India's child and maternal malnutrition disease burden 12 times higher than China

Wednesday, 15 Nov, 2017

Such evidence-based health planning in each state would result in overall health improvements in India and reduce the health inequalities between the states. These included censuses, vital registration, Sample Registration System, large-scale national household surveys, other population-level surveys and cohort studies, disease surveillance data, disease programme-level data, administrative records of health services, disease registries, and a wide range of other studies conducted across India. "This means that the more developed states that had this transition a long time ago need to go on a war footing to control the rapidly rising burden of major NCDs and injuries", said J.P. Nadda, union minister of health and family welfare.

With a population of 1.3 billion, nearly one-fifth of the world's population lives in India.

Disease burden due to child and maternal malnutrition in India was 12 times higher per person than in China in 2016 even as the life expectancy at birth in the country improved by over a decade, said a report on Tuesday.

But CSE researchers who analysed the datasets for Delhi said, "Diseases that are worst affected by air pollution including cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory diseases (COPD), and cancers have shown a dramatic increase since 1990".

Contribution of major disease groups to total disease burden in India, 1990 and 2016.

However, there are major variations across states depending on their development status. In 1990, 61% of the total disease burden in India was attributed to communicable, maternal, neonatal, and nutritional diseases.

The burden of most infectious diseases has reduced from 1990 to 2016, but five of the top ten causes of disease burden still belonged to this group - diarrhoeal diseases, lower respiratory infections, iron-deficiency anaemia, neonatal preterm birth, and tuberculosis. However, there was an nearly two-fold difference in this disease burden rate among the states in 2016, with Assam, Uttar Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh having the highest rates, and Kerala and Goa the lowest rates.

The extent of the crisis becomes clear when the Disability Adjusted Life Years, or DALY rate-disease burden expressed as the number of years lost due to ill-health, disability or early death-is taken into consideration. The Indian Council of Medical Research, the Public Health Foundation of India and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation prepared the report in collaboration with the Ministry of Health.This is a first state-wise report on disease burden and risk factors trends from 1990 to 2016.

Mr Naidu said, the report provides comprehensive estimates for each state from 1990 to 2016 for the first time in India.

Road injuries and self-harm, which includes suicides and non-fatal outcomes of self-harm, are the leading contributors to the injury burden in India. The study, however, stated that burden of household air pollution decreased during this period due to decreasing use of solid fuels for cooking.

Also, despite a lot of government emphasis on providing safe drinking water, especially in remote areas, unsafe water and sanitation still contributes 5% of the total disease burden, mainly through diarrhoeal diseases and other infections.