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INVITED EDITORIAL
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 326-329

Communicable or noncommunicable diseases? Building strong primary health care systems to address double burden of disease in India


1 Secretary, Basic HealthCare Services, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India
2 Director, Basic HealthCare Services, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India
3 Executive (Programs), Basic HealthCare Services, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Pavitra Mohan
Basic Health Care Services, 39, Krishna Colony Bedla Road, Udaipur - 313 011, Rajasthan
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_67_19

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Between 1990 and 2016, India has seen an epidemiological transition in disease burden and deaths, with a steady rise in noncommunicable disease (NCD) burden. This has led to a tussle for policy attention and resources between proponents of communicable diseases such as tuberculosis, and of NCDs, such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. Review of evidence from global burden of diseases studies and from our own field data from rural south Rajasthan reveals that communicable-malnutrition- maternal-newborn diseases (CMNND), injuries, and NCDs are major causes of disease burden and deaths in childhood, youth and older age group, respectively. Risk factors related to diet, nutrition, and air pollution contribute significantly to communicable as well as NCDs. Many NCDs in adults have origins in malnutrition during pregnancy and early childhood; similarly, certain NCDs are caused by a communicable disease. We argue that the binary of communicable and NCD is incorrect, and that resources and policy attention be focused on strengthening primary health care systems that address CMMNDs as well as NCDs; and reduce the underlying risk factors.


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