India’s first centre for chronic conditions launched

The centre will conduct research into chronic diseases to find solutions and prevent their spread

By Jyotsna Singh
Published: Wednesday 08 April 2015

Research has shown that smoking increases the risk of heart diseases, which is a chronic condition (Photo: 55Lamey69/Flickr) A centre to study and find solutions to chronic diseases was launched by Minister of State for Science and Technology Y S Chowdary in New Delhi on Tuesday.

The Centre for Control of Chronic Conditions (CCCC) is an international partnership among the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi; Emory University, USA; the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK and the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), Delhi.

On this occasion, AIIMS director M C Misra said, “India, alongside other developing nations, has not yet got over infectious disease burden in all age groups, and childhood, in particular. It is also projected that India and China will house the largest proportion (80 per cent) of elderly population with all antecedent health issues, which would include chronic disease burden, which has not been witnessed earlier.”

What CCCC is all about

The centre headquartered at PHFI will boast of a multi-disciplinary group of researchers and health professionals from a wide range of disciplines like clinical, public health, genetics, biochemistry and social sciences.

Primarily, CCCC will focus on chronic conditions like cardiovascular diseases and stroke, mental disorders, diabetes, chronic lung diseases, cancers, injuries and chronic kidney diseases.

On this occasion, Chowdary also released a report on Chronic Conditions in India—Evidence based Solutions for a Growing Health Crisis. The report addresses the rising number of chronic diseases in India and argues that the cost of inaction towards chronic conditions would be too high for the country to bear.

Expert comments

Talking about injuries, Misra said, “Injury epidemic is real in developing countries and 88 per cent of injury burden remains in Asia which is contributed largely by India and China.”

He added that when we compare death in all age groups, injury stands at number three. But when it comes to years of productive life lost and Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs) due to injury, the number exceeds both cancer and heart disease put together.

In his address, James Curran, Dean, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, said, “The challenge of chronic conditions confronting India cannot be overstated. It is assumed that chronic conditions are diseases only affecting rich countries or the rich people in poor countries. Evidence now tells us that this is untrue. Chronic conditions are now a global challenge and there is a pressing need for greater understanding on how it affects people, and even threatens to undermine economic development.”

Srinath Reddy of PHFI said, “India currently faces the dual burden of communicable diseases and chronic non-communicable diseases The increasing burden of chronic conditions has had not only obvious health implications but also economic and developmental consequences. …Centre for Control of Chronic Conditions will generate world-class knowledge which can impact policy and practice, and will work with and educate the wider community about lifestyle-associated diseases to improve quality of life and reduce the burden of chronic conditions.”

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