Focusing on rural areas for non-communicable diseases: Azad

August 23rd, 2011 - 5:59 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 23 (IANS) Rural areas are now under the health ministry’s focus for their large population vulnerable to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular and psychological diseases among others, union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said here Tuesday.

“Most of the non-communicable diseases stem from lifestyle and are not just a problem of the urban areas. The health ministry is keen on scaling up programmes in rural areas as there is lack of awareness, scattered services and high morbidity rate,” Azad said on the first day of a two-day national summit on NCDs.

The summit, organised by ministry of health and family welfare and World Health Organisation (WHO), is taking place place ahead of the September 19-20 high-level meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on NCDs.

The ministry has also rolled out schemes such as the National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke (NPCDCS) and National Programme for Health Care of the Elderly (NPHCE).

“These programmes span across 100 districts in 21 states, focus mainly on rural districts. The programmes are in second phase,” Azad added.

WHO will provide the government with technical assistance for the programmes and research in remote areas.

“We will provide technical assistance in terms of training, development, supplying vital resources and perspective from experts. This will strengthen the surveillance system,” Nata Menabde, WHO representative to India, told IANS.

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