Hyderabad: Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu Sunday said India was now witnessing a troubling epidemiological transition from Communicable Diseases to Non-Communicable, lifestyle diseases (NCDs) and stressed the need to establish NCD clinics both in urban and rural areas.

Addressing a Global Health Summit, organised by the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) here, Naidu said a national movement against the growing incidence of non-communicable diseases needs to be launched.

The Vice-President, quoting the ICMR India State-Level Disease Burden Study report-"India: Health of the Nation's States", said the estimated proportion of all deaths due to NCDs has increased from 37.09 per cent in 1990 to 61.8 per cent in 2016.

"I feel that there is a need to establish NCD clinics both in urban and rural areas and the private sector must play a prominent role in setting up such clinics," he was quoted as saying in a press release.

Naidu urged organisations like AAPI to collaborate with the government and private sector in India in conducting massive screening programmes and awareness campaigns, in their crusade against non-communicable diseases.

He further said it was not only the responsibility of doctors, as a society everyone had the responsibility to take part in spreading awareness about healthy lifestyle.

The Indian Medical Association must take the lead to promote awareness among people, particularly school and college students, on the health hazards caused by sedentary lifestyles and unhealthy dietary habits, he said.

"If the country is to prosper and realise its true potential, it is of paramount importance that we ensure health security to all. Only a healthy nation can be a progressive and wealthy nation," Naidu observed.

India has achieved significant progress since independence on various health indicators, however, the country's health sector still grapples with inadequate public spend, low doctor-patient ratio, high share of out-of-pocket expenditure, inadequate infrastructure in rural areas, lack of penetration of health insurance and inadequate preventive mechanisms, the Vice-President pointed out.

"We face a huge shortage in the number of qualified medical practitioners in India, especially specialist doctors.

It is crucial that we address this huge gap in the supply of trained healthcare practitioners by opening more medical colleges and increasing the number of seats at both graduate and postgraduate levels," he said.

Urging the doctors of Indian diaspora to adopt their own villages and help improve the Primary Health Services there, the Vice-President said there was also a need to expand the telemedicine cover to other rural areas and inaccessible terrains in the country.

"We must organise massive awareness drives to sensitise people to practices that can be adopted for disease prevention. We must move away from a treatment approach to a wellness-based approach," Naidu said.

There is also need to invest in providing timely and high-quality emergency health services in the country, he said and emphasised that every citizen must be trained in emergency first aid and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).

India is now facing a huge challenge in the form of rising Antibiotic Resistance and doctors from India working abroad can share their experience with Indian counterparts and Indian Medical association for devising an effective strategy to combat Antibiotic resistance, he said.

Naidu also urged them to promote Yoga in their country of residence, not only to strengthen India's soft power but also to promote health and wellness for all. (PTI)

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