India must have palliative care for millions fighting cancer, diabetes, et al. Kerala offers hope.

Palliative care helps individuals afflicted with non-communicable diseases to live meaningful and active lives as long as possible. In resource-constrained economies like India, it’s still beyond the reach for most, but Kerala’s “home care” model offers hope to millions. The state has institutionalised palliative and terminal care for efficient and affordable healthcare delivery.

My write up in ET Prime today. It is a mix of opinion and facts (more facts though). I apologise that it is behind a paywall (I don’t have any means to share the log-in codes) However, if you are interested, email me and I’ll be happy to send the free invite to read it fully on the website.

India’s disease burden has two extreme components — cardiovascular diseases as an indirect attribution of affluence (overnutrition), and infectious diseases (diarrhoea, lower respiratory tract diseases), which are traditionally associated with poverty. Cardiovascular diseases (26%), cancer (7%), chronic respiratory disease (13%), and diabetes (2%) represent the significant cause-specific mortalities. Heart attacks represent the most common cause of premature deaths in India. The Global Adult Tobacco Survey (2009-10) estimates that around 274.9 million people in India use tobacco, which can lead to various diseases.

Rural populations are also witnessing a marked rise in hypertension levels as they adopt “western lifestyles”. This paradox comes out in the fourth round of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) as a national representative study from India. Out of all the long-term diseases, hypertension, dubbed a “silent killer”, has significant implications, as it is associated with a higher risk for mortality. Uncontrolled hypertension along with obesity is also known to be adversely associated with cancer.

via India must have palliative care for millions fighting cancer, diabetes, et al. Kerala offers hope. – ET Prime

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