With cases of juvenile diabetes rising in India,the Union Health Ministry has now proposed to screen school going children in the age group of 5-15.
Announcing the scheme,Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said it would be implemented in six districts on a pilot basis.
Sources said the ministry would soon shortlist a district each from Uttarakhand,Rajasthan,Madhya Pradesh,Tamil Nadu,North-East and Andhra Pradesh.
Once we start it,we will be able to have a databank,helping us to plan better. The scheme will be later stretched to other parts covering the whole country, said an official of the ministry.
The announcement is significant as,according to officials,there has been no nationwide study to assess prevalence of diabetes in school-going children in the country.
Studies indicate that the prevalence would be in the range of about four to 22 diabetic per lakh children in the age-group up to 15 years, a ministry official said.
At present,the newly started National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer,Diabetes,Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke (NPCDCS) focuses on adults aged 30 years and above. Though the number of juvenile diabetics would be comparatively small as compared to adults,it would be important to expand the scope of National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer,Diabetes,Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke to include all age-groups due to early lifestyle changes in children and youth, he said.
The survey for juveniles will include information like personal details of the child,physical examination comprising height,weight,BMI (body mass index),blood pressure,distance between residence and alcohol,mode of travel,physical activity in home and school,behavioural data like information on tobacco and alcohol use,bio-chemical information,etc. Officials in the ministry said the six-month study is expected to start next month.
For NPCDCS,the government has identified 100 districts and slum areas of 30 cities having more than 10 lakh population.