Cardiovascular diseases will be the largest cause of death and disability in India by 2020, Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said here Wednesday.
He said increasing disease burden of the non-communicable diseases (NCDs) like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancer and diabetes are becoming a matter of grave concern globally.
"Reversing the epidemic of NCDs is not only the responsibility of government alone but requires engagement from all, particularly civil society and the corporate sector," he said while inaugurating the International Heart Protection Summit here.
He said civil society and corporates should also mobilise awareness on these diseases.
Azad said though the UN General Assembly took up the cause of NCDs Sep 19, India has been ahead of other countries in its response to these diseases.
A National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases (CVDs) and Stroke (NPCDCS) and the National Programme for Health Care of Elderly (NPHCE) has been launched at a cost of Rs.1,275 crore, he said.
These programmes have been taken up for implementation as a pilot project in 100 most backward districts spread over 21 states during 2011-12.
These districts have been selected keeping into account their backwardness, inaccessibility and poor health indicators, Azad added.
The target is to screen about 150-200 million people by March 2012 under the project covering 20,000 rural sub-centers and urban slums, he said, terming it the the largest such exercise attempted in the world.
The NCDs together kill some 36 million people annually, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).