Kochi: 'Non-communicable diseases' cause for 60 p.c. of deaths
NCDs account for 61.8 percent of all deaths followed by communicable diseases 27.5 percent.
Kochi: The spread of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) is emerging as a major public health concern in the country with over 60 percent of all deaths in the country accounted by NCDs, experts attending a two-day international public health conference at Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences said Friday.
India is currently suffering from triple burden of disease the unfinished agenda of infectious diseases, the challenge of NCDs linked with lifestyle changes and the emerge-nce of new pathogens causing epidemics and pandemics, they pointed out.
NCDs account for 61.8 percent of all deaths followed by communicable diseases 27.5 percent and injuries 10.7 percent, acc-ording to the organisers of the event.
India’s public health situation is problematic, with underfunded and overcrowded hospitals and inadequate rural coverage, said Dr. Vijayakumar Chief of Public Health and Community Medicine. Speaking on the changing disease profile in the country, he said while the biggest killer of Indians in 1990 was diarrheal disease followed by heart disease, today the order has got reversed. Lung diseases have grown rapidly among the population. “Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (a group of lung conditions that cause breathing difficulties) has climbed the charts to become the second deadliest killer”, he said.
The participants have also expressed concern over the growing inequality and access to health care facilities in the country.
According to Vijayaku-mar over 40 percent of all patients admitted in hospitals in the country have to borrow money or sell assets to cover their medical expenses and 25 percent of all farmer patients are driven below the poverty line by catastrophic healthcare costs.
Dr. K Srinath Reddy, President, Public Health Foundation of India, K Sujatha Rao, Former Health Secretary, Dr. Prashant Mathur, Direc-tor, National Center for Disease Informatics & Research, Sarthak Das, Senior Advisor, Global Health Policy, Harvard Global Health Institute, Dr. Subhash Vasudevan, Professor, Emerging Inf-ectious Diseases Prog-ramme, Duke-NUS Med-ical School, Singapore, Dr Jonathan Campion, Director for Public Mental Health, National Health Service, UK and several others attended the conference.