National plan on non-communicable diseases

Published: Thursday 31 January 2008

the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare recently launched a national programme on prevention and control of non-communicable diseases--diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and stroke--in the country.

Lifestyle-related diseases accounted for 53 per cent of all deaths in India in 2005. India had agreed to who's global strategy on diet, physical activity and health in 2004, but had failed to implement any major programme. The only other programme for non-communicable disease in the country is against cancer, which has existed for over 50 years.

The new pilot programme was launched in Kerala, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh. It will be implemented in one district in each state through a non-communicable disease cell. The Planning Commission has given the states Rs 49.16 lakh each to begin the programme.

Under the programme, the health of the general population will be promoted by increasing awareness at the community level, workplace and schools. People at high risk will be provided better treatment and care by reorienting the public health delivery system, setting up special clinics and involving private sector units such as the Indian Medical Association. It also involves assessing prevalence of risk factors in the community. This will involve getting information on tobacco and alcohol consumption habits, blood pressure, body mass index, etc.

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