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Disease screening for 8.7 crore people across state in 16 days | Pune News

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Pune: The Maharashtra government is set to launch a health screening programme to cover 8.66 crore citizens across the state for detecting tuberculosis and leprosy cases from Friday.
The programme will also detect people suffering from lifestyle diseases such as hypertension, diabetes and mouth, cervical and breast cancer. Over 70,000 teams will be pressed into service to examine individuals from a cross section of society during the screening programme between September 13 and September 28.
The drive aims at examining 67% of the state’s population — 6.82 crore in rural areas and 1.84crore in urban localities. “This is a first-of-its-kind screening programme and people will be randomly selected across the state,” said Anup Kumar Yadav, commissioner (family welfare) and director, National Health Mission, Maharashtra.
“Instead of conducting independent new-case detection surveys at different times, we have integrated the work in one survey for the fisrt time. That means a family will be screened for these communicable and non-communicable diseases in one go,” he told TOI.
“We have formed 70,768 teams of trained staffers to carry out the screening. Every team will screen 20 houses in the rural areas and 25 in the urban areas. The screening data will be analyzed every day. People suspected of suffering from leprosy, TB and non-communicable diseases will undergo confirmatory tests and put on treatment accordingly,” Yadav said.
Senior public health expert and director, Directorate of Health Services, Maharashtra, Archana Patil, said, “It will be a planned and well-designed activity. A lot of work, training and planning has gone into the programme. Every staffer involved in the programme is abreast of what she or he has to do during the campaign.”
Senior public health expert and joint director (leprosy and tuberculosis) Padmaja Jogewar said, “We aim to identify 13,000 new tuberculosis cases during the campaign. We will ensure X-ray and sputum tests of the suspected patients at the nearest state-run healthcare units.”
She added, “Our staffers will also examine the family members of TB patients. Any member in a family complaining of cough for more than two weeks with symptoms such as fever and considerable weight loss will be screened for TB.”
Jogewar said people with skin lesions, which are lighter than the normal skin for weeks or months, or patches of skin with decreased sensation, such as touch, pain, and heat, would be screened for leprosy.

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