New Delhi, Delhi India (PressExposure) October 13, 2011 -- New Delhi, October, 2011: According to leading public health experts concerted and coordinated efforts are necessary to address the growing social and economic burden of chronic, non-communicable disease in India.
"Chronic, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, respiratory diseases and certain cancers are emerging as the global health and developmental issue worldwide and particularly so here in India, said Candace DeMatteis, policy director for the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease. "Recent WHO statistics show that NCDs are a dominant cause of morbidity and mortality and are responsible for more than 63 percent of deaths in the world today and in India, make up more than two thirds of the total disease burden. These chronic diseases are a major cause of poverty, loss of productivity and quality of life."
The health experts were brought together to discuss the growing social and economic burden at a roundtable in New Delhi entitled the 'Socio-Economic Burden of Non-Communicable Diseases in India - Defining Stakeholder Role & Roadmap'. The conference was organized by India Health Progress in association with Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease, on October 9, 2011.
The concern about the large and escalating burden of chronic NCDs is growing, both nationally and internationally, from a public health perspective as well as an economic one.
Today, it is projected that annual losses in national income in India from NCDs will exceed $10 billion and claim more than 5 million lives per year. Globally, the World Economic Forum estimates the top 5 NCDs will cost more than $47 trillion over the next 20 years.
Earlier this year, the United Nations recognized this global burden at a high-level summit where it placed NCDs on its global agenda, mobilizing the international community to take action for prevention and control of NCDs.
As a follow up to the UN Summit and continuing its endeavour towards ensuring universal access to healthcare in the country, IHP organized the conference, the second in its series of roundtables on NCDs, to bring together stakeholders and advocate for a high-level commitment towards this burgeoning issue.
Orchestrating many findings of the UN Summit, panel members agreed that cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancers, and chronic respiratory diseases have emerged as the largest cause of mortality in India.
Implementing cost-effective interventions that reduce risk factors for NCDs and adopting effective and equitable health systems can tremendously reduce the burden of NCDs.
Experts at the roundtable highlighted the best practices in preventing and managing chronic diseases and for promoting effective preventions and interventions.
"Many of these risk factors can be addressed with lifestyle changes, and with medication, when needed, said Mrs. DeMatteis. "In fact, according to the WHO, we could avoid 80% of heart disease, stroke, and type-2 diabetes, 90% of COPD, and 40% of cancer by eating better, exercising more, and avoiding tobacco."
NCDs have been silent killers for too long. But recently there has a gathering of momentum between organisations and alliances in India in this field to lobby governments, provide education, treatment and patient support, and raise awareness of the growing NCD burden. The Government too is taking large initiatives to reverse the epidemic of NCDs. It is essential to complement such national efforts with international cooperation to generate an effective response.
Mr. Aman Gupta, Principal Advisor, India Health Progress, said "NCDs are on the global agenda and all efforts of national and international bodies in this direction need to be brought together. It is also imperative to ensure that all those who have a role to play in shaping healthcare, are engaged, their views incorporated and their alignment sought on the outcome."
About India Health Progress India Health Progress is a call for action group with the objective of providing a health policy platform for its stakeholders to voice their concerns over the lack of accessibility to healthcare. IHP seeks to generate coherent discussions among its various partners and thought leaders to produce practical solutions that can improve healthcare accessibility for the masses.
About PFCD PFCD (Partnership to fight Chronic Disease) is an international body committed to raising awareness about chronic diseases. It brings together patients, providers, community, business and labour groups, and health policy experts to offer a united voice that injects patient-focused policies and practices into the dialogue on important health care issues.