Blood tests to detect diabetes are likely to be made compulsory at health centres across India following the internationally followed "opportunistic screening" norm. The scheme was in its pilot stage in 10 states, Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said on Friday.
"The government has launched a National Programme for Prevention and Control of Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke (NPDCS) on a pilot basis in 10 districts in 10 states which, among other things, seeks to facilitate early detection of this disease. This is in consonance with the internationally accepted strategy of opportunistic screening," Azad told the Lok Sabha.
According to the health ministry, the exact number of diabetics in India is not known but the World Health Organisation estimates that there were 32 million diabetics in India in 2004.
India is estimated to have the largest number of diabetics (80 million) in the world by 2030, Azad said.
"An outlay of Rs.1,660.50 crore (Rs.16.6 billion) has been allotted for NPDCS during 11th Five Year Plan which will cover the entire country eventually," Azad informed.