'Uday' - an initiative to fight non-communicable diseases launched

A five-year programme to fight the rising burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in India with an initial focus on improving outcomes for people with diabetes and high blood pressure was launched here Thursday. The Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) with pharmaceutical group Eli Lilly's launched 'Uday' -- a $30-million global initiative to tackle NCDs.

In the first phase, the project will be implemented in Vizag (Andhra Pradesh) and Sonepat (Haryana) to strengthen diabetes and high blood pressure care capabilities in terms of prevention, detection and effective management. Based on the unique research, report and advocate framework, the programme aims to demonstrate cost-effective scalable approaches for effective diabetes and high blood pressure management.

Diabetes and its complications represent a rapidly expanding public health concern that is expected to affect 552 million people by 2030 with devastating health and economic consequences, said K. Srinath Reddy, president, PHFI. Through this approach, the programme will focus on sharing results with key stakeholders, including government and the global health community to encourage adoption of the best solutions, he said.

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The primary partners for 'Uday' in India are PHFI, Population Services International (PSI) and Project HOPE. Commenting on the launch, Melt Van Der Spuy, managing director, Eli Lilly and Company India, said: Non-communicable diseases are a major health challenge for India and there is a pressing need to address its rising burden. The programme support identification of innovative solutions to contribute to this fight against diabetes in India.

Chronic diseases disproportionately affect the economically disadvantaged, with 80 percent of all NCD deaths occurring in low- and middle-income countries. NCDs are a major contributor to poverty and a barrier to social and economic development.

India is home to over 61 million diabetic patients -- an increase from 50.8 million last year. By 2030, India's diabetes burden is expected to cross the 100-million mark as against 87 million earlier estimated. India's diabetes burden is second to China, which has 90 million people with diabetes (2011) that will increase to about 130 million by 2030.

Also read: Diabetes: Tackling the menace

Source: IANS

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