Lifestyle changes and preventive public health should be prioritized: Naidu

Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu today called for prioritizing lifestyle changes and preventive public health.
Addressing a gathering after releasing the ‘India State-level Disease Burden Report and Technical Paper’, Mr Naidu said achieving good health for all was an important goal of the government as a foundation for further social and economic development.
“The health status of Indians has been improving since Independence.  For example, the life expectancy of a person born in India in 1960 was 40 years, which has increased to about 70 years now.  Of every 1000 live children born in India in 1960, about 160 died in the first year, but now this death rate of infants is about a fourth of that level.
“These broad improving trends, however, mask major inequalities between states and between socioeconomic strata,” he added.
The gap between the highest life expectancy in an Indian state and the lowest life expectancy currently is 11 years, and the difference between the state with the highest infant mortality rate and lowest rate is four-fold, Mr Naidu said.
The report is an initiative by the Indian Council of Medical Research in collaboration with Public Health Foundation of India and Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, Seattle.
Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare JP Nadda, Minister of State Anupriya Patel and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.
Mr Naidu said several of the health indicators in India continue to be poorer than some other countries at a similar level of development.  
"While significant health improvements have taken place, we could do better. India has had important national surveys and data from other sources that indicate significant differences in the burden of some diseases between different parts of the country," he added.
The report by the India State-level Disease Burden Initiative released today provides these comprehensive estimates for each state from 1990 to 2016 for the first time in India.  This report, along with the technical scientific paper and the open-access visualization tool that was also released, together provide systematic insights into the health status of each state and the health inequalities between the states of India, Mr Naidu said.
The high disease burden caused by malnutrition in India must be tackled soon to enable the next generation of Indians to reach their full potential in their personal development as well as the nation’s development, he added.


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