Leveraging digital health technologies can improve reach of NCD prevention: Union health minister

India has developed a National multi-sectoral action plan for prevention and control of common NCDs which offers a road map and menu of policy options to guide multi-sectoral efforts involving other ministries/departments towards attaining the NCD targets: Dr Mandaviya

“India assures that it is committed to the cause of prevention and control of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) and fully appreciates and acknowledges the global efforts to leverage digital health technologies that can improve the reach and efficiency of NCD prevention and management programs. Telemedicine, mobile health applications, and data analytics can enhance patient engagement, improve access to care, and facilitate monitoring and evaluation.” This was stated by the Union Health Minister, Dr Mansukh Mandaviya as he addressed the annual meeting of the Friends of the UN Inter-Agency Task Force on the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) and Mental Health on the occasion of the opening week of the 78th session of the UN General Assembly today through a video message.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General, World Health Organization (WHO), Catharina Boehme, Assistant Director-General, External Relations and Governance WHO, Dr Hans Kluge, Regional Director, WHO Europe were also present in the meeting.

Accentuating the impact of  NCDs, the union health minister informed that NCDs have become a significant global health challenge, causing nearly 74 per cent of all deaths worldwide, with a similar trend being observed in India where it accounts for 63 per cent of all deaths. “This epidemic of NCDs has far-reaching consequences for individuals, families, and communities, placing immense pressure on healthcare systems. The socioeconomic impact associated with NCDs underscores the urgent need to prioritize prevention and control measures in the 21st century.”

Further, highlighting India’s commitment towards eliminating NCDs, Dr Mandaviya said, India has developed a National multi-sectoral action plan for prevention and control of common NCDs which offers a road map and menu of policy options to guide multi-sectoral efforts involving other Ministries/Departments towards attaining the NCD targets. To strengthen infrastructure, human resource development, diagnosis and management of NCDs, the National Programme for Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases (NP-NCD) is being implemented. Subsequently, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and Asthma, Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease, Stroke, ST- Elevated Myocardial Infarction and Chronic Kidney Diseases are added into it. The NP-NCD Strategy has been revised with a newer focus on 75 million people with hypertension and diabetes on standard care by 2025”.

Primary level information is recorded through the National NCD Portal at public health facilities for reporting and monitoring individual-wise screening and treatment adherence for NCDs. For every individual, a single Ayushman Bharat Health Account Number (ABHA-ID) is being maintained and tracking of every single individual with NCDs is done through National NCD Portal. Awareness for prevention and control of NCDs as well as maintaining a healthy lifestyle is being carried out in mission mode at all levels of health care delivery. Beyond the management of illnesses, AB-HWCs have been focusing on wellness for ensuring the well-being of the community.”

Underscoring the National Health Policy, he further noted that India envisages the attainment of the highest possible level of health and well-being for all. To achieve this goal, the scheme of Ayushman Bharat has introduced Health and Wellness Centres (AB-HWCs) that offer population-level interventions for the prevention, screening, control, and management of five common NCDs i.e., hypertension, diabetes, oral cancer, breast cancer and cervical cancer. 

Initiative for wellness have started with regular Yoga sessions, Zumba sessions, Walkathons, Cyclothons etc. Other initiatives like Eat Right India” for consuming the right kind of food and Fit India” for exercise have become nation-wide movements. Recently, Ayushman Bhav initiative was launched to saturate all health care services in every village/ town to ensure that healthcare services reach the last mile and enable access to health care services to everyone in the society”, he noted.

He further informed that the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana in India provides health assurance/ insurance coverage for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization. Rs 5 lakh coverage per family per year is provided to over 600 million beneficiaries. Collaborative efforts among various stakeholders, including the central and state governments, healthcare professionals, international organisations, NGOs, and community organizations, are vital to effectively address the burden of NCDs. “India assures that it is committed to the cause of prevention and control of NCDs and fully appreciates and acknowledges the global efforts in this direction.  Now, India is moving towards the illness to wellness concept with the “Whole of Government and Whole of Society” approach.”

Highlighting the serious challenge of NCDs, he requested the global community that global efforts are required to address this challenge, which further need to be driven by strong and strategic leadership, cost effective interventions, and multi-sectoral approach.

Dr Mansukh MandaviyaMoHFWNCDsWHO
Comments (0)
Add Comment