Those suffering from Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) can soon look forward to better medical treatment in the country’s Government hospitals.
The Union Health Ministry has decided to bring the two non-communicable diseases under the ambit of the National Programme For Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke(NPCDCS) being implemented through the National Health Mission (NHM).
At present, the programme is being implemented in 100 districts and is due to be expanded to cover all districts of the country in a phased manner during the 12th Five Year Plan.
Inclusion of CKD and COPD aims to help poor people cut their out of pocket expenditure on the diseases which are on the rise and becoming major cause of death across the country, said a senior official from the Union Health Ministry.
Dr SK Agarwal, Head of Department of Nephrology, AIIMS while welcoming the step said it came quite late though. “Not only risk factors of CKD are common with other NCDs, importance of CKD is much more than many other NCDs. Also, once CKD develops, management of CVD and strokes becomes difficult as patients cannot be investigated easily for other NCDs and treatment also becomes complicated,” he added.
In CKD, kidneys get damaged and they can’t filter blood as they should.
This damage can cause wastes to build up in the patient’s body. It can also cause other problems that can harm the health. Diabetes and hypertension are the most common causes of CKD, constituting nearly 60 per cent cases, added Dr Agarwal.
Painting a grim picture of healthcare system, he said of the 4-5 lakh patients at any time requiring dialysis and or kidney transplant, only 7,000 gets renal transplant as of now.
COPD accounts for high mortality up to 13 per cent in the country. COPD is the collective name for lung diseases including emphysema, chronic bronchitis and chronic obstructive airways disease. Smoking is currently the main cause of COPD and the chances of developing COPD increases the longer an individual has been smoking.
Since the preventive aspects of CKD and COPD already exist in NPCDCS, providing facility for diagnosis and treatment of CKD under NHM will especially help people by reducing their out of pocket expenditure.
The Ministry hopes in 2016-17, 100 districts can be taken up for supporting infrastructure for CKD and COPD and setting up dialysis units.