Ac­tion Plan to Tackle NCD

Bhutan Times - - Home - Deki Lha­zom

“I am op­ti­mistic that this ac­tion plan de­vel­oped through ex­ten­sive con­sul­ta­tion with stake­hold­ers at all lev­els will pro­vide the much needed roadmap to take co­or­di­nated and co­her­ent ac­tions to at­tain na­tional and in­ter­na­tional NCD tar­gets, ‘’ said Dr. Or­nella Lincetto, WHO rep­re­sen­ta­tive to Bhutan. Bhutan with the grow­ing need to tackle Non Com­mu­ni­ca­ble Dis­eases ( NCD) launched strate­gic five year ac­tion plan last Wed­nes­day.

Non com­mu­ni­ca­ble dis­ease is a med­i­cal con­di­tion or dis­ease that is non – trans­mis­si­ble. It can also re­fer to chronic dis­eases which last for long pe­riod of time and progress slowly. NCDS are now not un­der­mined for killers of sick and frail. Records from WHO show that NCDS are re­spon­si­ble for more than 14 mil­lion pre­ma­ture deaths in the eco­nom­i­cally pro­duc­tive age group and 86 per cent of the bur­den of th­ese pre­ma­ture deaths is borne by de­vel­op­ing na­tions re­sult­ing in mil­lions of peo­ple trapped in poverty through high cost of med­i­cal care.

Heart dis­eases, di­a­betes, can­cers and res­pi­ra­tory dis­eases are some com­mon non com­mu­ni­ca­ble dis­eases which are pos­ing huge bur­den among the Bhutanese pop­u­la­tion. Health record claims that car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­eases con­sti­tute a ma­jor­ity of cases at 28 per cent, can­cer at nine per cent, res­pi­ra­tory dis­eases at six per cent and di­a­betes at two. Risk fac­tors such as tobacco use, un­healthy diet, phys­i­cal in­ac­tiv­ity, harm­ful use of al­co­hol and in­door pol­lu­tion are area of fo­cus in the plan be­sides the four types of NCDS-car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­eases, can­cer, chronic res­pi­ra­tory dis­eases and di­a­betes.

The plan aims at re­duc­ing pre­ventable and avoid­able bur­den of mor­bid­ity, mor­tal­ity and dis­abil­ity due to com­mu­ni­ca­ble dis­ease through mul­ti­spec­tral col­lab­o­ra­tion and co­op­er­a­tion at the na­tional, Dzongkhags, Ge­wog and com­mu­nity lev­els.

One of the 10 tar­gets set in the ac­tion plan is to re­duce harm­ful use of al­co­hol by five per cent by 2020, a per cent each year, and by 10 per cent by 2025.

The ac­tion plan states that the per capita con­sump­tion of al­co­hol is eight litres as com­pared to the global con­sump­tion of 6.2 per cent of pure al­co­hol per per­son 15 years and older. Re­vi­sion and raise in tax­a­tion on al­co­hol is headed by the eco­nomic af­fairs com­mit­tee.

The plan also aims to re­duce the use of tobacco in per­sons over 15 years, by 15 per cent in the next five years. It will be done by dou­bling the rate to 30 per cent by 2025.

A sur­vey con­ducted in 2013 un­cov­ered that Bhutanese stu­dents were the high­est con­sumer of tobacco both at the re­gional and global level.

One of the many tar­gets is also to en­cour­age phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity among ur­ban peo­ple. Along with the plan, the WHO rep­re­sen­ta­tive Dr Or­nella Lincetto and Sec­re­tary for the Min­istry of Health Dr Dorji Wangchuck in­au­gu­rated the WHO spon­sored out­door gym­na­si­ums in Thim­phu.

What ac­tu­ally con­cerns the Health of­fi­cials is the un­healthy diet Bhutanese fol­low, which com­prise of low con­sump­tion of fruits and veg­eta­bles, high in­take of salt and high con­sump­tion of sat­u­rated and Trans fats. The plan also tar­gets re­duc­tion in mean pop­u­la­tion in­take of salt by 15 per cent in net five years.

Vol­umes of Kan­jur, Sung Bums and texts on Sowa Rigpa were also handed over to the alumni of Na­tional In­sti­tute of Tra­di­tional Medicine by Dr Or­nella Lincetto.

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