New Delhi: On the occasion of World Hypertension Day, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) Wednesday announced the launch of its “75/25” initiative based on screening and putting 75 million people with hypertension and diabetes on Standard Care by 2025. The screening would be done through the public health centres (PHCs).
The Health Ministry made the announcement at the G20 co-branded event with the World Health Organisation (WHO). The event titled “Accelerating the Prevention and Management of Hypertension and Diabetes”.
Highlighting the new scheme, Dr Paul stated that this will be the largest expansion of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in primary health care programmes in the world with a community based approach starting at the primary healthcare level.
He further dubbed the initiative is an indication of the clear resolve of the Government of India (GoI) to address NCDs through allocating resources, capacity enhancement, mobilisation, and multi-sectoral collaboration.
Informing that the fight against NCDs must be waged at the primary healthcare level, Dr Paul, noted that India has established a framework to do so by establishing more than 1.5 lakh HWCs and putting telemedicine and digital health services into operation.
Emphasising that India is determined to become a developed nation in the next 25 years, he stated, “Towards this goal, India is making efforts to achieve results in social indicators like life expectancy, maternal mortality rate, and NCDs at par with developed nations.”
To accelerate the prevention and management of hypertension, Dr Paul urged state teams to adhere to all standard operating procedures (SOPs), especially the screening SOPs, correctly at the grassroots since screening is the bedrock of successful management of any disease.
But he added that screening alone is insufficient. Results should follow detection. Therefore, Dr Paul asked all parties involved to make sure that at least 80 per cent of those who have been diagnosed are receiving treatment.
The importance of the private sector’s participation in this initiative as well as the academic and research community’s role in developing models and other building blocks was also stressed.
He underlined the need for increased preventative efforts, which include modifying one’s diet, getting more exercise, and engaging in other healthy behaviours. Emphasised the need for a Jan Andolan to increase community involvement in this effort as well as the necessity for nations to collaborate and share each other’s successes in the spirit of “One Earth, One Health.”
Congratulating India on the initiative, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Chief, connected virtually said, “Indian Government’s ambitious target of reaching 75 million people with hypertension under standard care in primary healthcare by 2025 is the largest coverage of NCDs in the world for primary healthcare”.
Congratulating the Government of India (GoI) for launching ambitious healthcare initiatives, Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh in her virtual address applauded India’s commitment to primary healthcare and highlighted the operationalization of more than 1.5 lakh Ayushman Bharat Health and Wellness Centres as a significant achievement. She also urged countries in the Southeast Asia region to create a new and effective regional roadmap to accelerate NCD control.
Highlighting the interplay between the economy, societal forces and epidemiological forces Rajesh Bhushan, Union Health Secretary, stated that with over seven per cent economic growth in the last two decades, the average life expectancy of people in India has risen significantly to around 70 today. The lifestyle of a large section of the population has become more sedentary than before.
The Union Health Secretary noted that the solution to the problem of NCDs lies in a societal approach where awareness, prevention, health promotion, and wellness are looked at in an integrated manner. He also stressed “the need for inter-sectoral efforts and collaboration of public and private sectors to address the growing burden of NCDs in the country”.
In addition to the 75/25 initiative, the Shashakt Portal was also launched for the training of 40,000 primary health care medical officers on the Standard Treatment Workflow for NCDs, initiated to bring health care services closer to the community.
The MoHFW also released revised operational guidelines for the National Programme for Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases (NP-NCD) with the aim of much wider coverage. The programme is now providing services for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma, chronic kidney disease (CKD) and non-alcoholic fatty liver diseases (NAFLD), ST elevation of myocardial infarction (STEMI), apart from hypertension, diabetes, and three common cancers, including oral, breast, and cervical.
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