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Accessing Digital Healthcare Services During COVID-19 by People Living with Non-Communicable Diseases: Experiences from Maharashtra,India

In 2021-22, the Healthy India Alliance along with Janaseva sought to advance the need for a people-centred National NCD response, within the UHC and COVID-19 contexts. In order to do so, they undertook key Stakeholder Dialogues and conducted a Virtual Consultation in Maharashtra that fed into the development of state level report on “Accessing Digital Healthcare Services during COVID-19”, in Maharashtra. This report provides an overview of activities at the sub-national level and derives learnings from Maharashtra that maybe built into a broader context and agenda-setting on how to actually meaningfully involve People Living with NCDs in healthcare policies, programmes and decision making.

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Accessing Digital Healthcare Services During COVID-19 by People Living with Non-Communicable Diseases: Experiences from Punjab, India

In 2021-22, the Healthy India Alliance along with SIPHER (Strategic Institute for Public Health Education and Research) sought to advance the need for a people-centred National NCD response, within the UHC and COVID-19 contexts. In order to do so, they undertook key Stakeholder Dialogues and conducted a Virtual Consultation in Punjab that fed into the development of state level report on “Accessing Digital Healthcare Services during COVID-19”, in Punjab. In Punjab, the report was released by the State Health Minister on World Health Day 2022. This report provides an overview of activities at the sub-national level and derives learnings from Punjab that maybe built into a broader context and agenda-setting on how to actually meaningfully involve People Living with NCDs in healthcare policies, programmes and decision making.

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The India Advocacy Agenda of People Living With NCDs

We are all affected by noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), as these conditions do not discriminate against age groups, gender and socio-economic status. Despite their preventable nature, NCDs still continue to affect us, both physically and mentally. For long, we, People Living with NCDs (PLWNCDs), have been absent from discussions about our health. We have had enough. We cannot let our conditions define who we are. Let us tell the world that we envision healthy communities!

NCD CIVIL SOCIETY ATLAS National and Regional NCD Alliances in Action

An effective whole-of-society approach to the NCD response requires a vibrant and mobilized civil society capable of delivering on its main roles. National and regional NCD alliances bring together civil society organisations to work together towards a shared agenda to create awareness, improve access, advocate for action and ensure accountability.

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Needs and priorities of People Living With Noncommunicable Diseases (PLWNCDs) in India during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic

India has reported 785996 active cases as of COVID-19 with 65288 deaths and 2839882 recoveries (September 1, 2020; MoHFW website).Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs) and co-morbidities, specifically chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart disease, hypertension and diabetes are major risk factors for developing severe manifestations of COVID-19. As per data available on the website of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India (MoHFW, GoI), more than 70% of deaths from COVID-19 are due to co-morbidities. The COVID-19 pandemic has had widespread health impacts, revealing the particular vulnerability of those with underlying conditions.

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NON COMMUNICABLE DISEASES (NCDs) IN INDIA

NCDs have been included as an independent target within the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 3 – Health), which called for one-third reduction in premature mortality from non communicablediseases through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and well-being by 2030.

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The India Advocacy Agenda of People Living With NCDs HEALTHY INDIA

Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs) are the most common cause of death and disability around the world, accounting for over 70% of all deaths. They are a major threat to health and development in this century and their prevalence-along with the suffering-continues to increase exponentially.The five major NCDs: cancer, cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory diseases,diabetes and mental health conditions are majorly caused due to five major risk factors:alcohol use, tobacco use, physical inactivity, unhealthy diet and air pollution.

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INDIA CIVIL SOCIETY STATUS REPORT 2016-2017

India is currently faced with the dual burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases, causing damaging effects to the health and development of the country. Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), including cancers, cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes account for 62% of the annual deaths in India. Most NCDs are attributable to four common risk factors – tobacco and alcohol use, unhealthy diets and physical inactivity. Tobacco use is the single, common risk factor for the four NCDs that are most prevalent in India. Every year, nearly 13.5 lakh Indians die from tobacco related diseases- over 3.5 lakh deaths from smokeless tobacco use and nearly 10 lakhs from smoking. In public hospitals, 25% of all hospitalizations are attributable to NCDs and India stands to lose over 4 trillion dollars before 2030 due to NCDs and mental health conditions. The growing burden of NCDs in India threatens sustainable development in the region calling for urgent and affirmative action on prevention, early detection, treatment and rehabilitation for all.

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TOBACCO USE IN INDIA: AN IMPEDIMENT TO NCD PREVENTION AND CONTROL

In the Indian context, with respect to the four major NCD risk factors, the tobacco control movement has been the strongest,particularly due to legislative regulation through the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA). This is also true for civilsociety engagement through effective Government-CSO partnership and monitoring/advocating for policy development and enforcement. The tobacco control movement has also effectively percolated to the sub-national levels in states and districts. Thismodel provides a valuable benchmark for augment civil society action for overall NCD prevention and control.

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