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Telemedicine, Data Analytics, Mobile Health Applications Useful to Manage NCDs: Mandaviya

Written by : Jayati Dubey

September 20, 2023

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Dr. Mandaviya emphasised the pressing need for prioritising prevention and control measures in the 21st century due to NCD's profound socioeconomic impact.

India's Union Health Minister, Dr Mansukh Mandaviya, reaffirmed the nation's unwavering commitment to the prevention and control of NCDs with the use of digital technology.

'œIndia assures that it is committed to the cause of prevention and control of Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) and fully appreciates and acknowledges the global efforts to leverage digital health technologies that can improve the reach and efficiency of NCD prevention and management programs. Telemedicine, mobile health applications, and data analytics can enhance patient engagement, improve access to care, and facilitate monitoring and evaluation,' the Minister said.

He delivered this message in a recent annual meeting of the Friends of the UN Inter-Agency Task Force on the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) and Mental Health,

In his deliberation, he emphasised India's appreciation for global efforts in leveraging digital health technologies to enhance NCD prevention and management programs.

The meeting, held during the opening week of the 78th session of the UN General Assembly, also had Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general, WHO, Catharina Boehme, assistant director-general for External Relations and Governance, WHO, and Dr. Hans Kluge, WHO regional director for Europe.

NCDs have emerged as a significant global health challenge, responsible for nearly 74% of all deaths worldwide, with a similar trend observed in India, where they account for 63% of all deaths.

Dr. Mandaviya highlighted the profound impact of NCDs on individuals, families, and communities and their immense pressure on healthcare systems. Given the substantial socioeconomic implications of NCDs, he stressed the urgent need to prioritise prevention and control measures in the 21st century.

In this regard, India has taken concrete steps to combat NCDs. The development of a national multi-sectoral action plan for their prevention and control includes one. This plan offers a roadmap and policy options to guide multi-sectoral efforts involving various ministries and departments.

The National Programme for Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases (NP-NCD) has been implemented to strengthen infrastructure, human resource development, and the diagnosis and management of NCDs.

The program has expanded to include conditions such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Asthma, Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease, Stroke, ST-Elevated Myocardial Infarction, and chronic kidney diseases. The revised NP-NCD Strategy now focuses on ensuring "75 million people (about twice the population of California) with hypertension and diabetes receive standard care by 2025."

Primary-level information is recorded through the National NCD Portal at public health facilities to enhance monitoring and individualised care. Every individual is assigned a unique Ayushman Bharat Health Account Number (ABHA-ID), allowing for tracking individuals with NCDs through the portal.

India is also actively promoting awareness of NCD prevention and control, along with a healthy lifestyle, at all levels of healthcare delivery. The emphasis on wellness extends to Ayushman Bharat Health and Wellness Centres (AB-HWCs), which provide population-level interventions for the prevention, screening, control, and management of common NCDs such as hypertension, diabetes, oral cancer, breast cancer, and cervical cancer.

These centres offer activities including Yoga and Zumba sessions, Walkathons, Cyclothons, and initiatives such as 'Eat Right India' and 'Fit India' to encourage healthy living.

The Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana in India provides health assurance and insurance coverage for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation, offering INR 5 lakh in coverage per family per year to over 600 million beneficiaries.

Dr Mandaviya emphasised that collaborative efforts among various stakeholders, including central and state governments, healthcare professionals, international organisations, NGOs, and community organisations, are crucial to effectively addressing the burden of NCDs.

The nation is now moving towards the concept of 'illness to wellness' with a 'Whole of Government and Whole of Society' approach, underlining the importance of comprehensive, multi-sectoral solutions to tackle this challenge.

Dr. Mandaviya urged the global community to recognise the serious threat posed by NCDs and stressed the need for solid and strategic leadership, cost-effective interventions, and a multi-sectoral approach to address this global health challenge effectively.


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