Around 300 million people are suffering from asthma worldwide and has been linked to 250000 deaths annually. According to the World Health Organization the number of asthmatics is expected to rise to 400 million by 2025, said the Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Ghulam Nabi Azad.
Addressing the inaugural program of the World Allergy Organization International Scientific Conference at International Convention Center, Hyderabad, Azad said that 400 million people suffer from rhinitis, 200 to 250 million people suffer from food allergies and one tenth of the population suffers from drug allergies.Allergic diseases include life-threatening conditions like anaphylaxis, food allergies, certain forms of asthma, rhinitis, angioedema, skin allergies, eosinophilic disorders, including eosinophilicesophagitis, and drug and insect allergies.
The scourge of diabetes, cardio-vascular diseases, cancer and chronic respiratory diseases is posing a mounting challenge to health care practitioners, administrators and policy makers in terms of the increasing complexity of treatment, life-long management and rising demand for more resources.
Alarmed by the rising incidence of the non-communicable diseases and its impact on the health care delivery, the global ministerial conference on healthy lifestyles and non-communicable disease control was held in Moscow in April 2011 followed by the high level meeting of the United Nations General Assembly in September, 2011.
The Special Session of UN General Assembly was attended by Heads of State, Heads of Government and Health Ministers from across the Globe.
Azad claimed that as the country's Health Minister, he was able to outline the concrete steps taken by India to prevent and control the Non-Communicable Disease, which have emerged as the leading cause of disease, disability and death worldwide.
He said 20 to 30 per cent of people in India are having one or more allergic diseases and their prevalence is rising day by day. Taking children and adults together, there are nearly 30 million asthmatics in India today, which constitutes about 10 percent of the global burden of asthma.
Blaming the upsurge in the prevalence of allergies that cause asthma on societies becoming more affluent and urbanized, Azad called upon the experts from high, middle, and low income countries to come together to develop common strategies to find solutions at the levels of policy, health care delivery, health communication and education.