New Delhi:  Aimed at spreading awareness, the government today announced the launch of a drive in which health workers will spread out in crowded places of the national capital to encourage people into adopting preventive care.

‘Swasth Chetna Evam Jan Sahyog Abhiyaan (SCEJSA)’ will be the first government initiative of its type and five SCEJSA camps have been opened at Ram Lila grounds and a Durga puja pandal where people are being offered free diagnostics and treatment, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said.

26 doctors, 90 paramedics and nurses and more than 200 volunteers are involved in the programme and they have been drawn from AIIMS, Ram Manohar Lohia and various other hospitals in the capital.

Drawing from the expreience in Delhi, the government hopes to roll out a nation-wide programme following a meeting with health secretaries of all states on October 9.

“The gains from SCEJSA in terms of experience would serve as inputs for modelling a nation-wide health movement involving all stakeholders,” Vardhan said.

At present, one or more local volunteers are attached to two government health workers to form a team for each of the camps and they mingle with crowds not at the venue but also in the wider neighbourhood, an official statement said.

They have been assigned the task of distributing fliers which contain tell-tale signs of major non-communicable diseases. The fliers have questions which people are encouraged to fill up with the help of volunteers.

“The forms are then deposited in the camps where specialist doctors give appropriate advice. There will be facilities for free tests for blood pressure, blood glucose (random), and body-mass index tests for those who fill out the forms.

“Doctor support will be provided for those needing treatment. If anybody requires referral to a government hospital the volunteers will facilitate the process,” the statement said.

There are also facilities for liver function and kidney function tests at the stalls and those reporting symptoms of cancer will be screened by specialists from AIIMS.

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