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The government’s noncommunicable disease programme has been rebranded

The article highlights the Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s plan to rename and expand its noncommunicable disease (NCD) control and prevention programme.

Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs)?

  • NCDs are also known as chronic diseases since they are not caused by infectious agents and cannot be passed from person to person.
  • NCDs are long-lasting and progress slowly, with symptoms generally appearing years later.
  • Cardiovascular diseases, malignancies, chronic respiratory disorders, and diabetes are examples of NCDs.
  • These diseases are frequently caused by modifiable risk factors such as poor diet, inactivity, cigarette and alcohol use, and environmental factors.
  • NCDs are a major source of illness and mortality globally, accounting for over 70% of all fatalities.

Why is this in the news?

  • With the addition of numerous new diseases and health programmes, the Indian government has expanded and renamed its NCD programme.

The NCD Programme and Portal have been renamed

  • The NPCDCS has been renamed the “National Programme for Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases [NP-NCD]” by the Ministry.
  • The application or software formerly known as Comprehensive Primary Healthcare Noncommunicable Disease (CPHC NCD IT) has been renamed “National NCD Portal.”
  • On May 3, 2023, the Ministry notified this decision to the states in a one-page letter and requested them to comply with the adjustments.

Future action and implementation

  • The NPCDCS is being implemented across India as part of the National Health Mission.
  • The letter, which was sent to the Principal Secretaries and Health Secretaries of all States and Union Territories, directed the government to use the new names for the scheme and portal in any future references and correspondence with the Indian government.
  • NPCDCS has established 677 NCD district-level clinics, 187 District Cardiac Care Units, 266 District Day Care Centres, and 5,392 NCD Community Health Centre-level clinics.

NCD Burden in India

According to the ICMR report ‘India: Health of the Nation’s States – The India State-Level Disease Burden Initiative in 2017,’ the proportion of mortality owing to NCDs in India increased from 37.9% in 1990 to 61.8% in 2016.

The four primary NCDs are as follows:

  • Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs)
  • Cancers
  • Chronic respiratory diseases (CRDs) and
  • Diabetes

The study identified four behavioural risk factors: poor diet, a lack of physical activity, and use of tobacco and alcohol.

Solutions to reduce the burden of NCDs

  • Encourage a healthy way of life: Encourage people to adopt healthy lifestyle choices such as frequent physical activity, a balanced and nutritious diet, the avoidance of tobacco and alcohol, and adequate rest.
  • Raising awareness and education: Increase public awareness of the risk factors for NCDs and educate them on how to prevent these diseases.
  • Increase access to healthcare services, particularly in rural and remote regions, to enable early detection, treatment, and management of NCDs.
  • Policy and regulation implementation: Implement rules and regulations that encourage healthy living, such as raising tobacco and alcohol taxes and regulating the promotion of unhealthy food products.
  • Encourage public-private partnerships: Encourage collaboration between the government, private sector, and civil society organisations to prevent and manage NCDs.
  • Increase research and innovation in the prevention, early detection, and treatment of NCDs in order to create innovative and effective solutions.
Source: https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/health/new-diseases-and-initiatives-prompt-health-ministry-to-widen-and-rename-ncd-programme/article66816673.ece#:~:text=The%20existing%20National%20Programme%20for,amid%20widening%20coverage%20and%20expansion
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