Thursday, 16 July 2015

Economic and Health Burden Because of NCDs and Solutions.

  • 33% of world poor are in India + 20% of world's disease burden is on India --> More health burden --> Less growth
  • Health burden is three fold - 
    • infectious diseases
      • Burden from infectious diseases reduced between 1990 and 2010
    • violence/ injuries
      • been increasing
    • Non-communicable diseases (NCDs), like cardiovascular diseases, cancers, chronic respiratory disease and diabetes. 
      • 1990-2010 - premature deaths and disability increased due to NCD --> loss of 6% GDP due to total health burden
      • NCD -->  
        • 60% deaths in India, 
        • 40% of hospital stays
        • 35% of outpatient visits. 
  • Problem is huge! Are we doing enough?
    • Public health expenditure is among the lowest in world in India -  <1% of GDP --> So who pays for them? Ofcourse it is the people themselves --> this pushes more people into poverty (WHO says around 2.2% Indians go into poverty because of health burden)
  • So where is the future heading?
    • Bleakness because of poor diets (including high caloric diets), household air pollution, tobacco use, urbanisation (associated with lower levels of physical activity and increased consumption of commercially processed, energy-dense (nutrient deficient) foods that fuel obesity) --> Massive cost burden (Harvard says 4.5 trillion $ by 2030)
  • But question arises why would cost burden be so high?
    • Answer is India’s demographic profile --> 33% population between 10-24 years --> NCD affect them in productive years --> Less growth in economy + poor health --> Everything costly + more demand for health services. 
  • Now, what is the solution for this problem?
    • Reduce four big “behavioural risk factors” of 
      • tobacco and alcohol consumption, poor diet and physical inactivity
      • It would also improve the outcomes for patients suffering from infectious diseases like tuberculosis and HIV, which continue to be major killers in India.
    • Increasing the prices of and taxes on unhealthy products (for example, tobacco taxes) is the most effective solution, reducing consumption and presenting government with a source of revenue for continued health programs. 
    • Bans or restrictions on the advertising, marketing and promotion of unhealthy products, public education campaigns that warn about the harm they do health, clear labelling (pack warnings for tobacco) and smoking bans are all proven to be highly effective.
  • Conclusion
    • Reducing preventable disease should be a development priority, and now is the time to invest in a healthier, wealthier future for India.


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