‘Non-communicable diseases a major health challenge for India’

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) will soon take a toll on the elderly in the country, according to statistics in a report titled 'Non-communicable diseases - India's next major health challenge' released by the South Asia Human Development, Health Nutrition and Population, of the World Bank.

According to a recent policy prepared keeping India in mind by the World Health Organisation on Non-communicable Diseases in South Asia, it has come to light that the population above 65 years of age will rise from the 4.4 per cent it was in 2000 to 7.6 per cent in 2025 and older persons are more likely to be affected by NCDs.

The statistics were discussed by experts from World Health Organisation and the Public Health Foundation of India in collaboration with School of Public Health, PGI during a one day workshop held today.

They suggest that NCDs are going to be a major challenge as they would account for 67% of total deaths by 2030.

The theme of the workshop was Multi-sectoral partnerships for health promotion and NCD prevention in India.

The experts also discussed the need for multi-sectoral partnership which includes various ministries (legislative), private institutions along with medical institutions to tackle NCDs (cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, COPD, injuries and mental disorder) which account for 53% deaths in India.

The main reason for NCDs are high usage of tobacco, alcohol, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, stress, insufficient treatment and general lack of awareness among Indians.

Dr D Bachani from the Ministry of Health threw light on health care schemes, their budget and strategies for future, while Dr Vivek Trivedi, Social Development Officer, State Urban Poverty Allevation Cell, Chandigarh stressed the need of special care for poor and slum-dwellers as they are suffering from problems like lung cancer, are underweight, have malnourished children because they use more tobacco, inferior quality of alcohol and are unable to get proper nutrition.

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