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Times of India
28 August 2010
By Kounteya Sinha
New Delhi, India

Come October, India will roll out the world’s largest–ever diabetes screening and detection programme. In nearly two months, it will become mandatory for all villagers above the age of 30, in 100 districts, to undergo tests to rule out diabetes and hypertension.

The Union health ministry has shortlisted several states where the programme will be rolled out at first. Once that becomes a success, the ministry plans to roll out the programme nationally in the next four–anda–half years. Health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said, “We have a huge burden of diabetes. But awareness level about the disease is very low in rural areas. We are planning to provide a diabetes test to villagers above the age of 30 from October."

India has nearly 50 million people diabetics. A recent study on the financial burden of diabetes on the common man in the country had found that 60% of diabetics irrespective of their socio–economic status pay for the expenditure incurred for treatment and management of the disease from their personal savings.

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