The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has signed an agreement with The Defeat-NCD Partnership at the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR). The Defeat-NCD Partnership helps low-resource countries to tackle today’s most significant global health challenge: premature death, sickness, disability among others.
The partnership is aimed at advancing Sustainable Development Goal 3.4 which deals with the reduction by one-third of premature mortality from NCDs through prevention and treatment and supporting efforts to enable and assist all low-resource countries to scale-up action on NCDs through the four pillars of work of the Defeat-NCD Partnership.
The Defeat-NCD Partnership and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare will work together to disseminate best practices for reducing premature mortalities due to NCDs through capacity building programmes in India and other low- and middle-income countries.
The collaboration also aims at scaling up NCD services for communities by improving last-mile delivery, introducing innovative technologies, improving self-care and enhancing existing public communication and advocacy activities.
“Glad to formalize the long-lasting collaboration with The Defeat-NCD Partnership at UNITAR with the signing of the MoU to defeat non-communicable diseases in India and globally. Together we leverage India as a global pharmacy to enable access to quality care for a healthier planet”, tweeted Dr Mansukh Mandaviya, Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.
The long-lasting collaboration is referencing the technical assistance and support provided by The Defeat-NCD Partnership across three states over the past two years, to build capacities and prepare for piloting their HPV vaccination programmes. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has recently launched a national HPV vaccination campaign.
This partnership is also seeking to improve the affordability and accessibility of essential NCD supplies with India being the major producer of generic medicines globally and the expected major impact of The Defeat-NCD Partnership’s Essential NCD Supplies Facility delivering quality-assured, affordable medicines across the 90+ low resource countries.
“It’s a significant step forward in the global combat against non-communicable diseases and reflects the contribution that India continues to make in this regard. The Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations in Geneva and other international organisations will work together with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and The Defeat-NCD Partnership at UNITAR to facilitate implementation of the MoU.” tweeted Mr Indra Mani Pandey, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Government of India to the United Nations Office in Geneva
“The Defeat-NCD Partnership is committed to continuing the support across Madhya Pradesh, Goa, and Jharkhand for their HPV vaccination programme, and to supporting the scale-up through the national vaccination campaign. Our efforts to expand screening, early diagnosis, and access to quality care for NCD in India and across programme countries will be definitely further enhanced through the collaboration with the Government of India”, said Mr Mukul Bhola, Chief Executive Officer of The Defeat-NCD Partnership.
This MoU is coming timely as India is undergoing a rapid health transition and facing a high burden of NCDs which now account for massive premature mortality, morbidity and disability. Around 6 million people die from NCDs every year in India, 62% of the total mortality, leaving every 1 in 4 Indians at a risk of dying from NCD before 70 years of age. NCDs account for 40% of all hospital stays and approximately 38% of all outpatient visits in India.
NCDs are a major cause of poverty and a barrier to economic and social development. In 2015, around 70% of all global deaths were due to the four major NCDs (Cardiovascular Diseases, Diabetes, Cancer and Chronic Respiratory Diseases. This poses an urgent threat to the social and economic development, as 48% of deaths occur in people under the age of 70 years.
NCDs share modifiable behavioral risk factors such as tobacco use, unhealthy diet, lack of physical activity, and alcohol use. Air pollution has rapidly emerged as an important risk factor for NCDs. A large portion of NCDs are preventable.
Vulnerable and socially disadvantaged populations face a disproportionate amount of risk and poor health outcomes in NCDs. In India, the share of NCDs in out-of-pocket healthcare expenditure is already estimated to be more than 47%, resulting in high healthcare cost to individuals and households, and reducing gains in poverty reduction and sustainable government.