The steady rise in lifestyle ailments among the lower income groups in the city, which were until now afflicting only the upper strata of the society, has led to a shift in the civic body's health monitoring efforts.
To address these emerging threats, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will start 27 specialised diabetes clinics in the city on the World Diabetes Day, on November 14. Another 25 exclusive clinics for cancer and mental health will be made operational in the coming months.
To create awareness about the rise in cases of diabetes, the civic body will also organise walk-a-thons in all the 24 civic wards on November 13.
The civic dispensaries have seen a surge in the number of cases of lifestyle diseases like diabetes, hypertension and cancer. The trend is also that these diseases, which were concentrated only among the upper middle class, are now also increasing in the lower middle class, as well as the slum population.
"With the increase in non-communicable diseases, we are concentrating the civic health machinery on such diseases. After diabetes, we will focus on cancer and mental health," said additional municipal commissioner Manisha Mhaiskar.
These 27 clinics will be set up in the existing civic dispensaries and a trained medical health officer will be asked to look after them. A dietician and a postgraduate doctor will visit these clinics on specified days in a week.
"25% of borderline cases can be kept under check if timely changes in lifestyles are made. For that, the dietician will be of help," said a civic health officer.
According to statistics available with the health department, cases of hypertension and diabetes have risen by at least 30% in the last two years.
Doctors in civic hospitals also say that eating habits need to be changed to curb the number of diabetes cases, for which the civic health staff will meet school authorities to give them tips on how to change the canteen menu to make it healthier.