Healthy India Alliance

Introduction Healthy India Alliance

What are NCDs?

Non Communicable diseases (NCD) also known as chronic diseases are not passed from person to person. They are generally of longer duration and have slow rates of progression.

The “Big-4” main types of NCDs are:
  • Cardiovascular diseases (like heart attacks and strokes)
  • Cancer
  • Chronic respiratory diseases (such as chronic obstructed pulmonary disease and asthma)
  • Diabetes
NCDs are a major threat to the health of Indians (WHO 2014)

According to Data by WHO, 2014 percent of deaths from NCD’s are 60% out of which

Percentage of Deaths from Non Communicable Diseases (WHO, 2014)

Risk factors associated with various Non Communicable Diseases icsd1

At the UN Conference on Global Health in 2012, the world woke to the fact that non-communicable disease had overtaken communicable disease as the prime cause of its burden of mortality & morbidity. More people are dying of Coronary Heart Disease & Strokes, Respiratory Disease, Diabetes & Cancer than of Communicable Diseases like malaria, TB, Encephalitis etc.

Governments address the risk factors of Communicable Disease because an epidemic wipes out populations in very quick time. Deaths from NCDs have been a silent epidemic. None of the Big 4 is a Notifiable Disease. India is today the Heart Disease capital of the World. India is also the Diabetes capital of the World.

It has taken Health experts time to realize the magnitude of the problem. It has also taken time to understand the deaths occur at younger ages, & productive years of life. NCDs do not distinguish between rich & poor, urban & rural populations.

All Non Communicable Disease have certain common characteristics:
  • They are the largest killers of population across the Globe.
  • They have common risk factors.
  • They are all preventable by making healthy lifestyle changes.
  • They are lifelong afflictions with huge cost to individuals, industries & the Nation in private & public spending and in labor-days lost to sickness.
India is a signatory to the UN mandated NCD Alliance & is committed to a time bound goal of reducing risk factors (Diet /Tobacco /Physical Inactivity / Salt intake / availability of essential medicine at affordable rates) by 25% by 2025.

What is the Healthy India Alliance?

The Healthy India Alliance is a coalition of health and non–health Civil Society Organisations to prevent and control Non Communicable Diseases through effective policies, partnership and programmes.

The vision is to catalyse Multi-sectoral action to enhance health & quality of life in India.

The current Governing Board of the Alliance comprises of the following member organisations:

  • Association of Adolescent and Child Care in India
  • Alzheimer’s and Related Disorders Society of India
  • Cancer Foundation of India
  • Centre for Chronic Diseases Control
  • Clean Air Asia
  • Dakshayani and Amaravati Health and Education (Dakshama)
  • Health Bridge
  • Health-Related Information Dissemination Amongst Youth (HRIDAY*)
  • Indian Cancer Society
  • Madras Diabetes Research Foundation
  • Nada India Foundation
  • Pallium India
  • Public Health Foundation of India
  • Sundaram Arulrhaj Hospital
  • The Union South East Asia
  • World Lung Foundation/Vital Strategies
The Indian Cancer Society, Delhi, is a proud member of Healthy India Alliance. With other Branches joining hands, we will be the prime pan-India organization.

Activities of the Alliance

  • Converge: Serve as an inclusive Alliance to unite action, host meetings, recruit new partners, and promote the work of CSOs working in NCDs and related issues;

  • Collaborate: Ensure that government agencies recognize NCDs as a national development priority;

  • Care: Provide free screening, counselling, and referral services for those diagnosed with NCDs;

  • Connect: Undertake awareness campaigns, engage media, and educate people about NCD risk factors, end stigma, and promote early screening;

  • Capacity Building: Train health workers, survivors and other advocates in counselling, screening, advocacy and patient support;

  • Compute: Provide support for research and data gathering processes on NCDs Catalyse multi-sectoral advocacy: Ensure participation of non-health CSOs, particularly those working on environmental, gender, human security issues

  • Contribute: Align activities to the national, regional and global action plans on NCDs and SDGs

  • Why should ICS venture in the NCD space?

    1. India is experiencing a rapid health transition with a rising burden of NCDs. Overall; NCDs are emerging as the leading causes of death in India accounting for 60% of all deaths. Half of those who die of chronic NCDs are in the prime of their productive years. In India, NCDs have overtaken communicable diseases as the most common causes of morbidity and premature mortality. According to WHO, NCDs account for 5.3 million deaths in India. India loses more than 20 million productive life years annually to NCDs. The annual income loss from NCDs, arising from days spent ill and in care-giving, amounted to $23 billion (0.7% GDP) in India in 2004.

    2. Since ICS works in the area of awareness, preventive screening and patient care for Cancer it makes sense to increase our outreach to the other NCDs as one individual patient may develop some of these diseases simultaneously.

    3. Cancer has been clubbed with all the other NCDs under the Government of India’s NPCDCS program. As this is a national program it makes sense to align ourselves with the government’s health policy which is being implemented by the states.

    4. As many Cancer patients will testify, they develop Diabetes or Heart problems during or after treatment.

    5. ICS Delhi and ICS Cancer Sahyog support group conducted various seminars and workshops.

    5.1 Cancer Sahyog, Support group of Indian Cancer Society conducted a seminar to understand the connections of each NCD to Cancer on 28 September, 2014. Eminent experts from various fields of medicine addressed the following subjects:

    • NCDs – Leading Cause of Death Worldwide
    • Diabetes Mellitus & Cancer – Deadly dual Diagnosis
    • Chronic Respiratory Disease masquerading as Lung Cancer
    • Heart Health & Cancer: Treatment impacting Heart Health
    • Multiple Connections – Obesity; Diabetes – Heart Disease – Cancer

    5.2 An awareness workshop for our own volunteers was conducted at the Army R&R hospital (13 March 2016). It was open for other members of HIA and we had a full house. Topics taken up were community health, diabetes, heart diseases and cancer.

    5.3 Workshop in collaboration with Pallium India on “Improving Quality of Life: The Role of Palliative Care” on 25th September 2016. Speaker of the workshop was Dr. M.R. Rajagopagl.

    5.4 Seminar on “Improving Quality of Life: The role of Palliative Care” on 16th October 2016.Workshop with NADA Foundation on Training in Emotional Support/Mental Health on 13th October 2017

    5.5 Mrs. Beeta Mehta, Director Cancer Sahyog, selected to attend workshop on “Our Views, Our Voices: An initiative by NCD Alliance at Geneva on 30th and 31st October 2017.

    5.6 Workshop with AACCI on Lifeskills for Adolescents in Schools (Awareness) and Hospitals is planned for March/April 2018.

    We have also joined executive group of HIA to provide assistance in the field of governance. This is an ongoing process and we are in touch with our partners.


    So what is our Call to Action?

    The Indian Cancer Society Roadmap

    With a presence in 6 major Indian cities as well as being one of the oldest cancer registries in Asia, ICS is well poised to galvanise the Healthy India Alliance and provide citizen centric healthcare solutions in the field of cancer care and control.