On February 22, 2021, Union Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoH&FW) launched the operational guidelines for Integration of NAFLD (Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease) with NPCDCS (National Programme for Prevention & Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke).
- India has become the first country in the world to identify the need for action for NAFLD.
What is NAFLD?
It is the abnormal accumulation of fat in the liver in the absence of secondary causes of fatty liver, such as harmful alcohol use, viral hepatitis, or medications. It is a serious health concern as it encompasses a spectrum of liver abnormalities, from a simple non-alcoholic fatty liver (NAFL, simple fatty liver disease) to more advanced ones like non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), cirrhosis and even liver cancer.
- Globally, NASH caused 40 lakh prevalent cases of compensated cirrhosis in 1990, which increased to 94 lakh cases in 2017.
What is NPCDCS?
National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke (NPCDCS) was launched in 2010 in order to prevent and control major Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).
- The focus of NPCDCS is strengthening infrastructure, human resource development, health promotion, early diagnosis, management and referral.
NAFLD is around 9% to 32% of the general population in India with a higher prevalence in those with overweight or obesity and those with diabetes or prediabetes. People with NAFLD have a greater chance of developing cardiovascular disease.
How can NAFLD be controlled?
As per Government of India it can be prevented and control NAFLD with:
- Behavior and lifestyle changes
- Early diagnosis and management of NAFLD
- Building of capacity at various levels of healthcare for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of NAFLD.
Preventive Measures taken by Indian Government:
- NAFLD is aligned with NPCDCS programme.
- Govt encourages the Citizen to screen for cancer, diabetes and hypertension under Ayushman Bharat scheme.
- Encourages ‘Eat Right India’ and ‘Fit India Movement’,with focus to move from Diagnostic Cure to Preventive Health.
Recent Related News:
i.On 15th January 2021, Dr. Harsh Vardhan dedicated the National Innovation Portal(NIP) to the Nation at an event in New Delhi. The portal was developed by the National Innovation Foundation (NIF) – India, an autonomous body of the Department of Science and Technology(DST), Government of India.
ii.On January 9, 2021, Harsh Vardhan launched Coastal Research Vehicle (CRV) ‘Sagar Anveshika’ at the Chennai Port. The vehicle will be used to carry out environment indexing and bathymetric (mapping underwater features) in both coastal and offshore waters.
About Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW):
Union Minister Harsh Vardhan Constituency– Chandni Chowk, New Delhi
Minister of State– Ashwini Kumar Choubey