To our health, in The Indian Express, published on March 31, 2016, highlighted an initiative to update India’s public health framework in a time-bound process. The updates, which may be finalized in three months, will bring a new focus to preventing non-communicable diseases and operationalizing plans that have been in development. Programs focused on neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), including lymphatic filariasis and visceral leishmaniasis, are specifically mentioned as opportunities to meet targets set in global frameworks. While this initiative is a positive step, the editors note there are risks to the plan.
As new scourges replace the epidemic killers of old, public health in India has suffered for want of a regime for early detection. However, the government must be aware that a refocus on new disorders draws attention away from programmes against older threats to the poor — filariasis was supposed to be history in 2015, but is still out there.
The Indian Express is one of India’s most widely circulated daily newspapers.