ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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New Health Policy and Chronic Disease

Analysis of Data and Evidence

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has made public the National Health Policy 2015 Draft for discussion. The draft is more exhaustive and better organised in its coverage compared to the National Health Policy of 2002. It touches upon contemporary issues of concern, including the rapid emergence of chronic non-communicable diseases. From the latest available evidence, issues crucial to tackling chronic illness in India are discussed.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India has placed the Draft National Health Policy (DNHP) 2015 in the public domain for comments, suggestions and feedback. One of the striking differences between this draft policy and the earlier National Health Policy 2002 is the former’s unambiguous observations on the emergence of non-communicable diseases (NCD), which consist of chronic diseases of a non-communicable nature. NCDs refer to medical conditions not caused by acute infections that have long-term consequences on individual health and require long-term treatment and care. NCDs have been recognised as an emerging global health challenge, particularly for its disproportionate impact on low- and middle-income countries (WHO 2014).

While communicable diseases are still responsible for 24.4% of the entire disease burden in India, DNHP 2015 observes that NCDs contribute to 39.1% of the country’s disease burden. It further takes a strong view that in various national health programmes, NCDs are very limited in coverage and scope, and comprehensive learning from various models of implementation is required.

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