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Table of Contents   
LETTER TO THE EDITOR  
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 1381-1382
Noncommunicable diseases: Strengthening the process of data collection for potential risk factors


Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

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Date of Web Publication6-Nov-2017
 

How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Noncommunicable diseases: Strengthening the process of data collection for potential risk factors. Ann Trop Med Public Health 2017;10:1381-2

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Noncommunicable diseases: Strengthening the process of data collection for potential risk factors. Ann Trop Med Public Health [serial online] 2017 [cited 2019 Dec 11];10:1381-2. Available from: http://www.atmph.org/text.asp?2017/10/5/1381/196677


Dear Sir,

The global estimates suggest that noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) together account for the deaths of 38 million people each year, of which close to 75% have been reported in low-and middle-income nations.[1] Further, 42% of the overall deaths due to NCDs result before the age of 70 years, and it is a great public health concern that more than 80% of these premature deaths are again from low- and middle-income nations.[1] Moreover, as no age group is immune to the potential risk factors (such as unhealthy diets, physical inactivity, obesity, and exposure to tobacco or alcohol) or the environmental attributes (like globalization, unplanned urbanization, pollution, etc.), there is a great need to ascertain the presence of risk factors.[1],[2]

As the global leaders aim for the sustainable development of the world and its citizens, especially with an aim to minimize sufferings and mortalities due to the preventable factors, apart from the various other administrative, health sector, and population-related factors, the absence of a reliable, comprehensive, and adequate data is a crucial determinant and has to be urgently addressed.[2],[3] In fact, millions of deaths across the world go unreported, and not only that, most nations lack a system to monitor the vital statistics or have a precise estimate of the prevalence of different risk factors in the infected population responsible for the spread of NCDs.[1],[3]

In order to respond to the challenge of lack of availability of comprehensive data, different initiatives have been started to strengthen the different elements of data collection.[2],[3],[4] In fact, a recent initiative under the Data for Health project has been launched with the help of trained healthcare workers in the cities of Morocco and other 19 nations under the guidance of international welfare agencies.[4] These trained professionals will be making a door-to-door visit and obtain information through face-to-face interviews with regard to main risk factors for NCDs, exclusively among the adults aged 18 years and above.[4] In addition, it is important to understand that most of the available records do not provide clinically precise information, and hence not only the government, but even the donor agencies cannot prioritize the public health concerns and effectively plan for allocation of resources.[3],[5]

The tool for obtaining information will be a questionnaire formulated utilizing the framework of the STEPwise approach to surveillance for NCDs.[4] The obtained information will be recorded in electronic devices, and there is a provision to assess factors like tobacco use, alcohol intake, physical activity, intake of fruits/vegetables, blood pressure, anthropometric indicators (weight, height, and waist circumference), and laboratory estimates (cholesterol and fasting blood sugar).[4],[5] In fact, there is a future plan to substitute tablet with mobile phones and assess its utility in supplementing the other usual household surveys pertaining to the risk factors.[4] Thus, it will prove to be of great assistance to the policy makers to accomplish their targets set for NCDs, as it will provide them with the evidence pertaining to the various risk factors, and so empower them to implement specific steps to minimize the prevalence of NCDs.[2],[3],[4],[5]

To conclude, health systems are responsible to ensure the provision of good quality care to the entire general population. However, for practically execution, the stakeholders require precise evidence, which can be obtained, or the process can be strengthened, by the recently launched initiative. In fact, it will be of great utility to provide insights into the area where we are lagging and what more needs to be done to bridge the existing gap, and so minimize the morbidity and mortality associated with NCDs.

Acknowledgements

SRS contributed in the conception or design of the work, drafting of the work, approval of the final version of the manuscript, and agreed for all aspects of the work.

PSS contributed in the literature review, revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content, approval of the final version of the manuscript, and agreed for all aspects of the work.

JR contributed in revising the draft, approval of the final version of the manuscript, and agreed for all aspects of the work.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
   References Top

1.
World Health Organization. Noncommunicable diseases-Fact sheet; 2015. Available from: http://who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs355/en/. [Last Accessed on 2016 June 22].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Zodpey SP, Negandhi HN. Improving the quality and use of routine health data for decision-making. Indian J Public Health 2016;60:1-3.  Back to cited text no. 2
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  
3.
Ehrenstein V, Petersen I, Smeeth L, Jick SS, Benchimol EI, Ludvigsson JF. Helping everyone do better: a call for validation studies of routinely recorded health data. Clin Epidemiol 2016;8:49-51.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
World Health Organization. New data initiative helps Morocco lift lid on country's risk factors for noncommunicable diseases; 2016. Available from: http://who.int/features/2016/data-for-health/en/. [Last Accessed on 2016 June 22].   Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Bloomberg MR, Bishop J. Understanding death, extending life. Lancet 2015;386:e18-9.  Back to cited text no. 5
[PUBMED]    

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Correspondence Address:
Saurabh R Shrivastava
3rd Floor, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai Village, Thiruporur, Guduvancherry Main Road, Sembakkam Post, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1755-6783.196677

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