29 May 2012

School-Based Screening Program for Diabetes on Pilot Basis

The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India has initiated a school-based screening program for diabetes on pilot basis in six Districts namely Nainital (Uttarakhand), Theni (Tamil Nadu), Nellore (Andhra Pradesh), Dibrugarh (Assam), Bhilwara (Rajasthan), Ratlam (Madhya Pradesh). Fund to each district has been released for the purpose. The screening is primarily focused on school children of 1st to 10th standards in the age group of 5 to 15 years. The screening programme is in progress in the above cited 6 Districts.

The School Health Programme (SHP) under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) as the public sector programme specifically focused on school going children and adolescents in the 6-18 years age group enrolled in Government and Government aided schools is already in place. 

The SHP was launched to address the health needs of school going children. The Program at the National level has been developed to provide uniformity / guidance in implementation of operational framework for State initiatives. The National School Health Programme includes biannual health service provision through screening, health care and referral for disease, deficiency and disability. The main focus is to address the health needs of children, both physical and mental, and in addition, it provides for nutrition interventions, physical activities and counselling. Identified children, who require further service support, are connected with secondary and tertiary facilities within Public Health Infrastructure. Weekly supervised provisions of Iron-Folic acid tablets and biannual deworming is included. 

Several studies have contributed to overwhelming evidence that indicates the increase in type 2 diabetes amongst children and adolescents. Major risk factors of diabetes are un-healthy diet, obesity and lack of physical exercise. 

This information was given in written reply by the Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad in Rajya Sabha. 

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