetes for which oral rehydration solution (ORS) is provided regularly. It is the most common type of diabetes, which is non-insulin dependent. For type 1 diabetes, patients have to visit hospitals for insulin,” said Palkar.
Experts claim that diabetes is fast becoming the most common kind of non-communicable disease.
“If both the parents are diabetic, chances of their offspring having diabetes is more than 90 per cent,” Palkar said.
When fasting, the normal sugar levels of a person must be less than 99 milligram per deciliter (mg/dL) while the levels after eating should not exceed 140 mg/dL. If the levels cross 160 mg/dL, the patient is a highly diabetic.