With an aim to put a check on non-communicable diseases (NCDs) like diabetes and cancer with a special focus on women and children, Chief Minister Anandiben Patel launched a series of health services including state-wide screening campaign for diabetes, breast and cervical cancer and oral health care along with a complete vaccination campaign on the occasion of World Health Day on Tuesday.
Also, for an early detection, Patel stressed upon inclusion of diabetes and oral health care in the School Health Programme (SHP). “Apart from these screening campaigns, the oral health diseases among children which are not taken seriously have been included in the School Health Programme, too this year. Similarly, we are also planning to include diabetes screening to check pre-diabetic symptoms among children in the SHP. A data base of malnourished children from schools and anganwadi centres is to be prepared under the SHP,” said Patel while launching the campaign.
Nearly 10,000 screening and detection centres across the state for each of the NCD – diabetes, breast and womb cancer and oral health care – would be operational from June 1. Further, over 300 Community Health Centres (CHC) and 308 Urban Health Centres (UHC) are to be roped in under this campaign launched by the CM at Ahmedabad Civil Hospital on Tuesday.
The CM further called upon coordination among all departments in order to ensure various health schemes reach each and every citizen. “For instance, during my recent visit to Dahod, I came across a reality check that 80 per cent of the residents working in interior areas were not aware about government schemes like vaccination and widow pension leave apart taking benefit of these. So, for these screening campaigns, apart from health department, we would rope in all other departments including home and officials like collectors and development officers,” she added.
On the occasion, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was also signed between the health department and a non-government organisation (NGO), Smile Train, for treatment of cleft lip and cleft palate among children in Gujarat.
“The major emphasis of this MoU would be to clear the existing backlog of this completely corrective deformity and then ensure these are reported and surgically treated right after the birth. A mix of 16 government and private hospitals have been roped under this MoU where surgeries would be conducted free of cost,” said the country director of Smile Train Renu Mehta.
Apart from the campaign, the screening of these NCDs among children are to be incorporated with the ongoing annual School Health Programme (SHP) of the state Health Department since 1997. The state health department has added both, oral health diseases and juvenile diabetes or type-I diabetes among children in the teachers training module on health care among children. Also, special training through SATCOM is being provided to teachers and ASHA workers on the early detection among children.
Health Minister Nitin Patel, who was also present during the programme, stressed upon the MAA Vatsalya Health Scheme specifically designed for lower middle class while the minister of state for health Shankar Chaudhary emphasised on a pro-active approach towards these NCDs and an effective collaboration of lower levels (detection) to the highest (surgery).
“Upon the insistence of CM, we had initiated the MAA Vatsalya scheme for middle class with annual income of Rs 1.2 lakh that constitutes nearly 80 per cent state population. Under this scheme, a health card worth Rs 2 lakh would be issued to all these families and this card is not one time but renewable each year. Thus, each family can avail medical treatments worth Rs 2 lakh each year,” Nitin Patel elaborated.