Lifestyle-related diseases largest cause of death in India

A recent study by World Health Organisation (WHO) has pointed out that out of every 10 deaths in India, eight are caused by non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cardiovascular diseases, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes in urban India. In rural India, six out of every 10 deaths is caused by NCDs.

Globally, 60% of the deaths are now caused by NCDs. The study says that NCDs are affecting the entire globe and if not controlled, they will become a tsunami that will not only kill people but impair development and crash economies.

The Ministry of health has alarmed on the study and now it is launching a comprehensive national programme to prevent and control these. This national programme will be rolled out during the 12th Plan period starting 2012. It will cover all 640 districts. The programme will focus on health promotion, prevention of exposure to risk factors, early diagnosis, and treatment of NCDs and rehabilitation. Some more facts:

  • India with an estimated 5.1 crore diabetics has the world’s second largest diabetic population following China.
  • Unless effective measures are taken, India may have 8 crore diabetics by 2030.
  • Number of people affected by cardio-vascular diseases which was about 3.8 crore in 2005 may go up to 6.4 crore by 2015.

UN General Assembly on the Prevention and Control of NCDs is scheduled to be held in September 2011. It will decide how to better prevent, diagnose and treat cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease and diabetes, which together cause 8 million deaths worldwide, annually.

Background NPCDCS

India has a National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases & Stroke. The erstwhile National Cancer Control Programme was revisited and reformulated in 2009 as comprehensive National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases & Stroke (NPCDCS) for the remaining two years of the 11th Five Year Plan. During the year 2010-11 and 2011-12, a provision of ` 1230.90 crore has been made for NPCDCS out of which Rs. 731.52 crore is for Cancer component. The new programme envisages implementation in 100 districts of 21 States.

The objectives of this programme include the prevention and control of common non-communicable diseases (NCDs) which includes cancer, through behaviour and life style changes; provide early diagnosis and management of common NCDs, build capacity at various levels of health care for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of common NCDs; train human resource with the public health set up to cope with the increasing burden of NCDs and establish and develop capacity for palliative & rehabilitative care.



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