Cancer, diabetes programme to be extended all over country


Hyderabad : The Indian government plans to extend the National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke to all the 650 districts of the country under the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17).

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Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad Wednesday said the programme was already being implemented in 100 most-backward and remote districts spread across 21 states. The implementation in these districts will continue till 2012.

“Depending on the success of the programme, all 650 districts in the country will be covered under the 12th plan,” Azad said in his inaugural address at the conference of health ministers of the states.

The two-day conference will assess the progress under various schemes and draw up an action plan for the rest of the 11th plan (2007-12) and road map for the 12th plan.

The conference will focus on issues like education in maternal and infant mortality rates, population stabilisation, prevention and control of infectious diseases, national vector-borne disease control programme, revised national TB control programme and strengthening of disease surveillance systems.

About 25 ministers of health, medical education and family welfare from all the states are attending the conference.

He said despite the achievements made under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), there were still areas of concern.

“The pace of decline in various key health indicators like Maternal Mortality Ratio, Infant Mortality Rate, Total Fertility Rate, death and morbidity due to communicable diseases have not improved as compared to pre-NRHM period,” Azad said.

Complimenting the southern and western states for their excellent performance, the health minister asked central, eastern, northeastern and north Indian states to identify the bottlenecks in the implementation of the schemes and improve the performance.

“Only then we can press for continuation of the NRHM which is currently up to 11th plan only. We can also convince the planning commission for higher outlay during the 12th plan period so as to achieve the MDGs (Millennium Development Goals),” he said.

He pointed out that the Indian government has provided Rs.53,000 crore to the states under NRHM in the last six years.

“One of the success stories of the last year was progress of polio eradication after the introduction of bivalent polio vaccine. There have been only 42 cases in 2010 as compared to nearly 700 cases in 2009. In the case of TB, we have achieved more than 72 percent detection rate and 87 percent cure rate, which are more than the WHO (World Health Organization) recommended levels,” he said.

Referring to HIV, he said the new annual infections have declined by more than 50 percent over the past decade while most of the countries are showing increasing trend.

Azad said the government was formulating the National Urban Health Mission which would take care of infrastructure needs at district and sub-divisional levels.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy listed out the steps the state had taken in the health sector, including Rajiv Arogyasri, under which poor are being provided free healthcare in government and private hospitals.