National Consultation on “Optimizing the Skills of Health Workforce to Tackle NCDs in India

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

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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" today in the capital at the India Habitat Centre.

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."

Dr. Ambrish Mithal, Chairman- Division of Endocrinology and Diabetes, Medanta, in the opening remarks called out for the need for a thrust in public-private partnership to address NCDs. Highlighting the rise in the burden of diabetes among the youth in the country, Dr. Mithal drew the attention to the need for skill enhancement of the health workforce and increased use of technology for prevention and management of disease, and for people to bring about behavioral changes in lifestyle.

"Youth energy is powering India's development and growth story, to sustain which, we need a healthy youth," said the Chief Guest at the Consultation, Dr. Jitendra Singh, the Minister of State (Independent Charge) for the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region, PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Department of Atomic Energy and Department of Space in his address at the Consultation. "There is great mismatch between the health delivery system in the rural and urban area. This needs to be addressed by a meaningful public-private partnership, to ensure effective, affordable and uniform healthcare which is a Constitutional right of the people of this country. Diabetes is no longer merely a health issue, but a national issue," he added.

A few healthcare workers from the ground, trained through Project HOPE's capacity building programmes for combating NCDs, were present at the Consultation. They were invited to share their experiences and understanding of the issues on the ground. Reflecting on the same, Ms. Renu Kumari, an ANM (Auxiliary Nurse Midwife) from Jharkhand said, "It is a misconception that diabetes is a rich people's disease. There should be greater and continued reach of testing camps for the unreached, in the remotest parts of the country."

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