Addressing the participants, the Vice President of India stated that achieving good health for all of India’s population is an important goal of the Government of India and a foundation for further social and economic development. The Vice President further stated that the health status of Indians has been improving since Independence. “The life expectancy of a person born in India in 1960 was 40 years, which has increased to about 70 years now. Of every 1000 live children born in India in 1960, about 160 died in the first year, but now this death rate of infants is about a fourth of that level,” he added.
In his address, the Vice President cautioned that in order to do better, several things need to happen. These include higher priority for health in the country’s policy making and enhanced resources for preventive and public health measures. “There should be adequate mechanisms at the ground level for keeping Indians healthy and for suitable healthcare when they fall sick. We should also have a solid knowledge system that enables comprehensive tracking of the health and disease burden trends in every part of the country,” the Vice President elaborated.
Speaking at the function, Shri J P Nadda stated that the Health Ministry along with the state governments and other important partners in the country is making serious efforts to enunciate provision for health services that are suitable for the health situation of particular state, mainly through the public sector. “In this regard, the data and results shared by the India State-level Disease Burden Initiative today in its report, scientific paper, and the online visualization tool will serve as a useful guide for fine-tuning data driven health planning specific for health situation of each state of the country,” Shri Nadda said.
Shri Nadda further informed that the estimates released today, which are based on utilization of all available epidemiological data, show that the per person burden due to major infectious disease, that is, diarrheal diseases, lower respiratory infections, and tuberculosis is 7 to 9 times higher in the states like Bihar, Odisha, U.P, Assam, Rajasthan, M.P. and Jharkhand than in other states. “ Likewise, the burden due to the leading non-communicable diseases, that is, ischemic heart disease, stroke, diabetes, chronic obstructive lung disease is 4-9 times higher in some states than in other states,” Shri Nadda said.
Shri Nadda further said that the disease profile of each state released today showing the contribution of specific diseases and risk factors to the overall health loss can be a useful guide for states when they develop their Project Implementation Plans for health. The open-access visualization tool that is being released today shows disease and risk trends in each state 1990 to 2016 in a simple manner, which can be of much use for policy makers. I hope that the planners and experts in each state will use the findings released today and engage with the India State-level Disease Burden Initiative to further improve health in their respective states, Shri Nadda added.
Speaking at the function, Smt Anupriya Patel, MoS (HFW) said that the data and results shared by the India State-level Disease Burden Initiative today in its report, scientific paper, and the online visualization tool will serve as a useful guide for fine-tuning health planning in each state of the country. “The burden due to non-communicable disease and injuries has overtaken the burden due to infectious and maternal-child diseases in every state of India, though this happened in some states about three decades ago and in some other states more recently. This means that the more developed states that had this transition a long time ago need to go on a war footing to control the rapidly rising burden of major non-communicable diseases and injuries, Smt Anupriya Patel stated.
The India State-level Disease Burden Initiative, a joint initiative between the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), and Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India along with experts and stakeholders associated with over 100 Indian institutions, released the first comprehensive set of state-level disease burden, risk factors estimates and trends for each state in India to inform health planning to reduce health inequalities amongst states in India. These estimates are based on analysis of all identifiable epidemiological data from India over quarter of a century.
Also present at the function were Dr. Srinath Reddy, President, PHFI, Shri JVR Prasada Rao, Former Secretary, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Govt. of India, Dr. Chris Murray, Director, Institute of Health Metrics & Evaluation, University of Washington, Seattle, USA along with other senior officers of the Ministry and representatives of development partners.