New com­mit­ments made to fight non­com­mu­ni­ca­ble dis­eases

The Myanmar Times - - News - KYAW KO KO news­room@mm­times.com – Trans­la­tion by Win Thaw Tar

JUST as South­east Asia an­nounced a dec­la­ra­tion to fight non-com­mu­ni­ca­ble dis­eases, the Man­dalay Re­gion Pub­lic Health Depart­ment an­nounced a new ini­tia­tive to find and cure such dis­eases in three town­ships.

WHO South­east Asia Re­gion mem­ber coun­tries adopted the “Colombo dec­la­ra­tion” – which aims to strengthen pri­mary health­care ser­vices for non-com­mu­ni­ca­ble dis­eases – at the open­ing day of a re­gional meet­ing in Sri Lanka on Septem­ber 5. Non­com­mu­ni­ca­ble dis­eases in­clude car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­eases, can­cers, di­a­betes and chronic re­s­pi­ra­tory in­fec­tions.

“Non-com­mu­ni­ca­ble dis­eases are al­ready tak­ing an un­ac­cept­able toll on pop­u­la­tions, with the bur­den pro­jected to rise in com­ing years,” said re­gional di­rec­tor for WHO in South­east Asia Poonam Khetra­pal Singh, ac­cord­ing to a state­ment. “To avert this pos­si­bil­ity, ser­vices for these dis­eases must be made avail­able at the pri­mary health­care level, and high-risk pop­u­la­tions must be pro­vided all op­por­tu­ni­ties to access screen­ing and treat­ment.”

The Man­dalay Re­gional Depart­ment of Pub­lic Health has cho­sen Thazi, Tada-U and Ngazun town­ships for its ini­tia­tive, which is ex­pected to start in Oc­to­ber, depart­ment head U Win Naing said on Septem­ber 1.

The depart­ment has al­ready of­fered a train­ing class to ru­ral health­care em­ploy­ees and pro­vided med­i­ca­tion, he said.

“We have mainly cho­sen the town­ships that are far from the city,” he said.

In Au­gust, Dr Myint Shwe, di­rec­tor of a branch of the Depart­ment of Pub­lic Health that deals with non-com­mu­ni­ca­ble dis­eases, ex­plained that the suc­cess of 2012 pro­grams in Yan­gon Re­gion’s Hlegu and Hmawbi town­ships has led to plans for pro­grams in 10 more town­ships around the coun­try be­fore the end of the year.

About 8.5 mil­lion peo­ple in South­east Asia die each year from non­com­mu­ni­ca­ble dis­eases, in­clud­ing 4.1 mil­lion youth, ac­cord­ing to the fig­ures re­leased by WHO in 2014.

Some causes of non-com­mu­ni­ca­ble dis­eases in­clude ex­treme use of cig­a­rettes and to­bacco, un­healthy lifestyle and diet, ex­cess al­co­hol con­sump­tion and lack of proper phys­i­cal ex­er­cise.

The Colombo dec­la­ra­tion in­cluded a prom­ise to fund health pro­grams through taxes on cig­a­rettes and un­healthy food.

“This is an im­por­tant op­por­tu­nity to reaf­firm com­mit­ment to the global goal of re­duc­ing NCD-re­lated pre­ma­ture mor­tal­ity by one-third by 2030, and to ac­tu­ally map out how we will get there,” said Dr Khetra­pal Singh ac­cord­ing to the WHO’s state­ment. “Im­ple­ment­ing ef­fec­tive pol­icy so­lu­tions is vi­tal to ad­dress­ing the per­sonal and so­cial tragedy caused by NCDs, as well as their im­pact on eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment.”

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