Mumbai, Aug 6 IANS | 4 months ago

Non Communicable Diseases account for nearly 60 percent or six million of the total annual mortalities (deaths) in India, a WHO report said.

NCDs also are the biggest global killers accounting for 38 million deaths every year, with a staggering 28 million in the low and middle-income countries, including India, the "NCD Country Profiles 2014" of the World Health Organisation (WHO) said Wednesday.

The report says India lacks an evidence-based national guideline for the management of these major NCDs through a primary care approach.

"Diabetes, cancer, vascular diseases, hypertension and stroke (all NCDs) are all on the rise in India. Some of these are the expected effect of an aging population, but other factors include unhealthy diets and lack of physical activity," cautioned Kenneth E. Thorpe, Chairman of Partnership to Fight Chronic Diseases (PFCD) and Chairman, Department of Health Policy and Management, Rollins School of Public Health at the Emory University.

"The exponential rise of NCDs in India can impact economic growth through a number of different conduits. Most NCDs affect the person in their productive years between 30-70 years, posing immense pressure on public health expenditure. Another key dimension is the higher treatment costs for NCDs as compared to communicable diseases," Thorpe said.

He was speaking at a multi-stakeholder discussion on "Facing Our Future: Countering Non-Communicable Diseases in India Through Investments in Innovation", hosted by PFCD here.

According to a study by the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), in conjunction with the World Economic Forum, NCDs will cost India an astronomical Rs.126 trillion from now through 2030 -- an amount 1.5 times India's annual aggregate income, and almost 35 times India's total annual health spending.

(Posted on 07-08-2014)

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