Minister of State for Science and Technology Y S Chowdary launched the Centre for Control of Chronic Conditions (CCCC), an international partnership among four leading institutions -- AIIMS , Emory University, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the Public Health Foundation of India.

According to government statistics, chronic conditions are now the leading cause of death in India, accounting for more than 5 million deaths each year, which is over 53 percent of all deaths.

This is projected to rise to almost three quarters of deaths by 2030.

"The Indian government has always lacked a master blueprint on the development of healthcare in the country. But the Center for Control of Chronic Conditions will bridge all the gap that has existed till now in the country," Chowdary said.

The approach of the CCC towards the chronic conditions will be to put the affected individual and the family at the heart of science, practice and policy.

The 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 the country and argues that the cost of inaction towards chronic conditions would be too high for India to bear.

In his address, Professor James Curran, Dean, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University said, "The challenge of chronic conditions confronting India cannot be overstated. There is a pressing need for greater understanding on how it affects people and even threatens to undermine economic development.

The data by the health ministry also stated that chronic conditions cost India between 4 to 10 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) in terms of lost productivity.     

"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," AIIMS Director M C Mishra said.

"It is also projected that India and China will house largest (80 per cent) 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).... 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," he said.

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