Need of a new frontline health functionary dedicated to Non-communicable diseases in India

Kalika Gupta, Manisha Malik, Vaseem N Baig


Majority of global deaths are attributed to noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). Along with the ageing population, burden of non-communicable diseases is also rising. India shares more than two-third of the total deaths due to NCDs in the South-East Asia Region (SEAR) of WHO. Since the awareness level about the chronic diseases and their risk factors is still limited in the low and middle income countries, it is expected that the health education based primary prevention interventions could be as successful as the first generation community oriented primary care (COPC) models. Community health workers (CHWs) are central to the primary health care approach towards health care utilization in India but do they have sufficient training.The first step in primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases is to identify individuals at high cardiovascular risk. A number of methods have been devised to calculate individual risks based on risk factor levels. Under NPCDCS in India, there is a three tier structure of NCD Clinic at block, district and state level. At the village level in Subcentre, only opportunistic screening is being done to those who visit the subcentre and are above 30 years of age. There is no provision of active screening of non-communicable diseases and their risk factors under the programme. There is no dedicated health
worker at thegrassroot level for the NCDs. Thus the authors envisages that there is a direneed for the provision of new band of community based health functionary dedicated to control the burden of NCDs.


Non-Communicable Diseases, Community Health Workers, Health System

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