Mass screening finds hidden cases of cancer and other ailments

In a recent mass screening sponsored by the government, 1.3 crore people aged above 30 years were discovered with fresh cases of hypertension, diabetes and other forms of cancers.

Over 9.01 lakh people were identified to have high blood pressure. Of the 97.78 lakh people screened for diabetes, 8.9 lakh were found to have high blood sugar levels. 13,747 fresh cases of oral cancer were also discovered.

According to the data released by the Union Health Ministry, newly identified cases of oral cancer were ten times higher than the number of patients already under treatment.

Similarly, 12,098 women were identified to be positive for breast cancer, while only 1,848 women were on treatment. There were 11, 923 newly identified cases of cervical cancer, while 872 women were on treatment.

The screening was performed at 10,252 health and wellness centers (HWCs). These centers would provide preventive healthcare and are the first point of contact for a person who is seeking healthcare in their vicinity.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced in 2018 than 1.5 lakh HWCs would be opened by 2022 under the Ayushman Bharat plan which entails extending cashless health insurance to 10 cr families. Opening 1.5 lakh HWCs by 2022 is an unrealistic target. Up to 21,411 HWCs have received approval until now. “But according to available resources, we can build only 15,000 HWCs this year,” said Union Health Secretary Preeti Sudan.

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