On September 24, 2020, Kerala won the United Nation Interagency Task Force Award for its outstanding performance in controlling non-communicable diseases related Sustainable Development Goals.
The award recognised achievements of the state during 2019 in the prevention and control of Non communicable Diseases and mental health. The State has facilities at all levels to treat lifestyle diseases starting from public health centres to hospitals. The State was able to control the death rate of COVID-19 as it focused in Non-Communicable Diseases.
Kerala is one among the seven ministries of health from all over the world to receive the award. The other programmes of the state such as Cancer Treatment Programme, Lung Disease Programme and Paralysis Control Programme were also considered for the award.
United Nations Inter Agency Task Force on Non-Communicable Diseases
The task force reports to the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) once a year. After adopting 2030 United Nations Sustainable Development Goal Agenda, the scope of work of UNIATF was expanded to include “Non Communicable Diseases” related Sustainable Development Goals. They are mental health, injuries, violence, environmental issues and nutrition issues. These are the major factors that impact Non-Communicable Diseases. Around 70% of deaths in the world are due to Non-Communicable Diseases.
Efforts of India on NCDs
India has launched the National Programme to control NCD. In the past four years, the programme has been scaled up four times. Today all the 36 States and Union Territories in India have adopted the programme. The programme provides free diagnosis, follow-up, treatment, referral.
Non-Communicable Diseases in India
The main NCDs in India are cancers, heart attacks, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes. The 2030 Agenda of SDG includes a target of reducing number of premature deaths due to NCDs by one-third by 2030.
In India NCDs are closely related to poverty.