Bangalore's fast pace gives slum dwellers high BP too

A report from the National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke (NPCDCS) has revealed that 23 per cent of the 27,612 persons surveyed suffer from high blood pressure.

Published: 07th October 2013 09:34 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th October 2013 09:36 AM   |  A+A-

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Nearly one in every four persons in Bangalore’s slums suffers from hypertension. A report from the National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke (NPCDCS) has revealed that 23 per cent of the 27,612 persons surveyed suffer from high blood pressure.

The number of people suffering from diabetes is marginally lower. About one in seven people, that is, 14.7 per cent of the population, have diabetes in city.

According to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s large-scale survey in 2012, 10.3 per cent of the state’s population suffers from hypertension. The Karnataka Institute of Diabetology said  there is no comprehensive report on the prevalence of diabetes. However, its studies revealed that 14 per cent had diabetes when the city population was 8.8 million in 2011-12.

Sri Jayadeva Institute for Cardiovascular Sciences and Research director Dr C N Manjunath said hypertension is more common in urban slums because they have no fixed income. “Bad food habits and alcohol consumption is more in urban slums than in rural areas leading to high blood pressure. Smoking is also common in urban slums. Even if they indulge in physical work and activity, the benefits are nullified by alcoholism,” he said.

In the districts, diabetes is more prevalent. Udupi has 11.7 per cent diabetes cases, but just 1 per cent hypertension cases among the 5,91,333 BPL population screened. In Shimoga, there are 8.35 per cent diabetes cases and 2.15 per cent hypertension among the 4,44,967 screened.

The state screened 32.5 lakh poor people in Bangalore city, Tumkur, Shimoga, Kolar, Udupi and Chikmagalur and found that 2,87,978 suffer from diabetes, followed by 1,11,484 from hypertension. These people are being treated and given medicines free of cost at district hospitals. Nearly 419 patients suffering from breast, oral and cervical cancer have been referred to hospitals.

State Programme Officer for NPCDCS, Dr R T Venkatesh, said the project started around one-and-half years ago. 

State Programme Officer for NPCDCS, Dr R T Venkatesh, said: “For cancer, we give `1 lakh to hospitals to treat each patient and cover the cost of chemotherapy, radiology and surgery. We have 222 patients being treated at Kidwai, Malnad Institute of Oncology and Kasturba Medical College.”

He said people in districts are not aware that they suffer from such conditions and do not go to hospitals at the initial stage due to their poor financial status. “Five representatives from the state were trained to spot and counsel those who were being surveyed. They trained 80 members, including physicians, doctors and nurses. ASHA and auxillary nursing midwives were also trained to bring patients to community health centres and district hospitals for treatment and regular medication. Cases where surgery was required were referred to select hospitals,” he said.

Venkatesh said they will soon have a meeting with officials of Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and Research (SJICR) to train staff. “The staff will be involved in this mission. Besides, about 150 medical officers and staff nurses will be trained by the Indian Association for Palliative Care to cover cancer patients more effectively,” he said.

Two More Districts to be Included

Two more districts will be included in 2013 under this scheme. Mission Director, National Rural Health Mission, Dr Suresh K Mohammed said.

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