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Chronic diseases account for 60% of deaths in India: study

Apr 08, 2015

The cost of these diseases which occur in the form of various ailments like diabetes, strokes and hypertension is between 4% and 10% of the country’s GDP.

New Delhi: The cost of chronic conditions to India’s economy is high with estimates suggesting that non communicable diseases (mainly chronic in nature) costing the country between 4% and 10%, according to a latest report by the Delhi based Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI).

The report states that chronic diseases are the leading cause of deaths in India as they account for sixty percent of all deaths annually killing more than five million people every year. These diseases which include various ailments in the form of diabetes, stroke, cardiovascular diseases, mental health illness, cancers, and chronic lung diseases will cost India around Rs 280 trillion between 2012 and 2030 in terms of economic output.

The report was released during the launch of an international partnership for the Centre for Control of Chronic Conditions (CCCC) between the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Emory University, the London School of Hygiene & tropical Medicine, and the PHFI.

Launching the report, India’s Minister of State for Science and Technology Y S Chowdary, said that chronic diseases are the biggest challenge for India. He said that the lack of a master plan in the health sector is responsible for the poor state of health in the country.

Stressing on preventive health management, he urged for the need of a cost effective health system. The minster lamented that doctors who should act as custodians of the health system are looking at other men’s diseases as a commodity. “Doctors are getting medical certificates without proper skill development. The health professionals should be sensitive to the needs of sick people,” he emphasised.

Dr K Srinath Reddy, President PHFI, said that the chronic disease centre will strive to generate world class knowledge which can impact policy and practice and educate the wider community about lifestyle-associated diseases. He stressed that science is sterile if not socially useful. “Research is meaningless unless translated into social and visible impact,” he said.

Prof Anne Mills, Deputy Director & Provost and Professor of Health Economics and Policy, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said that the centre will evolve as a guide to policy makers and help in strengthening the weak parts of the health system.

Nikhil Tandon, an endocrinologist at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), said that India’s premier medical institute, AIIMS, will provide crucial support in the form of basic research.

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