Published on: February 4, 2015

A report by the World Health Organization says that “Every year, roughly 5.8 million Indians die from heart and lung diseases, stroke, cancer and diabetes. In other words, 1 in 4 Indians risks dying from an NCD before they reach the age of 70.”

It is heartening to read the comment by Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director of WHO South-East Asian Region:“The millions of productive individuals lost prematurely to NCDs are seriously undermining social and economic development.” It spells out the various action plans that the Government of India is taking.

Unfortunately, the Government’s plans on NCDs do not seem to have significantly included its own National Program for Palliative Care. We need to further bring it to the attention of the Ministry of Health about the NCD targets, globally, including the consumption of morphine as an indicator for access to palliative care.

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