A review published in the British medical journal Lancet Global Health predicts that by 2040, non-communicable diseases will be a major cause of death in Pakistan.
A study published in the British medical journal Lancet Global Health has expressed concern over the rise in premature deaths from heart disease, diabetes and cancer in Pakistan. (Early death here refers to dying before the average age of death determined in a population).
The report states that while communicable diseases or ‘infectious diseases’ have been largely controlled in Pakistan, five non-communicable diseases or ‘non-communicable diseases’ are among the top 10 causes of early death. These five non-communicable diseases include ischemic heart disease, stroke, birth defects, cirrhosis of the liver and chronic kidney disease.
This study, based on the data of almost three decades from 1990 to 2019, further states that Pakistan will also face infectious diseases in the future and besides dealing with the problem of ‘infectious diseases’ in the country, it is also said that non-infectious diseases Prevention of rising disease rates should also be considered.
According to the researchers, by adopting such policies, Pakistan will progress towards ‘universal health coverage’ i.e. providing health facilities at the global level. The research, conducted in collaboration with the US Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, the Aga Khan University of Karachi and the Ministry of Health of Pakistan, also indicates that increasing pollution over the past years is one of the reasons for the increase in disease rates. It is the main reason.
Mentioning the positive changes in health, the study further states that the life expectancy in Pakistan has increased from 61.1 years to 65.9 years in the last three decades. This change has been attributed to a decrease in rates of non-communicable diseases, pregnancy-related diseases such as ‘maternal diseases’, ‘neonatal diseases’ which refer to diseases affecting newborns and diet-related diseases or ‘nutritional diseases’. .
The research has appreciated that despite facing political and economic upheavals since 1990, Pakistan has made overall positive progress in the health sector and that the country is constantly striving to find innovative solutions to the problems in the health sector. Is. But at the same time it was said that the life expectancy in Pakistan is still 7.6 years less than the world average life expectancy. According to this study, the global life expectancy of women has increased by eight percent and the global life expectancy of men by seven percent in the last 30 years.
The study also states that Pakistan is facing the devastating effects of climate change and natural disasters, including the 2005 earthquake in Kashmir and the floods of 2010 and last year. According to this study, important health policies and reforms have been affected by all these disasters.
Dr. Zainab Samad, one of the authors of this report, says that Pakistan is in dire need of a national nutrition policy. “This is even more important in the context of threats to food security from climate change, drought, increasing intensity of floods and epidemics,” says Dr Zainab, who is also the head of the Department of Medicine at the Aga Khan University.
Professor Dr. Ali Mukdad of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation says that the results of this study show that even before the severe floods, the basic quality of health in Pakistan was at the lowest level. “Pakistan desperately needs more equitable investment in the health system and new policies to save lives,” he said.