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India bags two UN awards for action against non-communicable diseases

Union health minister JP Nadda accepted the awards on the ministry’s behalf along with Jhalani on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

india Updated: Sep 29, 2018 23:46 IST
Union health minister JP Nadda accepted the awards on the ministry’s behalf along with Jhalani on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.(Reuters File Photo)

India’s health ministry and the National Health Mission’s director Manoj Jhalani bagged the UN Interagency Task Force (UNIATF) Award in two separate categories for their contribution towards prevention and control of non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

Union health minister JP Nadda accepted the awards on the ministry’s behalf along with Jhalani on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

The ministry was awarded for developing the National Multisectoral NCD Action Plan (NMAP) involving 39 ministries to combat non-communicable diseases, which cause 62% of deaths in India. It was nominated for the award by K Srinath Reddy, the president of the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI).

The plan focused on areas such as tobacco control, control on excessive consumption of fats, salt, and sugar along with controlling air pollution.

In June 2013, India adopted the National Monitoring Framework on NCDs with an additional 10th target after adopting the World Health Organization’s Global Action Plan on NCDs. The NMAP, which is the national blueprint for combating non-communicable diseases, was developed using a bottoms-up approach with consultative meetings with diverse stakeholders from various government departments, civil society organisations, academic and research institutes, policy think-tanks and policy experts.

To combat NCDs, the government recently launched the Ayushman Bharat mission under which the 150,000 sub-centres in the country will transform into wellness centres that will provide primary care for NCDs and timely referrals.

Jhalani, who was nominated by WHO India office, was awarded for his contribution in scaling up the national programme for controlling NCDs.

In the last four years, the programme expanded nearly eight times and now covers all the states and union territories. To prevent and control NCDs, the government also initiated a population level screening, early detection, risk reduction and management initiative in almost 200 districts under the programme, which aims to provide free diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up to 500 million adults.

First Published: Sep 29, 2018 23:37 IST