Category: National

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) like heart diseases, stroke and diabetes are projected to increase cumulatively, and India stands to lose $237 billion during the decade 2005-2015 according to a Planning Commission report. The report has recommended Rs.58,072 crore as total budget to combat NCDs during the next five year plan period.

"Cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, chronic lung diseases and chronic kidney disease account for most of the mortality due to NCDs and would require substantial budget. Trauma, disasters, emergency medical services, diseases of bones and joints, mental health and health care of the elderly are disabling diseases and requiring investment for not only treatment but also rehabilitation," according to the report of the panel.

"Nearly one-third of the budget would be required for primary health care in the rural areas. Secondary and tertiary level care is important to manage these chronic and fatal diseases and injuries and large share of the budget would be required to upgrade and strengthen district hospitals, medical colleges and other tertiary level institutions. Many of the NCDs occur due to exposure to risk factors like tobacco, obesity, unhealthy diet, lack of physical activity and stress," it said.

NCDs account for nearly half of all deaths in India. Among the NCDs, cardiovascular diseases (CVD) account for 52 per cent of mortality, followed by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cancer, diabetes and injuries. Projection estimates have shown that unless interventions are made, burden due to NCDs will increase substantially, the report said. The potentially productive years of life lost due to CVDs in the age group of 35-64 was 9.2 million in 2000 and is expected to rise to 17.9 million in 2030. Since the majority of deaths are premature there is a substantial loss of lives during the productive years in India when compared to other countries.

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