Covid-19 vaccination drive: Centre ask states to use NCD screening data for identifying under-50s priority group

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The government has asked to the state to refer to the data that is generated while screening for Non-Communicable diseases at the district level. (IE Image)Covid-19 vaccination drive will commence in a few weeks and the centre has already issued guidelines to the state for the safe storage, transport and administration of the vaccine doses to identify priority group below the age of 50 with comorbidities. The government has asked to the state to refer to the data that is generated while screening for Non-Communicable diseases at the district level.

Top government sources informed that the states will prepare its priority group according to their age utilizing the data from the electoral roll reported IE. The source further added that the electoral roll data will be put over the NCD screening data to prepare the final list. States can also come up with their own strategy to prepare the final list as health is state subject.

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan and Dr V K Paul, Member, NITI Aayog in a high-level meeting finalized that the immunisation of three groups should be conducted simultaneously depending on the availability of the vaccines starting with 1 crore health workers that include doctors, nurses midwives, 2 crore frontline workers from the police to armed force and 27 crores above the age of 50 years and those with co-morbidities.

National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke (NPCDCS) rules that every state government should undertake population-based screening at the district level for early detection of Non-Communicable diseases. The part of the population that comes to healthcare centers undergo ‘opportunistic screening’ for early detection and follow-up on conditions like diabetes, hypertension and select cancer categories.

Official data suggests there are 3, 827 clinics at Community Health Centre level followed by 617 NCD clinics at the district level. There are also 214 Day Care Centres for Chemotherapy and 175 Cardiac Care Units.

States also screen the 30-plus category with the help of Community-Based Assessment Checklist (CBAC) to spread awareness about taking healthcare services for chronic illnesses, an initiative by the Ayushman Bharat scheme. The CBAC is prepared with details of a beneficiary like family history of diabetes, hypertension, symptoms for common cancer, respiratory diseases and epilepsy.

Last year in February according to central data, the initiative screened 1.30 crore people above 30 years of age for hypertension. Out of the 1.30 crore, 22.69 lakh were already undergoing treatment while, 9.01 lakh new cases were identified. Similarly, common cancer types like oral, cervical and breast cancer symptoms were screened with 37, 768 new cases found and 4,215 already undergoing treatment.

The Centre, meanwhile has also asked the states to prepare every vaccination centre with three rooms for waiting, administration and observation and use a digital platform Co-WIN to tract beneficiaries. Every session will vaccinate 100 to 200 people depending on the logistics arrangement of the centre.

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