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Project HOPE, Takeda organize National Consultation to highlight the need for skilled workforce to tackle Non-Communicable Diseases

Project HOPE in association with Takeda Pharmaceutical organized a National Consultation on “Optimizing the Skills of Health Workforce to Tackle NCDs in India

By Team ABLE

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) account for 60% of deaths in India each year. According to a WHO report, cardiovascular diseases, cancers, respiratory diseases, and diabetes constitute 82% of all NCD deaths globally.

The burden of NCDs in India, particularly, has grown exponentially in the recent past. Expanding the health workforce is crucial for achieving India’s public health goals and ensuring sustainable, comprehensive health across all sections of the country.

In view of the inevitability of scaling up capacity building and training of the health workforce on NCDs, Project HOPE in association with Takeda Pharmaceutical organized a National Consultation on “Optimizing the Skills of Health Workforce to Tackle NCDs in India” yesterday new Delhi’s India Habitat Centre.
The Consultation drew experts from the government, corporate, senior endocrinologists and diabetologists, civil society, academia, international donor agencies and more. It was aimed at providing a platform for presenting and discussing the most recent innovations, promising practices, trends, challenges, and the solutions adopted to improve the skills of health workers working in the field of NCDs.

Addressing the Consultation, Dr Laxmikant Palo, the Regional Director for Project HOPE South-East Asia, said, “The quality of NCDs related health outcomes is inextricably dependent on the availability of skilled, motivated and well supported health workforce; and adequate health infrastructure. The public and private sectors need to invest more for continuous improvement of the skills of health workforce to effectively respond to the growing burden of NCDs in India.”

The Consultation put forth some key recommendations that include:
a dedicated medical curriculum on NCDs at the Undergraduate level
the introduction of a government certified diabetes education course
increase in the number of skilled specialists in the health workforce
standardized training module that is uniform and used across the country
effective use of technology for reach and e-learning for building capacity of frontline workers

Putting the public first in the public-private partnerships AYUSH collaboration for NCD training to expand reach Integrating NCDs into the national healthcare plan
multimodal skill development of the health workforce, including hands-on training
frontline workers to be provided with information about referral pathways
social media to be recognized as a key player in creating awareness, especially to address juvenile diabetes

Summarizing the consultation, Dr D Bachani, Director Professor in Community Medicine & Deputy Commissioner (NCD), Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, said, “In the ever-transitioning health scenario, concerting efforts towards developing skills of the existing health workers will strengthen their capacity to provide effective healthcare to the people they serve. This is an era where multitasking is a cost-effective way of optimally utilizing available human resources for healthcare.
This is possible only through in-service training of existing health workers and developing need-based curricula for producing human resources for the future.”

Call to Action:
--Assure the projection of health workforce considerations based on the disease burden
--Improve quality and capacity of health workforce through skill and need based training
--Enhance intake capacity of the public and private medical and paramedical training institutes to address shortage of health workers
--Develop a comprehensive national HRH policy that addresses a list of health issues including NCDs
--Institutionalize performance and reward system for health workforce