Launch of Capacity Building Initiative in India

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Recognizing that Cardiovascular disease (CVD), including ischemic heart disease and strokes, are an existing public health challenge and a leading cause of death globally, the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) along with the World Heart Federation (WHF), Population Health Research Institute (PHRI), the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and Centre for Chronic Disease Control (CCDC), have launched the Certificate Course on Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke (CCCS). Rotary International is a strategic partner for the course.
The course has been endorsed by the Royal College of Physicians, London for five years and is supported by an educational grant from Sun Pharma Laboratories Ltd. The objective of the course is to build capacity, improve and enhance awareness amongst primary care physicians in the management of cardiovascular diseases that is an emerging threat in India.Cardiovascular disease (CVD), including ischemic heart disease and stroke are the leading cause of death globally. In 2016 there were over 17 million CVD deaths, which is approximately a third of all deaths in the world. Most CVD events (eg. stroke, myocardial infarction, sudden death) occur in people who already have CVD, hypertension or are smokers. What makes the scenario grimmer is that currently, about 1 billion people have hypertension of which less than half are diagnosed and receive any Blood Pressure (BP) lowering treatments. Of those receiving treatment, fewer than 20% have their BP controlled. All these factors ultimately make the population highly susceptible to CVD and strokes. Of the 50 million people with CVD, fewer than 5 million receive at least three out of four of the recommended drugs for secondary prevention, making them more vulnerable.
In India, the Cardiovascular disease is a major cause of disability and premature death and is advancing rapidly. Overview of population surveys conducted over two decades in India reported a 9-fold increase in the prevalence of Coronary Heart Disease in India and it has been estimated that there will be doubling of deaths due to cardiovascular disease (CVD) in India.
Improving hypertension control and secondary prevention, (particularly in low & middle-income countries like India where use is lowest) along with reducing tobacco use is the most powerful strategy for reducing CVDs globally. Even a partial achievement of this strategy will achieve the WHO target of a 25% reduction in NCD premature mortality. Therefore there is a need to improve the capacity of Primary Care Physicians to implement these strategies in clinical practice.
Announcing this unique initiative, Prof. D. Prabhakaran, Vice President – Research and Policy, PHFI said, “The Public Health Foundation of India has been working actively towards improving health systems through capacity building of primary care physicians. Through collaborative efforts, we have successfully trained over 21,000 physicians in the management of various chronic conditions over the last 8 years. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) and stroke is the leading cause of death and disability in the World as well as in India.
It is important that our physicians are prepared to tackle this growing epidemic that is expected to become worse over the coming years owing to our ageing population. We are glad that internationally renowned institutions and national level experts have come together to design and deliver this program that aims to upgrade skills and core competencies of primary care physicians across India in the management of CVD and stroke. Over the next one year, approximately 1000 physicians will be trained at 50 centres spread across the country.”

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