Gangtok, 23 May:
A meeting of the Indian Council of Medical Research [ICMR], senior officials, scientists and officials from State Governments and academic institutions from all the Northeastern States of the country was held in Gangtok on 22 May, a press release informs.
The objective of the meeting was to share the results of a series of studies conducted by ICMR institutes like Regional Medical Research Centers- Dibrugarh and National Institute of Epidemiology- Chennai in collaboration with State Health Departments in Northeast States and come up with a plan to tackle the growing non-communicable diseases in the region.
The study conducted by the ICMR institutes and the State Health Department of the NE States highlighted that nearly 70% deaths among those above 15 years of age are due to non-communicable diseases.
The study was carried out in seven sites- Sikkim (all districts), Mizoram (Lunglei District), Meghalaya (East Garo Hills), Tripura (Dhalai), Assam (Dhemaji), Manipur (Senapati) and Nagaland (Mokokchung), reads the release.
The study in Arunachal Pradesh is currently underway.
The researchers surveyed the families of 3200+ deceased individuals and collected information about the health problems which led to death.
Among non-communicable diseases, stroke, heart attacks, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases and liver diseases were found to be the major causes of deaths.
In addition to non-communicable diseases, injuries and suicides also caused a large number of deaths, especially among young males.
Infectious diseases like tuberculosis and malaria also contributed to the increase in the number of deaths, informs the release.
The research team also surveyed 100+ health facilities and 1200+ patients in the research sites.
The survey revealed that although most primary care centres and district hospitals had doctors, laboratory infrastructure and medicines were found to be ‘inadequate’ across all the States.
The study also revealed that across all the NE States, district hospitals lacked adequate facilities to manage heart attacks and stroke.
The meeting conducted on Wednesday, provided a platform to share the research findings and advocate the strengthening of health facilities to improve treatment in the N