Addressing the escalating burden of chronic diseases in India: Need for strengthening primary care

J Family Med Prim Care. 2017 Oct-Dec;6(4):701-708. doi: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_1_17.


The growing epidemic of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) has impacted the national health systems, policies, and socioeconomic developments, thereby leading to increasing country level disparities. Despite substantial improvements in health indicators made in the past decade, the Indian health-care system continues to contribute disproportionately to the global disease burden, wherein NCDs holds significant prominence. Against this background, the present review analyzes the current NCD landscape from the perspective of India's health system preparedness toward meeting this growing challenge. Implementation and delivery of strategies and interventions are often impeded by existing grass root level challenges. Recognizing the importance of effective primary care, the review highlights the importance of implementing affordable, accessible, and comprehensive interventions, and delivering them at societal, a community and individual level. This simultaneously calls for strengthening of the primary care system through appropriate strategy and policy frameworks. Toward addressing India-specific needs in NCD prevention and management, concerted efforts on development of robust surveillance mechanisms, intersectoral and interdepartmental collaborations, integration of national programs, enhanced role of education and awareness should be made, to ensure effectivity, scale-up, and outreach of services in primary care.

Keywords: Noncommunicable disease; primary care; public health.

Publication types

  • Editorial