Ministry sets targets to reduce lifestyle diseases by 2025

Ministry sets targets to reduce lifestyle diseases by 2025

Faced with the threat of lifestyle diseases killing millions of Indians in coming decades, the Centre has come out with a set of 10 national level disease-control targets, including mass-scale reduction of salt, tobacco and alcohol consumption besides bringing down use of biomass fuel in closed kitchen in the countryside for tackling these diseases.

Two weeks ago, government officials finalised two sets of targets that need to be followed in order to curb the rise in heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes by 2020 and 2025.

The targets also include population level reduction of blood pressure, halting the rise of obesity and diabetes and roping in the private sector to expand diagnosis and treatment of non-communicable diseases (NCD) that has emerged as a serious public health threat.

As the tasks are too wide for the Health Ministry to act alone, Union Health Secretary Keshav Desiraju may write to the Cabinet Secretary Ajith Seth to form a group of secretaries to oversee implementation of several policy measures that were required to be taken to reduce the NCD burden, reliable sources told Deccan Herald. India currently does not have any official estimate on the prevalence of lifestyle diseases but every study indicates expanding footprint of these diseases. A 2003 analysis on the cause of one million recorded deaths, suggests more than 42 per cent deaths were caused by non-communicable diseases.

“Among the medically certified deaths, heart and lung diseases are the two most important causes of death,” said Dheeraj Gupta, professor of pulmonary medicine at Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh.