“In the last three years our efforts have been towards building a ‘Swasth Bharath’ and as such prevention of diseases and timely intervention will always remain in the forefront, whether for Communicable or Non-Communicable Diseases,” stated J P Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare. He was speaking at the inauguration of National Training for Universal Screening and Control of five Common Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) such as hypertension, diabetes and three common cancers: cervix, breast and oral cavity, here today. Also present was Anupriya Patel, Minister of State (Health & Family Welfare).
Speaking at the occasion, J P Nadda stated that under the universal screening of common NCDs program, everyone above the age of 30 years will be screened in the 100 districts of the country in the first phase. Gradually, it will cover the entire country and around 50 crore people will be covered so that timely intervention can reduce the disease burden in the country, Nadda said. “NCDs are acquired lifestyle ailments, which places a very high burden through the healthcare cost,” Nadda added. The Health Ministry is working through a two-pronged strategy, he stated. This included healthy children through the total immunization program whereby in the past three years, the basket of vaccines has been increased from providing cover to 11 vaccine preventable diseases, from the earlier six. This is complemented by the goals set under the National Health Policy 2017 which has sharpened the focus towards promotive and preventive health care and wellness; these mandate the government to shift attention to non-communicable diseases.
Nadda further said that much progress has been made in past two years and now NCD clinics have been operational in more than 400 districts. “We have adopted 10 National targets in our action plan to prevent and control NCDs. 20 State Cancer Institutes (SCI) and 50 Tertiary Care Cancer Centres (TCCCs) are being set up for providing comprehensive Cancer care. National Cancer Institute, Jhajjar (with bed capacity of 710) and second campus of Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute, Kolkata are also being established,” Nadda added.
Speaking at the function, Anupriya Patel, Minister of State (Health & Family Welfare) said that the challenge and threat from NCDs has increased manifold and around 90 lakh people die every year due to these diseases. Smt Anupriya Patel further stated that 7 crore people are suffering from diabetes and around 7-8 crore from cardio vascular diseases. She further informed that 13 lakh patients of cancer are added every year. “All these figures explain the magnitude of the issue in hand. All these are lifestyle generated and can easily be prevented, she said. Smt Anupriya Patel emphasized on the need for generating awareness about these issues and collaborating with various stakeholders like community, NGO, etc.
J P Nadda also released a set of four training modules for primary health care team constituting the frontline workers, namely, the ASHAs and ANMs and the facility based service providers, namely – the Staff Nurses and the Medical Officers.