Ministry of Health and Family Welfare20-September, 2011 13:07 IST
Shri Azad Leads High Level Delegation to United Nations Assembly on Prevention And Control of Non-Communicable Diseases

India Reaffirms Strong Commitment to Prevent and Combat NCDs
NPCDCSto Cover Entire Country by April 2012
“The scourge of Diabetes, Cardio-Vascular Diseases (CVDs), Cancer and Chronic Respiratory Diseases, the four major Non-Communicable Diseases is posing a mounting challenge to health care practitioners, administrators and policy makers alike in terms of both the increasing complexity of treatment and management and rising demand for more resources”. The Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad said this while addressing the High-level Meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases which began on 19th September 2011 at New York. Heads of State and Government and representatives of States and Governments are meeting at the United Nations from 19 to 20 September 2011 to address the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases worldwide, with a particular focus on developmental and other challenges and social and economic impacts, particularly for developing countries. The Indian team is led by the Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad. The other members of the delegation include Syeda Saiyidain Hameed, Member, Planning Commission, Government of India, Prof. K. Srinath Reddy, President, Public Health Foundation of India, Dr. Rajendra A Badwe, Director Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, Shri. Keshav Desiraju, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.

Shri Azad said that “As far as India is concerned, we are faced with the triple burden of communicable diseases, new and re-emerging infections and the increasing incidence of non-communicable diseases. More than half of all deaths are now attributed to Non-Communicable Diseases. However, we must recognize that conditions such as mental and neurological disorders also require special attention”. The Minister said that this UN meeting provides “a historic opportunity in reaffirming our commitments, both financial and human resources, for combating the NCDs. We need to make concrete commitments on sharing global resources, technical expertise and best practices to build capacity to combat NCDs”. He reaffirmed India’s strong commitment to the outcome document and firm resolve to prevent and combat NCDs by improving accessibility and affordability of health care in a concerted and more collaborative manner.

Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad informed that alarmed by the rising incidence of the non-communicable diseases and its impact on the health care delivery, a national summit was held in India subsequent to the Global Health Ministerial Conference on Healthy Lifestyles and Non-communicable Disease Control in Moscow in April 2011. “Besides the Delhi Call for Action from the national meet, we now also have 10 key messages from the recently held WHO South-East Asia Regional meeting at Jaipur in India”, he added. The Union Health Minister emphasized that Non Communicable Diseases are not only a health issue but also a development issue as they impact productivity and also impoverish the society due to high health expenditures. Therefore, the Government of India has launched a “National Programme for Prevention & Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardio Vascular Diseases (CVDs) and Stroke (NPCDCS)” and the “National Programme for Health Care of Elderly (NPHCE)”. This has been taken up for implementation as a pilot project covering 150 million population in 100 inaccessible and most backward districts during the current financial year (2011-2012) at a cost of 275 million USD. The program includes several components such as: - Establishment of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) clinics at 100 district hospitals and 700 Community Health Centers (CHCs) for diagnosis and management of Cardiovascular Diseases (CVD), Diabetes & Stroke and Cardiac Care Unit in district hospitals; ensuring availability of life saving drugs – wherein an additional 1,250 USD will be provided to each district hospital in 100 districts; For early detection of cancer common diagnostic services are being provided at these 100 district hospitals. Provision is also being made for basic surgery, chemotherapy and palliative care at these hospitals; For supporting Chemotherapy, drugs will be provided in these 100 district hospitals for 10,000 patients at the cost of 25 million USD; In addition, 65 centres are being strengthened as Tertiary Cancer Centres (TCCs) to provide comprehensive cancer care services at a cost of 1.5 million USD each.

As of now screening of diabetics and hypertension is being carried out in these 100 identified Districts in 21 States and urban slums of 33 cities with more than 1 million population, where all adult males above 30 years of age and pregnant women of all age groups are being screened. “Our target is to screen about 150 million people by March 2012 under this pilot project. This national programme will be rolled out in the entire country in April, 2012” he informed.

Shri Azad also said that India’s technology innovations have led to affordable health care not only for our population but also for many other countries in the world. Prominent among these are re-combinant human insulin, poly-pill for prevention of cardio-vascular and stroke events, clot buster to enhance efficiency and a heart valve for rheumatic heart disease. He asked the august gathering to thus also address the issue of trade barriers which restrict access to affordable and newly developed medicines. “It is vital to ensure universal access to medicines, including through the full use of the flexibilities contained in the TRIPS Agreement and the Doha Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health” Shri Azad reiterated.

Non-Communicable Diseases are emerging as the leading cause of disease, disability and death worldwide. The WHO 2004 report on Mortality and Burden of Disease Estimates for WHO Member States estimated that NCDs contributed half (50%) of the total mortality in the country and were the major causes of death. With the cumulative increase in losses from premature deaths due to heart diseases, stroke and diabetes, India stands to lose 237 billion US dollars during the decade 2004-2015 (WHO Report on Preventing Chronic Diseases: a vital investment, 2005).Tobacco use has emerged as the single common risk factor for four of the major NCDs. World Bank in its recent report “Capitalizing on the Demographic Transition: Tackling Non-communicable Diseases in South Asia” warns that NCDs can hold back development and poverty reduction efforts in low-income countries.

The UN General Assembly has adopted the political declaration on the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke, chronic respiratory disease and cancer which together kill some 36 million people each year. For the first time, global leaders have reached consensus in the General Assembly on concrete actions to tackle these diseases. The UN Political Declaration paints a grim picture that will unfold in coming decade if we do not show urgent commitments to tackle it. The declaration identifies 4 NCDs as the major killers such as Cancer, cardiovascular illness, chronic respiratory diseases and Diabetes and 4 strategies to prevent vast majority of these NCDs – Tobacco, Alcohol, unhealthy food and lack of exercise. The WHO is charged with working with Member States to establish global targets on NCDs by the end of 2012. The draft declaration as it stands means NCDs will stay on the UN agenda for years to come. It agrees the UN Secretary-General must report back on progress achieved in the Declaration's commitments to the General Assembly in 2013/2014 in preparation for a comprehensive review in 2014.

(Release ID :76096)