Combating Diseases & Accidents

Non-Communicable Diseases

Non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases and cervical cancer are now the major cause of death and disability worldwide, according to World Health Organization (WHO, 2005).

TNHSP has identified cardiovascular diseases and cervical cancer as two of the most significant threats to the people of Tamilnadu and launched programmes designed to counter the growing threat they represent.

Cardiovascular Diseases - Awareness and Screening

In countries such as India, the projected death rates from cardiovascular diseases would be much higher than the death rate caused by communicable diseases. In Tamil Nadu, the crude mortality death rate due to CVD is highest in the country, about 360-430/100,000.

Statistics for Tamilnadu, from a survey of people above 30 years of age, indicate that:

  • 20 per cent adults have hypertension
  • 30 per cent have diabetes mellitus
  • 10 per cent have heart disease

In response to this challenge, the TNHSP's programme on prevention and treatment of  cardiovascular diseases seeks to deliver the following:

  • Create awareness about cardiovascular diseases and their pre-disposing factors
  • Foster lifestyle changes in higher risk groups
  • Reinforce the message to sustain such changes through out their lives

Cervical Cancer and Breast Cancer - Awareness and Screening

India has a population of 366.58 million women aged 15 years and older who are at risk of developing cervical cancer. Cervical cancer ranks as the 1st most frequent cancer among women in India, and the 1st most frequent cancer among women between 15 and 44 years of age. About 7.9% of women in the general population are estimated to harbor cervical HPV infection at a given time, and 82.5% of invasive cervical cancers are attributed to HPVs 16 or 18. With a Crude Incidence Rate of 23.5, current estimates indicate that every year 134,420 Indian women are diagnosed with cervical cancer with the figure for new cervical cases projected to reach 203,757 by 2025*. It is estimated that at present approximately 72,825 women die due to cancer of the cervix. By 2025*, this number is projected to rise to 115,171.

In order to combat this, threat, the TNHSP has designed a programme to prevent cervical cancer and promote screening for early detection.

Following a pilot project implemented in two districts, TNHSP will be expanding the programme to create awareness of cervical cancer to all districts of Tamilnadu over a periof of two years (2010-2012). At the same time, it is planned to introduce a screening programme for breast cancer.

Emergency Management

The world over, ambulance services save countless lives. However, millions of emergencies end in a loss of life because the needy cannot afford ambulance services. In order to remove the barriers of affordability that prevent the poorer sections of the state from accessing ambulance services, TNHSP entered into a partnership with the EMRI to operate in Tamilnadu the ambulance services EMRI manages across the country on the 108 hotline (which is a dedicated hotline for medical, police and fire emergencies).

In less than two years since its introduction, the 108 ambulance service had saved the lives of over 4 lakh (400000) people.