One-fifth of Bangladeshis aged above 35 years are suffering from non-communicable diseases like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, kidney damage and chronic lung disease, according to the health ministry data.
The economic loss of the NCDs is about Tk 4,000 crore as on an average each of the one crore patients with NCDs requires minimum medication of Tk 4,100 per year, the data shows.
The health burden of NCDs are increasing as these diseases account for 67 per cent of deaths in Bangladesh now, up from 59 per cent in 2014 and 52 per cent in 2011, the record shows.
Disclosing the statistics at a roundtable at National Press Club, additional director general of the Directorate General of Health Services AHM Enayet Hossain said health burden and economic burden of NCDs are enormous in Bangladesh.
‘NCDs are silent killer… Unhealthy diet, lack of physical activity, tobacco consumption, air pollution and alcoholism are all contributing to NCDs,’ he said.
According to the government data, over 28 per cent of adults have raised total cholesterol, over 26 per cent have hypertension, 11 per cent have cancer, 10 per cent have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and 8.4 per cent have diabetes.
Enayet said once Bangladeshis suffered from communicable diseases and now the scenario is shifted to NCDs. ‘We need to shift attention and focused on NCDs now,’ he said.
Enayet said the DGHS identified some challenges to prevent NCDs like awareness about the NCDs, accessibility of screening and treatment at community level and multi-sectorial coordination among health, agriculture, food, environment, education and other sectors.
Speaking as chief guest, state minister for health Murda Hasan said prevention was the best possible way to stop NCDs.
He said awareness about the health diets and physical activity were imperative to stop get affected by NCDs.
Health secretary Asadul Islam said as NCDs are involved with environment, food and health and emphasised on a coordinated effort among these sectors to check NCDs.
NCDs programme of DGHS and daily Bhorer Kagoj jointly organised the discussion.