Operational Guidelines for integration of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease with NPCDCS

The Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare, Dr Harsh Vardhan, has launched the operational guidelines to Integrate the Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) with National Programme for Prevention & Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke (NPCDCS).

Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD)

  • It is an abnormal condition where fat accumulate in liver in the absence of secondary causes of fatty liver including the viral hepatitis, alcohol use or medications.
  • It is a serious health concern as it encircles a spectrum of liver abnormalities. It can lead to more advanced liver abnormalities like non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), cirrhosis or Liver cancer from a simple non-alcoholic fatty liver or simple fatty liver disease.
  • In the last two decades global burden of NASH has doubled.
  • NASH led to the 40 lakh cases of compensated cirrhosis in 1990 globally. This burden increased further to 94 lakhs in the year 2017.
  • It is also emerging as an important cause of liver disease in India.
  • As per the “Epidemiological studies”, the prevalence of NAFLD is around 9% to 32% of the general population in India.
  • The prevalence is higher in those with overweight or obesity and those with diabetes or prediabetes.
  • Studies also highlights that, the people with NAFLD have a greater chance of developing cardiovascular disease.

Concerns

Once the NAFLD develops, there is no specific cure for it. However, health promotion & prevention aspects which targets to the weight reduction, healthy lifestyle and control of risk factors are mainstays for the progression & prevention of the mortality & morbidity caused due to NAFLD.

Preventive measures

India has become the first country in the world that has identify the need for action to control NAFLD. Following measures are being taken by the government as a preventive measure:

  • Behaviour and lifestyle changes.
  • Early diagnosis and management of NAFLD,
  • Capacity building at various levels of healthcare to prevent, diagnose and treat the NAFLD.

National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke (NPCDCS)

This programme was launched in the year 2010 so as to prevent and control major NCDs. The programme focuses on human resource development, strengthening the infrastructure, early diagnosis, health promotion, management and referral. Under this, NCD Cells are being established at National, State and District levels to manage the programme. The programme is also establishing the NCD Clinics at the District and CHC levels for early diagnosis and treatment.

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