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PFCD India releases National Blueprint to address growing NCD burden

Our Bureau, Mumbai
Wednesday, October 28, 2015, 16:40 Hrs  [IST]

The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) released ‘SANKALP – DISHA SWASTHA BHARAT KI’, a National Blueprint on Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) to facilitate a multi-sectoral response for prevention, control and management of growing cases of cancer, diabetes, heart and respiratory disorders, mental illness, injuries and other chronic diseases.

According to Dr. Kenneth E. Thorpe, PFCD chairman, “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.”

The National Blueprint was released by Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, director general of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) & secretary, department of health research, Dr. Jagdish Prasad, Director General Health Services (DGHS) and several key representatives from the state health departments were present on the occasion.

Over 100 experts, including prominent government health officials, medical practitioners, policy analysts, and members of the patient groups and the civil society participated in the development of the blueprint in determining a three-tiered roadmap -- Policy and Surveillance; Strengthening of Healthcare Systems; Healthcare Financing – to address this public health challenge posed by increasing cases of NCDs.

“An integrated and evidence-based chronic disease management framework for NCDs is missing in India, and therefore the release of the national blueprint -- a one-of-its kind initiative in this direction -- could be a formative step towards achieving the vision of a healthy India by 2025,” Dr Thorpe said, explaining, “India is witnessing a rapid health transition due to changing disease patterns, with NCDs attributing to higher mortality and morbidity rates. Addressing NCDs takes on paramount importance as alarming statistics show that they pose a serious threat to both the social and economic development of the country.”

As per recent reports, NCDs contribute to 53 per cent of the total disease burden in the country, resulting into 60 per cent of the total deaths. Dr. Damodar Bachani, director professor, community medicine, Lady Hardinge Medical College, and deputy commissioner (NCD) in the ministry of health & family welfare, said, “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.”

Another NAG member and director, Centre for Control of Chronic Conditions (CCDC), Dr. Prabhakaran Dorairaj 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 the health conditions, and take appropriate measures.”

Underlining the need for an integrated action plan for NCDs in India, NAG member and professor, community medicine at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Dr. Anand Krishnan, said, “The National Blueprint strikes the right balance between prevention and control. The key word here is ‘partnership’ as all of us need to work together. While the role of government is to develop appropriate multi-sectoral policies and establish surveillance and monitoring systems, the role of the private sector, both health and non-health, is critical for success.”

Other prominent members who contributed to the development of the blueprint include executive director of National Health Systems Resource (NHSRC) Dr. Sanjiv Kumar; principal secretary (public health), government of Maharashtra Sujata Saunik, president of India Diabetes Research Foundation Dr. A Ramachandran, among others.


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