“Prevention of diseases will always remain in the forefront, whether for communicable or non-communicable diseases, and awareness regarding a balanced lifestyle and healthy living is a crucial pillar in combating non-communicable diseases,” health minister JP Nadda said, launching the initiatives.
The programmes include detailed guidelines for screening of such diseases like cancer, diabetes and hypertension. The ministry has also launched a dedicated awareness campaign to educate people about preventive measures and benefits of exercise, healthy eating and a balanced lifestyle.
According to a World Health Organisation (WHO) assessment, an estimated 60 per cent of all deaths in India are due to non-communicable diseases. Cardiovascular diseases alone account for 26% of the total mortality, while chronic respiratory diseases lead to 13 per cent of deaths. Cancer and diabetes, incidences of which are rapidly increasing in India, accounted for 7 per cent and 2 per cent of mortality respectively in 2014.
Besides, mental health conditions in India, including depression and schizophrenia, also contribute heavily to NCD burden. Estimates suggest that over 20 million or two crore Indians suffer from mental health conditions. Nadda said there is an urgent need for paying attention to the “preventive aspects” of NCDs.