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Non-Communicable Diseases Mounting Up At An Alarming Rate in India

The incidence of non-communicable diseases has surpassed that of the communicable diseases in the country, according to the reports of Dr Anbumani Ramadoss, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare//. The news report was released following the inauguration of a three-day health camp in a village near Vriddachalam. Chidambaram MP, E Ponnusamy, MLAs Dr R Govindasamy, Durai K Saravanan also attended the function.

As many as 60 government doctors, 30 specialists from the Apollo Hospital, 10 doctors from Rajah Sir Muthiah Medical College Hospital and 20 dentists from the Chidambaram Dental College and ophthalmologists from Aravind Eye Hospital attended the camp. The local resident participation was very encouraging.

A government organized health camp in Chennai conducted the previous year revealed that more than 30% of the people were afflicted with diabetes. Even more alarming is the World Health Organization prediction that the number of cardiac and cancer patients would increase to an alarming rate in the forthcoming years.

The minister highlighted the lack of attention given to health care delivery in the rural section. Infact only 23 percent of health services had been rendered to the 73 percent of the population residing in the rural area, so far.

The UPA Government, led by Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh had been gearing up to face the challenge. The government would soon launch a national programme to combat ailments like diabetes and stroke. Proposals have also been considered towards launching a national programme for speech and hearing therapies.

The Central Government is expected to table a Bill for establishing a National Disaster Management Cell (to be controlled by the Ministry of Home Affairs) in the coming Parliamentary session. Furthermore, the Central Government had earmarked Rs 220 crore to Tamil Nadu under a multi-crore National Rural Health Mission. In the first phase, the scheme was introduced in 18 States, including Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Rajasthan. The Central Government had also planned to appoint 2.50 lakh Accredited Social and Health Assistants (ASHA) in the above mentioned states.

The country had around 1.45 lakh assistant primary health centres and 23,000 primary health centres and 3,222 hospitals in taluks, he said. Organising health camps would assist the Central Government in identifying health problems and formulating programmes accordingly.

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