The BMC, in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO), will be carrying out a scientific survey that will cover those at risk of non-communicable diseases such as cancer, heart disease or stroke.
This comes after the civic body learnt that people having a compromised immune system are the most vulnerable population to contract Covid-19 infection. Civic officials said their main aim is to find out those suffering from diabetes and hypertension or both.
Senior health officer from the civic health department said they will be collecting 6,000 samples on the age group of 18 to 69 years across all the 24 BMC wards to work out the prevalence of diabetes and hypertension in the city. Moreover, they want to gauge the number of people suffering from lifestyle epidemics. “The main aim of this survey is to come up with a strategy or policy to tackle the non-communicable disease or lifestyle diseases. There was no policy in place when the pandemic began. But now we are well prepared to handle such a pandemic. Similarly, we need to understand the people suffering from diabetes or hypertension or both,” he said.
Meanwhile, the BMC has already begun identifying 25 houses in each of the 238 census blocks. One person from each of these 25 households will be chosen for the survey. Moreover, the participant will have to answer an elaborate questionnaire that focuses on physical activity level, smoking, alcohol intake, among others. They will also have to submit their physical measurements and samples.
The National Family Health Survey-5 by the International Institute of Population Sciences in Deonar showed more men suffering from these diseases. It also showed almost 20% of the population needed medicines to keep their sugar levels in check. The corresponding number for hypertension is closer to 30%.
The BMC has previously held diabetes detection camps, but it hasn’t got a city-wide picture of the disease. The WHO has devised STEP surveys scientifically to assess the true prevalence of lifestyle or non-communicable diseases in any geographic area.
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