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Cancer, TB Cause Highest Deaths in India: Health Ministry

Cancer has become the biggest threat to cause deaths in India with 1300 deaths daily and close to 5 lakh deaths per annum, said a Health Ministry official.

With tuberculosis next in the list, both these communicable and life-style diseases are becoming the major causes for death in the country, said the ministry release.

The data collected under the National Cancer Registry Program of the India Council of Medical Research (ICMR) shows that an estimated 6% rise in mortality rate due to cancer from 2012 to 2014.

to be precise, 4.91 lakh people died in 2014 compared to 4.78 people killed by cancer in 2013. The reported cases of cancer in 2013 was 29.34 lakh compared to 28.20 lakh in 2014.

In 2012, 4,65,169 people lost their lives out of a total of 30.16 lakh cases reported. While the reported cases are seeing a decline, the number of deaths due to cancer are on the increase from the data released by the ministry.

"Large number of ageing population, unhealthy lifestyles, use of tobacco and tobacco products, unhealthy diets, lack of diagnostic facilities are some of the factors that can be attributed to the increase in the number of cancer deaths," said one ministry official.

Tuberculosis comes next with 63,265 casualties in 2011, 61,887 in 2012 and 57,095 in 2013, while the figures for 2014 are still not available.

To tackle the two major causes, the government said it has implemented a Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme under which patients are diorectly monitored by online registry besides providing free diagnosis and treatment facilities including anti-TB drugs to patients under Ashwini program.

For cancer, the Health Ministry has set up microscopy centres and the official said: "We have established designated microscopy centres for quality diagnosis of every one lakh population in general areas and for every 50,000 population in tribal, hilly areas."

There are 13,000 microscopy centres in the country and more than six lakh directly observed treatment centres, according to the ministry information.

Meanwhile, Minister of Health & Family Welfare Jagat Prakash Nadda will preside over the 68th Session of the World Health Assembly (WHA) at Geneva as India assumes the Presidency of the WHA, the high decision making body of the World Health organisation (WHO), after a gap of 19 years.

The Union Minister is leading a high level Indian delegation to the WHA, to be held in Geneva during 18-27 May, 2015 to deliberate on key issues of global interest including anti-microbial resistance, air pollution and health, global health emergency, preparedness and surveillance, global strategy and plan of action on public health, innovation and intellectual property, and research and development in neglected tropical diseases.

The Union Minister will also participate in a number of bilateral and multilateral meetings on the sidelines of the WHA including the Commonwealth Health Ministers’ Meeting, 8th NAM Health Ministers’ Meeting and BRICS Health Ministers’ meeting.

In his capacity as the President of the WHA, the Minister for Health and Family Welfare will also be hosting a reception for Health Ministers attending the Assembly on 19 May, 2015. Prior to the reception, J P Nadda and Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General, WHO will jointly inaugurate a photo exhibition “Yoga for All, Yoga for Health” to mark the adoption of a resolution by the UN General Assembly declaring June 21 as the International Day of Yoga.

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