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Company : Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) 
Tuesday, April 7, 2015 5:50PM IST (12:20PM GMT)
First of its Kind Centre for Control of Chronic Conditions (CCCC) Launched in India
New Delhi, Delhi, India

Advancing evidence-based solutions for a growing health crisis, the Centre is an international partnership between All India Institute of Medical Sciences New Delhi, Emory University, the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and the Public Health Foundation of India.

With vision to generate world-class knowledge which can impact policy and practice aimed at reducing the burden of chronic conditions in India and beyond, the Centre for Control of Chronic Conditions (CCCC) was launched today by Hon. Minister of State for Science and Technology Sh. YS Chowdary. The Hon. Minister also released a joint report on “Chronic Conditions in India – Evidence based solutions for a growing health crisis.” The report addresses the rising tide of chronic conditions in India and argues that the cost of inaction towards chronic conditions would be too high for India to bear.

The Centre for Control of Chronic Conditions is an international partnership between four leading institutions: the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, Emory University, the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and the Public Health Foundation of India. The secretariat for this global partnership will be at the Public Health Foundation of India. The Centre is multi-disciplinary group of researchers and health professionals representing a spectrum of clinical, public health, genetics, biochemistry and social science disciplines. The work focuses on the priority chronic conditions of - Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke, Mental Disorders, Diabetes, Chronic Lung Diseases, Cancers, Injuries and Chronic Kidney Diseases.

Lauding this much needed international collaboration, Prof. MC Misra, Director AIIMS said, “India alongside other developing nations has not yet got over infectious disease burden in all age group and child hood in particular. It is also projected that India and China will house largest proportion (>80%) of elderly population with all antecedent health issues, which would include chronic disease burden, which has not been witnessed earlier. India has already passed the early stages of a chronic disease burden (Diabetes, Stroke, cardiovascular diseases, mental health illness etc.). As if that was not enough we face injury epidemic in the current millennium. If we go by the number today, injury has become a major public health problem in developing countries as also in developed countries. Developed countries have done well by formulating and enforcing injury prevention strategies. Realistic dimension of injury burden has not been well appreciated. Injury epidemic is real in developing countries and 88% of injury burden remains in Asia, which is contributed largely by India and China, two populous nations and developing economies. When we compare death in all age groups, injury is at number 3, but when it comes to years of productive life lost and Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs) due to injury, it exceeds both put together cancer and heart disease together. In view of the implications for future disease burden and the demographic transition that is in progress in India and globally the agenda of chronic diseases and injuries should be a priority. This international collaboration between AIIMS, Emory University, LSHTM and PHFI will be the beginning to strengthen institutional framework, national and international capacity building and networks in the regions that will translate evidence into policy and practice.”

Chronic conditions are now the leading cause of death in India, accounting for more than 5 million deaths each year – which is over 53% of all deaths. This is projected to rise to almost three quarters of deaths by 2030. They are also a leading cause of disability.

In his address Prof. James Curran, Dean, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta USA, said, “The challenge of chronic conditions confronting India cannot be overstated. It is assumed that chronic conditions are diseases only affecting rich countries or the rich people in poor countries. Evidence now tells us that this is untrue. Chronic conditions are now a global challenge and there is a pressing need for greater understanding on how it affects people, and even threatens to undermine economic development. There is also an urgent need to advocate the integration of best practices for various chronic diseases and injuries with one another as India progresses with its national health agenda, hence this international partnership serves as a platform that will try and make a real difference to health outcomes in this enormously important area.”

In his address Dr K Srinath Reddy, President, Public Health Foundation of India said, “India currently faces the dual burden of communicable diseases and chronic non-communicable diseases The Increasing burden of chronic conditions has had not only obvious health implications but also economic and developmental consequences. It is in response to this public health challenge that Centre for Control of Chronic Conditions will generate world-class knowledge which can impact policy and practice, and will work with and educate the wider community about lifestyle-associated diseases to improve quality of life and reduce the burden of chronic conditions.”

Prof. Anne Mills, Deputy Director & Provost and Professor of Health Economics and Policy, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), emphasized that “In India rapid social and economic changes are leaving people at greater risks of developing a range of highly debilitating and life-threatening chronic conditions. Chronic conditions are now responsible for the majority of deaths in India and are the biggest source of disability. The launch of the Centre for Control of Chronic Conditions will further augment targeted health care initiatives, capacity-building and policy engagement, to prevent and control chronic diseases in other low and middle income country settings.

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Rajiv Chhibber, Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), +91-9810426698, rajiv.chhibber@phfi.org
Gina Sharma, Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), +91-9811887088, gina.sharma@phfi.org
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