Saturday, October 15, 2011

NCDs Will Incur Staggering Costs

The New England Journal of Medicine has pointed that in next 10 years, China, India, and Britain will lose $558 billion, $237 billion, and $ 33 billion, respectively, in national income due to increase in heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

At present dementia affects over 35 million people worldwide, expected to increase to 65.7 million by 2030 and 115.4 million by 2050. Alzheimer Disease International (ADI) estimates the total cost for people affected by dementia in 2010 to 1 percent of GDPs, which amount to $604 billion in 2010.

The risk of having a stroke after the age of 55 years more than doubles with each passing decade. The 20th century brought increase in lifespan. Given the imminent risks of  all NCDs combined in the 21st century  the best way to handle the danger  is required change in behaviour, lifestyle and diet of all age groups.

Health and healthcare is the major agenda of the 21st century. It needs consideration if health should dominate as a major concern at community level, as a political agenda, a major developmental planning component, the governments' budgetary delight, alongwith good and professional governance in developing countries like India.

Health and hygiene must be a strong component of school syllabus and a global agenda, and must focus on scientifically varified, and evidence based knowledge for preparing syllabus. Inculcating in citizens a doze of 'Health Literacy' is therefore a viable means that the governments should favourably consider.

'Health Literacy' alone will allow us to continue the increased lifespan gained in the earlier century, in the 21st century!

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