NCD prevention: a pathway to India's sustainable development
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Policy Analyst, India
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A10
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India's economy has been steadily growing, with a projected Gross Domestic Product growth rate of 7.5% for 2017-2018. While the country has made significant gains in reducing HIV/AIDS and poverty, socio economic inequalities, lack of access to basic needs and increasing burden of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) deter its development.
Changing lifestyles and related NCDs are found to thwart India's development aspirations and global commitments. For instance, tobacco use and supply impede its efforts to achieve the targets of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and decelerate its implementation of the WHO the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).
Objectives: The research therefore aimed to:
  1. Describe the ways in which NCD risk factors undermine India's development.
  2. Discuss the relevance of tobacco control for India's implementation of the SDGs.
  3. Explore the potential for integration of NCD prevention in national development programmes.

The research was based on review of published literature. Country specific research, augmented by global evidence, was analysed using the SDG framework to understand the linkages of NCD risk factors with India's development. Country´s key development programmes were examined for their relevance to NCD prevention, such as for tobacco control.

Evidence indicates that:
  1. tobacco is a cause and consequence of India's underdevelopment.
  2. its supply and use undermines health, economics, environment, national security and poverty alleviation efforts of households and the country.
  3. tobacco control can potentially improve the outcomes of India's development programmes.

Action by stakeholders across sectors is critical to enable India in meetings its FCTC obligations and commitment to the SDGs. Political will, robust business case and effective multisectoral coordination for NCD prevention can help advance India's march to sustainable development.

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