Multi sectoral action plan needed to combat non-communicable diseases, the minister said
Sakshi Kuchroo | April 7, 2016
Union minister of health and family welfare, JP Nadda on Thursday said that there is urgent need for the government to focus on the youth and plan a multi-sectoral approach with other departments to reduce the risk of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in the country.
“It is important to take care of the curative part by spreading awareness about NCDs like diabetes but we have to be very aggressive on the preventive part where we need to focus on the lifestyle choices of the youngsters which are responsible for the dramatic increase in the ratio of diabetic patients in India. We need to update the real time data of the number of diabetic and pre-diabetic patients. After that, all our departments can work together and figure out how we should move forward with the solution,” he said.
Nadda was speaking at a national consultation on diabetes organised by World Health Organisation (WHO) on the occasion of World Health Day 2016. The programme saw the attendance of various dignitaries from the WHO and the ministry.
Responding to the minister’s views, secretary, ministry of health, BP Sharma said that the screening of children in schools is really important, not only to keep a track of their health but also to educate them about the deadly disease that is diabetes. “Our primary healthcare is based on reproductive and child health programme (RCH). To fight NCDs like diabetes, we need to make it more comprehensive. Considering the usage of technology by children today, mobiles and internet can be of great help in making them aware,” Sharma said.
The WHO estimates that globally, high blood glucose is the third leading risk factor for premature mortality after high blood pressure and tobacco use. The overall risk of premature death among people with diabetes is at least double the risk of their non-diabetic peers. Globally, the prevalence of diabetes is estimated to be 422 million (8.5% of adults aged 20-79). In 2015, an estimated 7.8% adults in India had diabetes.
Dr Soumya Swaminathan, secretary, Department of Health Research highlighted the fact that those who are underweight at the time of their birth are more prone to diabetes at a later stage and hence it is necessary to start working on the problem from childhood. “Pre-diabetes is very common in adolescent girls and pregnant women. We need to focus on them if we want to fight the problem at large,” she said.
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