Blueprint to tackle non-communicable diseases released

It has a list of good practices and gives structure to an otherwise unregulated field

By Jyotsna Singh
Published: Thursday 29 October 2015
Diabetes Test Credit: Victor, Flickr
Diabetes Test Credit: Victor, Flickr Diabetes Test Credit: Victor, Flickr

The Partnership to Fight Chronic Diseases (PFCD), a US-based non-profit, recently released “Sankalp—Disha Swastha Bharat Ki”, a national blueprint on Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs).

The blueprint is meant to facilitate a multi-sectoral response to prevent and control growing cases of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, respiratory disorders, mental illness, injuries and other chronic diseases. It will help formulate a structured approach to combat NCDs.

“The National Blueprint presents a result-oriented action plan to facilitate the Centre and state governments, private entities and healthcare implementers with best practices and innovative measures to address the growing burden of NCDs in India,” said Kenneth E Thorpe, chairperson, PFCD.  

More than 100 experts, including prominent government health officials, medical practitioners, policy analysts, members of patient groups and civil society participated in the development of the blueprint.

“An integrated and evidence-based chronic disease management framework for NCDs is missing in India. At the same time, the country is witnessing a rapid health transition due to changing disease patterns, with NCDs attributing to higher mortality and morbidity rates,” said Thorpe.

NCDs contribute to 53 per cent of the total disease burden in India, resulting in 60 per cent of total deaths.

“This National Blueprint is an attempt to shift the focus from an ‘issue-stating’ to the ‘problem-solving’ stage, and bring in a systematic approach to address the growing burden of NCDs in the country,” said Damodar Bachani, director professor of Community Medicine at Lady Hardinge Medical College as well as deputy commissioner for NCDs in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Prabhakaran Dorairaj, executive director at the Centre for Chronic Disease Control and a member of the National Advisory Group explained, “In our country, efforts to combat NCDs are largely unstructured and lack an integrated approach. This exercise is an attempt to draw a template towards an action-oriented approach, and help states prioritise health conditions, and take appropriate measures.”

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