HYDERABAD: India’s latest and most comprehensive health report card released on Tuesday has highlighted some worrying facts about Telangana. While most of our health expenditure and campaigns target communicable diseases, the study reveals that the biggest cause of death among people of 15-39 age group in the State is suicide and violence -- largely linked by experts with stress, depression and mental illness. The report, titled ‘India State-Level Disease Burden report and Technical Paper’, was produced by experts from Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) and Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in collaboration with Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
Among the 15-39 age group, 20.5 percent people in Telangana died due to suicide or violence, 13.5 percent died due to cardiovascular diseases and 10.4 percent due to road accidents. In the case of children below 14 years, almost half of the deaths (42.5%) were due to neonatal disorders. The next biggest thing that killed children in 2016 was diarrhoeal diseases (30.5%). Non-communicable diseases contributed a whopping 59.2 percent to the State’s overall disease burden.
The major causes of death and disability combined has seen a wide variation from 1990 to 2016. While diarrhoeal diseases (13.2%) topped the death and disability index (DALY) in 1990, ischemic heart diseases (10.3%) has become the major cause by 2016. In 1990, there were only five noncommunicable diseases that contributed to DALY. By 2016, the number shot up to eight, with migraine and diabetes being the new entrants into the club. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), one of the major effects of smoking, came second in the DALY list.
This, however, doesn’t mean our pre-liberalisation era problems are over. Malnutrition continues to be the major risk factor driving the deaths and disability index high, more among women than men. However, its contribution has come down drastically from 35.1 per cent in 1990 to 11.4 per cent in 2016.
The report, experts are hoping, will help policymakers focus money and resources on issues that need attention.