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Disease Pattern in India

Dramatic changes have occurred over the past 25 years in the disease patterns in India. In the 90s, almost 50% of the deaths were due to communicable, nutritional, maternal and neonatal diseases like tuberculosis, diarrhoea, anaemia etc. These still contribute to 1/3 of the deaths in the country. But with India's economic development, there has been a drastic shift in the disease pattern in India from communicable to non-communicable diseases.

India is striving hard to implement disease prevention and control against lifestyle diseases like obesity, diabetes, heart diseases and cancer. These non-communicable diseases have risen by 25% in the last 10 years and contribute to 61% of the death rate in India. As of 2008, nearly 5.2 million people died in India due to non-communicable diseases.

14-43% of India still suffers from infectious and communicable diseases depending on its demographics. Poor sanitation and hygiene, lack of cleanliness and access to safe drinking water are some of the causes of the spread of communicable disease in India. Indian hospitals are striving hard to implement communicable disease control to keep these infectious diseases at bay.

Let us take a look at what hospitals are doing to combat with the shift in disease patterns in India and achieve disease prevention and control.

Non-Communicable Disease Control by Indian Hospitals:

The spread of non-communicable diseases (NCD) has risen from 30 - 55% in the last 5 years in India. Improper lifestyle and food habits like eating junk food, smoking, drinking, unhealthy diet, lack of sleep and exercise, physical inactivity,  and obesity etc., have contributed to the spread of these non-communicable diseases. Nearly 80% of the NCD deaths are due to heart and lung diseases, diabetes, obesity and cancer. Fatty liver disease and inflammatory bowel disease have also increased multifold in India due to obesity even in teens and middle-aged citizens. Fatty liver disease has increased by a whopping 30% and if left untreated, may lead to cirrhosis and liver cancer. Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver disorder is most prevalent among those who do not consume alcohol and it is likely to induce diabetic and cardiac diseases.

Indian hospitals can try to stem the spread of such non-communicable diseases by the following measures.
  • Organizing awareness camps for the public to educate them about the risks of such lifestyle diseases
  • Organizing free or affordable health check-ups like Diabetes, BP and liver testing.
  • Offering day-care procedure like endoscopic intra-gastric balloon or angiographic embolization to help patients shed excess weight.
  • Offering bariatric surgery as an affordable alternative for obese patients to reduce weight.
  • Equipping the hospital with MR-Elastography and advanced ultrasound facilities to detect mineral deposition in the liver and liver cirrhosis.
  • Recommending and providing facilities for colonoscopic evaluation of patients over 45 to rule out piles or Crohn's disease.

Hospitals can seek the help of a professional healthcare consulting firm in organizing such camps and spreading awareness through social media to eradicate such lifestyle diseases.

Communicable Disease Control by Indian Hospitals:

Malaria, Typhoid, Jaundice, Leptospirosis, Diarrhoea, Cholera, Influenza, Tuberculosis, Amoebiasis, Brucellosis, Filariasis and Hookworm infections are some of the common communicable diseases in India.
  • Indian hospitals can effect communicable disease control by adopting the following measures.
  • Conducting Immunization camps to stem the spread of typhoid, jaundice, rubella, measles etc by timely vaccination.
  • Arranging awareness camps on sanitation and hygiene especially in rural areas to prevent malaria, cholera, dengue etc.
  • Organizing health camps with a free or affordable distribution of anti-malarial and dengue medication.
  • Issuing awareness messages on social media to educate the public on the prevention of such diseases.

Hospitals should enlist the services of an expert firm dealing with hospital quality management to implement these measures for disease prevention and control.

The role of hospitals is indispensable in disease prevention and control and it can be harnessed fully only with the help of a hospital consulting firm.

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