What ails the urban slums - morbidity profile of urban slum dwellers from three major cities of India

Ashish Giri, M. Abdul Wassey, Vishal Dogra


Background: India today has over 61 million people residing in urban slums. Slums, on one hand, lack the basic requirements of housing, sanitation, and water supply that are detrimental for good health and on the other hand subject its residents to extreme poverty, unemployment and stress. Exposure to these environmental factors is expected to cause a distinct sort of morbidity pattern, which this study seeks to explore.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was a secondary data analysis of aggregated data of patients who availed health services at the mobile medical unit (MMU) of the Ujjivan program run by Piramal Swasthya in the last one year. The project has a fleet of MMUs that makes at least one predestined monthly visit to each service point in urban slums of Bangalore (42 sites), Pune (18 sites) and Mumbai (19 sites).

Results: Musculoskeletal disorders (30.69%) and cardiovascular diseases (25.56%) together accounted for 56.25% of the total disease burden. The analysis of blood pressure readings of all the registrations showed that the mean systolic and diastolic pressures were 129.71 and 84.92 mmHg respectively. 51.58% of all individuals had hypertension and 23.51 % had diabetes.

Conclusions: According to the study a major proportion of urban populous seeking healthcare at the MMU are women and elderly and do so for non-communicable diseases. Hypertension and diabetes are major health threats among them. MMU could be used as an effective mode of service delivery for women and the elderly especially, for chronic diseases.


Diabetes mellitus, Hypertension, Mobile medical unit, Morbidity profile, Urban slums

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