Ghulam Nabi Azad, the Union Health and Family Welfare Minister launched the indigenously developed diabetes screening system and test strips.
The indigenous product developed by the Birla Institute of Technology, Hyderabad and IIT, Mumbai will be manufactured by M/s Biosense Technologies.
Azad said that indigenously developed screening system and strips will significantly lower costs, and thereby, dramatically increase accessibility and equity in terms of diagnosis and control of diabetes and have a tremendous socio-economic impact throughout the country.
Monday's launch will make screening for blood sugar affordable to millions by achieving the target of a price below Rs. 5, less than 20 per cent of the lowest priced strips currently available in the market, he said.
These new technologies have a clear potential applicability to nearly 13 crore Indians who are diabetics or pre-diabetics today.
In the long run, it is expected that these will go a long way in helping the programme as well as communities for early detection of diabetes in the country.
Speaking at the occasion, Azad said diabetes mellitus is rapidly rising all over the world and all countries.
Globally, it is estimated that there are about 382 million people living with diabetes. India alone is reported to have more than 65 million cases of diabetes, the second largest number of diabetic patients after China.
He expressed concern that with an estimated 175 million people (nearly 50 per cent of known diabetics) currently un-diagnosed, a vast number are simply unaware of their condition and progressing towards complications without any effort at control or treatment.
Azad said India entered into a paradigm shift, by launching the National Programme on Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, CVDs, and Stroke in the year 2010 in 100 selected districts taken up initially as pilot project across 21 states.
He said that under the programme, more than 53 million persons for diabetes and more than 50 million for hypertension have already been screened.
He also said that 29,000 glucometers, 5.8 crore glucostrips and 6.67 crore lancets were supplied to the 21 states by Union Health Ministry for screening and chemotherapy services were started in 11 districts with central support.