Non-Communicable Diseases | 23 Sep 2022

For Prelims: World Health Organisation (WHO), non-communicable disease (NCD), Sustainable Development Goal, cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), Sustainable Development Goal, National Health Mission (NHM), Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY).

For Mains: Impacts of Non-Communicable Diseases.

Why in News?

Recently, the World Health Organisation (WHO) released its report “Invisible Numbers — The True Extent of Non-communicable Diseases and What To Do About Them”, which stated that every two seconds, one person under the age of 70 dies of a non-communicable disease (NCD) with 86% of those deaths occurring in low- and middle-income countries.

What are the Key Highlights of the Report?

  • Globally, one in three deaths – 17.9 million a year – are due to cardiovascular diseases (CVDs).
  • Two-thirds of the people with hypertension live in low- and middle-income countries, but almost half of the people with hypertension are not even aware they have it, it currently affects around 1.3 billion adults aged between 30 and 79.
  • Major Diseases:
    • Diabetes: One in 28 deaths - 2.0 million people a year – is due to diabetes.
      • More than 95% of diabetes cases globally are of type 2 diabetes.
    • Cancer: It causes one in six deaths9.3 million people a year, a further 44% of cancer deaths could have been prevented or delayed by eliminating risks to health.
    • Respiratory Disease: It indicated that 70% of deaths due to chronic respiratory diseases could have been prevented or delayed by eliminating risks to health.
  • Further, Covid-19 highlighted the links between NCDs and infectious disease, with serious impacts on NCD care. In the early months of the pandemic, 75% of countries reported disruption to essential NCD services.
  • As per WHO portal only a handful of countries were on track to meet the Sustainable Development Goal target to reduce early deaths from NCDs by a third by 2030.

What are Non-Communicable Diseases?

  • About:
    • Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), also known as chronic diseases, tend to be of long duration and are the result of a combination of genetic, physiological, environmental and behavioural factors.
    • The main types of NCD are cardiovascular diseases (such as heart attacks and stroke), cancers, chronic respiratory diseases (such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma) and diabetes.
  • Causes:
    • Tobacco use, unhealthy diet, harmful use of alcohol, physical inactivity and air pollution are the main risk factors contributing to these conditions.
  • Status of Non-Communicable Diseases in India:
    • According to WHO, over 60.46 lakh people died due to NCDs in India in 2019.
    • Over 25.66 lakh deaths in 2019 in the country were due to cardiovascular diseases while 11.46 lakh deaths were due to chronic respiratory diseases.
    • Cancer led to 9.20 lakh deaths while 3.49 lakh deaths in the country were attributed to diabetes.
  • Indian Initiatives:
    • National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke (NPCDCS) is being implemented under the National Health Mission (NHM).
    • The Central Government is implementing the Strengthening of Tertiary Care Cancer facilities scheme to support the setting up of State Cancer Institutes (SCI) and Tertiary Care Centres (TCCC) in different parts of the country.
    • Oncology in its various aspects has a focus in case of new AIIMS and many upgraded institutions under Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY).
    • Affordable Medicines and Reliable Implants for Treatment (AMRIT) Deendayal outlets have been opened at 159 Institutions/Hospitals with an objective to make available Cancer and Cardiovascular Diseases drugs and implants at discounted prices to the patients.
    • Jan Aushadhi stores are set up by the Department of Pharmaceuticals to provide generic medicines at affordable prices.
  • Global:
    • Agenda for Sustainable Development: As part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, heads of state and government committed to develop ambitious national responses, by 2030, to reduce by one third premature mortality from NCDs through prevention and treatment (SDG target 3.4).
      • WHO plays a key leadership role in the coordination and promotion of the global fight against NCDs.
    • Global action Plan: In 2019, the World Health Assembly extended the WHO Global action plan for the prevention and control of NCDs 2013–2020 to 2030 and called for the development of an Implementation Roadmap 2023 to 2030 to accelerate progress on preventing and controlling NCDs.
      • It supports actions to achieve a set of nine global targets with the greatest impact towards prevention and management of NCDs.

Way Forward

  • There is need for robust health system programmes that promote health, detect and control risk factors early and effectively, treat disease cost effectively and prevent untimely deaths.
  • Further, NCDs need to be accorded higher priority in financial allocation and health system-strengthening initiatives with strong emphasis on primary care.

UPSC Civil Services Examination Previous Year Question (PYQ)


Q. Brominated flame retardants are used in many household products like mattresses and upholstery. Why is there some concern about their use? (2014)

  1. They are highly resistant to degradation in the environment.
  2. They are able to accumulate in humans and animals.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Ans: (c)


  • Brominated Flame Retardants (BFRs) are mixtures of man-made chemicals that are added to a wide variety of products, to make them less flammable. They are commonly used in plastics, textiles and electrical/ electronic equipments.
  • The BFRs are highly resistant to degradation in natural environment. Hence, 1 is correct.
  • BFRs can be accumulated in humans and animals and can cause diabetes, neurobehavioral and developmental disorders, cancer, reproductive health effects and alteration in thyroid function. Hence, 2 is correct. Therefore, option (c) is the correct answer

Source: IE