Feb 13, 2019 13:26 IST

Bengaluru ( Karnataka) [India] Feb 13 (ANI):  India is currently faced with the triple burden of communicable, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and injuries. According to the World Health Organization, NCDs in India have huge negative implications on the health and development of the nation. Lifestyle choices are largely responsible for this growing cause of concern. Malnutrition in all its forms (obesity, undernutrition and dietary risks) attribute to poor health. As recently published in The Lancet – obesity and undernutrition are a part of a trilogy to form the ‘Global Syndemic’ that affects everyone across various regions and countries worldwide. As per various recommendations made by global reports such as Global Accelerated Action for the Health of Adolescents (AA-HA!), risk factors such as tobacco use, physical inactivity and alcohol use require equal attention and it is crucial that interventions that cover all age groups are delivered with quality and universal coverage.
Karnataka is one of the highest NCD burden states in India, contributes to 68.4% (535.1 deaths per 1 lakh population) of total NCDs attributed deaths in the country. The Government of Karnataka is keen to address the risk factors responsible for non-communicable diseases and has taken the initiative to promote healthier lifestyle which would also pave the path to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Directorate of Health and Family Welfare Services, Government of Karnataka joined hands with the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) for implementing Project PaTHWay: PromoTing Health and Wellbeing in Bengaluru (Karnataka). Karnataka is one of the first Indian states to adopt a comprehensive NCD prevention programme through health promotion interventions in schools, colleges and workplaces.
“The tobacco consumption is one of leading cause of death globally”, said Dr T S Prabhakar – Director, Health and Family Welfare Services, Government of Karnataka, at the launch event. As per WHO Global Adult Tobacco Survey 2016-17, 22.8% of adult population are consuming tobacco in Karnataka, age of tobacco initiation is around 19 years. As per WHO report, every year, more than 10 lakhs die every year in India due to tobacco consumption. All NCD deaths are preventable. Due to change of life style, NCD issues are becoming major public health challenge in India. “I am confident that activities of Project PaTHway shall complement the activity of the department to reach objectives of NTCP and NCD program in the State. I wish all the best to team PaTHWay and Department of HF&W will give necessary administrative support in implementation of this project”, said Dr T S Prabhakar.
“As per the evidence highlighted by the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS), 2016-17, there has been no reduction in the exposure to second handsmoke (SHS) at workplaces, whereas SHS at public places and homes has reduced between GATS-1 and GATS-2. Thus, underlining the need to step up tobacco cessation efforts at workplaces. Alcohol control has been a neglected area and no comprehensive national policy exists in the country on alcohol control. We aim to use participatory research methodology in this project to develop innovative interventions to prevent alcohol uptake among youth in India”, said Dr Monika Arora, Director of the Health Promotion and Additional Professor at PHFI.
“it is often mentioned that Genes load the gun, but lifestyle pulls the trigger. Unhealthy lifestyles like improper diets, inadequate exercise, use of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs and excessive stress are preventable risk factors for NCDs. This is true at all developmental stages. Thus helping people understand that they have a major role in keeping themselves healthy and preventing future illnesses is important in all age groups. Since it is best to develop healthy lifestyles starting young, this initiative is starting with young people in schools and colleges. Since workplaces have a captive audience, it is a setting where all the employees can be engaged to actively engage in activities to keep them physically and mentally healthy, said Dr Pratima Murthy, Professor of Psychiatry, Centre for Addiction Medicine, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS).
“We are very pleased to be associated with Project PaTHWay that enables us to connect with the community at multiple levels and drive awareness on the adoption of healthy behaviours. This project will look at reducing the health burden from communicable and non-communicable diseases through targeted interventions in schools, colleges and corporates in Bangalore and Pune. This initiative further strengthens our commitment to Better Health, a key pillar of our Corporate Responsibility strategy by increasing awareness on risk prevention and protection through research and education”, said Shashi Chidanand, Chief Risk Officer, Data Privacy Officer and Chief Compliance Officer for AXA Business Services. This story is provided by Newsvoir. (ANI)

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