Ayushman wellness takes up preventive mass screening


Photo credit Twitter Gujarat state health agency

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By Shruti Sharma

New Delhi, August 3: Proportion of deaths due to Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) increased from 37.9 per cent in 1990 to 61.8 per cent in 2016. It could be estimated that the Covid-19 pandemic also added an unprecedented disruption in the national health ecosystem.

On one hand, the nation is dealing with the nutritional deficiencies, malnutrition, poverty and hunger, while on the other, there are four major NCDs like cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), cancers, chronic respiratory diseases (CRDs), and diabetes, which are burdening the nation and hampering the economic growth of the country. [1]

In order to bring a paradigm shift and address the issue of lifestyle diseases, thereby enhancing the health trajectory of the nation, while making healthcare facilities available at the rural level, the Ayushman Bharat – Health and Wellness Centre mission was launched in 2014.

To curb the prevailing non-communicable diseases, preventive healthcare measures are provided through the strengthening of pre-existing primary healthcare structures.

Today, more than 1.18 lakhs Health and Wellness Centres are operationalized and robust healthcare mechanism in the primary healthcare services, preventive approach is adopted by the current government, which is working progressively to bring down the out-of-pocket expenditure on the health services.

Ayushman Bharat-Health and Wellness Centres have crossed a landmark milestone in the screening of more than 19 crore people for hypertension and around 15.73 crore screenings for diabetes.

Similarly, these functional AB-HWCs have done more than 10.33 crore screenings for oral cancer, more than 3.41 crore screenings for cervical cancer in women, and more than 5.06 crore screenings for breast cancer in women.

These screenings are mandatory to prevent the diseases at the early stages, thus saving the people from the adversities of the diseases at later stages.

India is also redefining its preventive healthcare mechanism and reviving the hidden wisdom of ancient science by promoting Ayurveda.

Additionally, yoga is included in the healthcare model, with a separate yoga room mandated under the Ayushman Bharat Health and Wellness Center to promote yoga practices and advocacy is done through ASHA workers at the grass root level.

The Ayushman Bharat-HWC model is bringing behavioural changes in the lifestyle of the people, thus strengthening the healthcare system and providing basic healthcare services to the weaker section.

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