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Year : 2023  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 94-97

Opportunities for community-based screening of diabetes mellitus in pilgrimages: An experience of the “Wari”

Department of Community Medicine, Byramjee Jeejeebhoy Government Medical College and Sassoon General Hospital, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Isha Tambolkar
Department of Community Medicine, Byramjee Jeejeebhoy Government Medical College and Sassoon General Hospital, Pune - 411 001, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/mjhs.mjhs_106_22

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Introduction: The Indian population is considered to have a high risk of developing diabetes mellitus. High-risk people are advised to undergo opportunistic screening since early detection allows for an early start of treatments targeted at improving glycemic control, thereby reducing or delaying the onset of complications. Through this study, we aim to utilize this golden opportunity for screening diabetes among apparently healthy individuals and thus determine the prevalence of diabetes among them. Materials and Methods: In June of 2022, an opportunistic screening camp for diabetes was organized during the annual Wari procession by the ADORE trust in a hall at Saswad. Using a public address system, the people who voluntarily entered the premises of the hall were shown a poster exhibit briefed about general knowledge about diabetes including its risk factors, complications, the silent killer nature, and on the Dixit lifestyle to prevent and reverse diabetes. Following this, the people were encouraged to consent to a blood sugar test voluntarily. The team of volunteers used glucometers, systematically recorded random blood sugar level (Random BSL) readings of the participants, and contacted the people with Random BSL above 200 mg/dl to counsel them for further follow-up. Results: Out of the 1734 people screened, 269 people were found to have a Random BSL above 200 mg/dl. Thus, 15.51% of the total people screened could be categorized into the “diabetic” category. Out of the 269 people who were found to have a Random BSL above 200 mg/dl, 195 were male and 94 were female. Conclusion: An opportunistic screening program is cost-effective, feasible, and has large-scale implications. Such programs must be implemented on a national scale as part of various schemes to combat health issues such as, but not limited to, noncommunicable diseases. From our initiative of opportunistic screening for diabetes, 269 participants whose Random BSL was not in the normal range were picked up. With proper counseling, they can be set on a path to reverse their course and prevent unnecessary complications.

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