75th Regional Committee Session of WHO South-East Asia


    In News

    • Recently, the 75th regional committee session of WHO South-East Asia was held in Bhutan.

    Major highlights of the Session

    • Non-communicable diseases:
      • They stressed on how to resolve and accelerate progress for the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases, including oral and eye care.
    • Death toll:
      • non-communicable diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, cancers, chronic respiratory disease and diabetes, account for almost two-thirds of all deaths in the WHO South-East Asian Region.
        • Nearly half of these deaths occurred prematurely between the ages of 30 and 69 years in 2021.
    • Roadmap:
      • The Member countries endorsed the implementation roadmap for the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases in South-East Asia 2022–2030.
    • Two action plans:
      • Oral health in South-East Asia 2022–203
      • Action Plan for integrated people-centered eye care in South-East Asia 2022–2030.

    What are Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs)?

    • Non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and chronic lung disease, are collectively responsible for almost 70% of all deaths worldwide. 
    • Almost three quarters of all NCD deaths, and 82% of the 16 million people who died prematurely, or before reaching 70 years of age, occur in low- and middle-income countries.
    • Causes:
      • The rise of NCDs has been driven by tobacco, harmful use of alcohol, unhealthy diet, insufficient physical activity, and overweight/obesity, raised blood pressure, raised blood sugar and raised cholesterol.
    • Consequences: 
      • The epidemic of NCDs poses devastating health consequences for individuals, families and communities, and threatens to overwhelm health systems.
      •  The socioeconomic costs associated with NCDs make the prevention and control of these diseases a major development imperative for the 21st century.
      • The diseases kill 7 out of 10 people globally from risk factors like tobacco, alcohol, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and air pollution. 
      • Apart from the lives they take, NCDs take a heavy toll on economies, cutting down people in their most productive years. 

    Treatment and Management

    • NCDs are largely preventable and treatable; nearly seven million lives could be saved for just US$ 0.84 per person per year from now until 2030.
      • This investment would realise more than $230 billion in economic and societal benefits and head off nearly 10 million heart attacks and strokes globally, by 2030. 
    • Management of NCDs includes detecting, screening and treating these diseases, and providing access to palliative care for people in need.
      • High impact essential NCD interventions can be delivered through a primary health care approach to strengthen early detection and timely treatment. 
      • Evidence shows such interventions are excellent economic investments because, if provided early to patients, they can reduce the need for more expensive treatment.

    Challenges in NCD prevention and control 

    • Limited access to prevention, care and treatment services
    • Limited human resources
    • Insufficient allocation of funds
    • Difficulties in engaging the industry and private sector
    • Lack of social mobilization

    Role of WHO

    • WHO’s mission is to provide leadership and the evidence base for international action on surveillance, prevention and control of NCDs.
      • Urgent government action is needed to meet global targets to reduce the burden of NCDs.
    • Building national capacity for NCDs requires developing the knowledge, skills, commitment, structures, systems and leadership to enable effective actions to be undertaken to prevent and control NCDs.

    Initiatives of India

    • The Department of Health & Family Welfare provides technical and financial support to the States/UTs under the National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke (NPCDCS) as part of National Health Mission (NHM), based on the proposals received from the States/UTs and subject to the resource envelope. 
      • The programme focuses on strengthening infrastructure, human resource development, health promotion & awareness generation for prevention, early diagnosis, management and referral to an appropriate level of healthcare facility for treatment of the Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).
    • Preventive aspect of NCDs is strengthened under Comprehensive Primary Health Care through Ayushman Bharat Health Wellness Centre scheme, by promotion of wellness activities and targeted communication at the community level. 
    • Other initiatives for increasing public awareness about NCDs and for promotion of healthy lifestyle include observation of National & International Health Days and use of print, electronic and social media for continued community awareness. 
    • Healthy eating is also promoted through FSSAI.
      • Fit India movement is implemented by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, and various Yoga related activities are carried out by the Ministry of AYUSH. 
    • NPCDCS gives financial support under NHM for awareness generation (IEC) activities for NCDs to be undertaken by the States/UTs as per their Programme Implementation Plans (PIPs).
    • The Health department is taking up a new initiative as part of the NCD Control programme to conduct population-based screening for non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and its risk factors, covering the entire State.
      • The idea is to prepare a State-wide community registry of those above 30 years with NCDs with the support of local self- governments, so that the State has a clear estimation of the actual population suffering from various NCDs.

    Difference between communicable and non communicable disease


    Source: TH