Health Department Officials Unaware of Health Status, Says Study

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A Study published in the RGUHS’ (Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences) National Journal of Public Health last week says that, most of the health professionals in the state of Karnataka are themselves unaware of their health status. In a country where there are billion people who depend on the health department to make them better and one would think they know about the diseases.

The study in which 502 individuals working at the state health directorate were assessed for Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and Hypertension, it was found that 40 percent of the workforce in the health directorate were overweight, 11 percent were obese, 18 percent had diabetes, and 31 percent had hypertension. The study recommends routine screening and medical check-up programmes to identify the risk category and timely intervention.

Dr Ratan Kelkar, in-charge health commissioner and director, National Health Mission, Karnataka, said, “I agree we should have a yearly check-up for all staff like all-India service officials who have to undergo annual check ups. The state officials should also be made to undergo the same. Last year, we did NCD screening for all staff in Vidhana Soudha and intend to make it a regular activity in all government offices across the state in the days to come.”

Ajay Seth, additional chief secretary, department of health and family welfare, said, “Hypertension is a lifestyle disorder. Everyone should get tested in an individual capacity. However, we need to look at whether these rates are higher than the national average. Also, there are 40,000 employees in the health department and 500 is a small sample section.”

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