Tamil Nadu is taking determined efforts against non-communicable diseases acorrrding to Mr Jerard Selvam, Deputy Director, Tamil Nadu Health Systems Project (NRHM – Government of Tamil Nadu). Over twenty percent of deaths in TN are from cardovascular disease and the state is determined to act to reduce the toll, he told a recent meeting of the Partnership to Fight Chronic Diseases in Chennai.
The state has piloted a health promotion, clinic based approach in two districts. The health promotion inititiaves include work thruogh schools on disease prevention and healthy living. Employers are also brought in with new food in canteen menus, health messaging built into workplace communication and efforts to address sedenatry workers.
Other departments of governent play a role too: schools have changed the syllabus to include a chapter on NCDs while there is an intensive training programme for officilas throughout government. The Rural Development Department is using community-level resource persons to lead women’s self help groups on NCDs This work is all overseen by a regional NCD officer who works across the various departments od state government.
The work on awareness is backed up by a new emphasis on sceening, diagnosis and regerral for early care. The National Rural Health Mission is used for camp-based screeniing and local village nurses look for early sumproms of cancers, cardiovascular diseases and other NCDs.
Mr Jerard Selvam was a speaker at the Non-Communicable Disease Burden in India: Roundtable Conference held in Chennai on May 17th 2012. This report was written by Mark Chataway. To know more about the event please click here.