NATIONAL HEALTH PROGRAMMES
The National Anti-Malaria Programme is the world’s biggest health programme against a single communicable disease and continues to be the country’s most comprehensive and multi-faceted public health activity. Earlier deaths due to malaria were completely eliminated. Unfortunately, due to various factors, these achievements could not be maintained. Resurgence of malaria necessitated renewed vigourous anti-malaria activities and the programme was modified in the context of escalating malaria incidence. During the year 2008, 1.52 million cases and 0.76 million pf. cases with 935 deaths have been reported.
Lymphatic Filariasis is a serious debilitating and incapacitating. The infected person may develop swelling limbs and genitals which keep on increasing making the person incapacitated. This disease has been reported from over 250 districts in 20 states and UTs wherein over 590 million people live. The National Filaria control programme is being implemented since 1955. The national health policy has envisaged the goal of lymphatic filariasis elimination by the year 2015. In 2005, in 229 districts, 346.89 million persons were administered a dose of DEC against targeted population of 434.49 million, showing a coverage rate of 79.84%.
Kala-azar is a parasitic disease caused by Leishmania donovani transmitted by sandflies phlebotomus orgentipes. Kala-azar is endemic in Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal and parts of Uttar Pradesh. National Health Policy, has envisaged the goal of Kala-azar elimination by the year 2010. The disease incidence has come down from 77,099 cases in 1992 to 44553 cases in 2007 and deaths from 1416 to 203 respectively. During the year 2008,33234 cases and 146 deaths have been reported. While till March, 2009, 2254 cases and 5 deaths were reported.
TB is serious public health problem in India. India accounts for nearly onefifth of Global TB burden. Every year there are approximately 19 lakh new cases in the country of which approximately 8 lakh are new smear positive and therefore highly infectious. To control TB, national TB control programme (NTCP) is in operation in the country since 1962. Two persons die from TB in India every three minutes more than 900 persons every day. In the year 2008, there were 3.8 million bacillary pulmonary cases, 3.9 million abacillary cases and 0.8 million extra-pulmonary cases.
The National Leprosy Control programme was launched by the Government of India in 1955. It was redesignated as the National Leprosy Eradication Programme (NLEP) in 1983. The second phase of National Leprosy elimination project was started from 1 April 2001 for a period of three years with the objective to achieve elimination of Leprosy as a public health problem by 2005, thereby reducing the case load to less than 1/10,000 population. In the year 1981, the country had a prevalance of 57.6 cases per 10,000 population which has come down to 0.72 per 10,000 population in March 2009.
The national programme for control of Blindness (NPCB) was launched in the year 1976 with the goal of reducing prevalence of blindness to 0.3 percent. As per survey in 2001-02, prevalence of blindness is estimated to be 1.1%. As per the survey conducted during 2006-07, the estimated prevalence of blindness has come down to 1%.
The AIDS programme implementation has been completely decentralized to States and Union Territories. Each state and Union territory has registered a state AIDs control society (SACS) responsible for implementating the programme at the State/UT level. In 2006, the country is estimated to have 3.1 million HIV positive persons, with an estimated adult HIV prevalence of 0.36%. Trends of HIV infection in 2006 indicate a mixed response in the country. While there is increase in some areas, in other areas it has shown decline. India continues to be in the category of concentrated epidemic. A total of 1,82,787 AIDS cases have been reported since 1986 till 31st March 2007.
The national health programme was started in 1982 for providing community based mental health care using the existing public health infrastructure. The WHO report on Global Burden diseases has projected mental illness to be the fourth major cause of morbidity. Several mental disorders that include schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, organic psychosis and major depression affect nearly 20 per 1000 population.
Cancer is an important public health problem in India with nearly 8-9 lakh new cases occurring every year in the country. It is estimated that there are 25 lakh cases of cancer in the country at any given point of time.According to a survey 40% of the cancer cases are due to comsumption of tobacco. With the objectives of prevention, early diagnosis and treatment, the National Cancer, Control programme (NCCP) was launched in 1975-76. The programme was revised in 1984-85 and subsequently in December 2005. There are 23 regional Cancer Centres recognized under the programme in different parts of countries to provide the specialized treatment and undertake research in the field of cancer.