Taking the rise in lifestyle-related ailments in city’s slums into account, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will be surveying the areas to study the trend. The civic body, state and central government will be providing Rs2 crore each for the survey that will begin from June 2011.
According to the 2001 census, 60% of Mumbai’s population lives in slums. “We have made a special provision of Rs2 crore required for the survey in the 2011-2012 budget. The survey will help us study lifestyle-related diseases,” said Dr GT Ambe, civic executive health officer.
Nearly 16 lakh slum dwellers, above the age of 30, will be screened for hypertension and diabetes under this project approved by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. A team of five people will be chosen to screen 150 residents on a daily basis. The prime areas of focus in this study will be the number of patients, severity and patterns of the cases. A similar survey will be later carried out in other metro cities of the country. The centre has provided the authorities with normal fasting blood sugar and blood pressure levels for reference, said Ambe. “Blood pressure and sugar levels higher than normal would be referred to civic hospitals.”
According to the health department, cases of hypertension and diabetes have risen by at least 30% at slums in Kurla and Govandi. “Earlier these diseases were restricted to the upper-middle class population,” said a senior civic official.