A Collaborative Effort to Fight NCDs in India

ImageToday’s blog is written by Edgard Olaizola, Managing Director of Lilly India, and Ms Shobana Kamineni, Chairperson, CII National Committee on Public Health.


 We are all aware of the significant global healthcare challenge of non-communicable diseases (NCDs).  India represents an important example of a population struggling with the rising burden of NCDs. For instance, diabetes, has emerged as a major disease burden affecting almost 65 million Indians; around 17 percent of the global diabetes burden. 

Contributing factors identified for this sharp increase are: poor food habits, a sedentary lifestyle and rise in obesity. Concerningly, in India we are seeing more and more young people now being diagnosed with diabetes. This coincides with an individual’s most productive years. Developing diabetes during these years leads to a series of complications—professional, personal and economic—that challenge the individuals affected, their families and their employers.

The Lilly NCD Partnership was established three years ago and aims to fight the rising burden of NCDs in emerging economies through research, data sharing and reporting, and advocacy.   In India, we do this through an annual National Summit and policy White Paper, which aim to highlight best practice in NCD prevention, screening and treatment, and make recommendations as to how these diseases can be managed.   

This year, the summit focuses on the state employees from 254 central Public Sector Enterprises (PSEs), which together employ more than 1.5 million people.   Working in partnership with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and supported by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) and the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) we have brought together representatives from over 50 of the biggest PSEs to create a national level learning platform that strengthens public health strategies for comprehensive diabetes management in PSEs.

A sea change in approach is needed to tackle the NCD situation in India and we believe that collaboration is essential if we are to tackle the growing burden of diseases such as diabetes.