Sunday, 2 December 2012

India is now faced with “triple disease burden” with road injuries and deaths adding the third dimension to the existing problem of “double disease burden”

By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad:  India is now faced with “triple disease burden”
with road injuries and deaths adding the third dimension to the
existing problem of “double disease burden”.

Communicable and non-communicable diseases have been the major cause
of death in the country in the last few decades. With the number of
road accidents increasing considerably of late, the disease burden has
gone up adding a third dimension to mortality.

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), about 22
lakh people die in road accidents in urban areas alone. “Road
accidents and injuries contribute significantly to the morbidity and
mortality, especially in cities,” points out an ICMR document.

The ICMR document with plans for the next five years and review of the
past 10 years on the health scenario in the country admits that there
was little substantive change at the ground level. “The health
problems at the beginning of the XI Plan continue to stare at us
alongside new challenges. The health challenges identified during the
XI Plan like dual disease burden due to communicable diseases (HIV,
TB, malaria and emerging and reemerging infections); non-communicable
diseases (cardio-vascular diseases, diabetes, cancer, mental health,
chronic and pulmonary diseases, asthma), nutritional problems;
reproductive & child health etc. continue to be worthy of serious
attention,” it adds.

In fact, the latest data from the WHO shows that India ranks very high
among the nations with a steep rise in ‘premature deaths’ caused by
non-communicable diseases, mainly cardiovascular, cancers, chronic
respiratory, blood pressure and diabetes with a death roll of about 38
per cent in males (29.67 lakh) and 32.1 per cent (22.73 lakh) in
females below 60 years.

Overall, the non-communicable diseases currently account for over 53
per cent of all deaths. India also ranks among the top 10 countries
burdened with highest mortality arising from communicable diseases,
especially tuberculosis, as well as high maternal and child mortality.
Around 37 per cent of deaths in the country are caused by
communicable, maternal, prenatal and nutritional conditions.

“This ‘triple burden’ of communicable, non-communicable and injuries
need to be considered for both research and health care,” the ICMR
said in its guidelines for 2012-2017.

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