GUWAHATI, Feb 13 - Non-communicable diseases (NCD) in Assam account for 51.2 per cent of the total disease burden in the State.
In Assam, the major risk factors for NCDs are malnutrition which accounts for around 17.4 per cent, high blood pressure which accounts for around 7.6 per cent, dietary risks which account for around 6.9 per cent and diseases caused due to consumption of tobacco account for around 5.7 per cent of the total disease burden in the State.
This was stated by the Voluntary Health Association of India (VHAI) and Lal Path Labs Foundation in a statement issued here. The two organisations have jointly launched a project named ‘Arogya’ which aims to create a community-based intervention on prevention and control of NCDs in Kamrup (Metro) district.
The statement further said as per the recently released Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS-2) Report, tobacco use prevalence in India has declined from 34.6 per cent to 28.6 per cent in eight years, between 2009 and 2017, while in Assam, it has increased from 39.3 per cent to 48.2 per cent.
“The project will facilitate mass awareness about the threat related to non-communicable diseases so that people at large take preventive steps right at the initial stage. It will also facilitate screening and testing of the high-risk population so that they can be referred to the local government health facilities for early diagnosis and care. The project also envisages utilisation of existing public platforms like schools, village health nutrition and sanitation committee, local self-help groups and others to develop mass awareness on NCDs and its associated risk factors,” the statement said.
It further said health promotion will be a strong fulcrum for sustainability and long-term impact of this project. The project will strengthen and support the State government on its efforts to take Universal Health Coverage to the people of the State, particularly through health and wellness centres. The project has incorporated evidence-based global experiences on NCDs and health promotion. It is going to be a significant step towards systematic and sustainable efforts to combat NCDs.
NCDs are the leading killers worldwide causing two out of three deaths. These diseases were responsible for 38 million of the world’s 56 million deaths in 2012. More than 40 per cent of them were premature deaths i.e. under 70 years of age. Almost three-quarters of all NCD deaths and the majority of premature deaths occur in low and middle-income countries. Cardiovascular diseases (CVD), diabetes, cancers and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are major killers, entailing not only adverse health but also economic and developmental consequences.
Attending the launch of the programme, Anurag Goel, Secretary and Commissioner of Health and Family Welfare, said NCDs are not only a health issue; they have become a socio-economic issue due to loss of lives at an early age.