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Pen Plus Strategy

Pen Plus Strategy:

Africa has adopted a new strategy called PEN-PLUS Strategy to boost access to the diagnosis, treatment and care of severe Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD).

  • It’s a regional strategy to address severe Non-Communicable Diseases at First-Level Referral Health Facilities.
  • The strategy is aimed at bridging the access gap in treatment and care of patients with chronic and severe NCDs.
  • It urges countries to put in place standardised programmes to tackle chronic and serious non-communicable diseases by ensuring that essential medicines, technologies and diagnostics are available and accessible in district hospitals
  • In India, nearly 5.8 million people (WHO report, 2015) die from NCDs (heart and lung diseases, stroke, cancer and diabetes) every year or in other words 1 in 4 Indians has a risk of dying from an NCD before they reach the age of 70.
  • Further, it is found that there is an increase in the contribution of NCDs from 30% of the total disease burden- ‘disability-adjusted life years’ (DALYs) in 1990 to 55% in 2016 and also an increase in proportion of deaths due to NCDs (among all deaths) from 37% in 1990 to 61% in 2016.
  • The four major NCDs are cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), cancers, chronic respiratory diseases (CRDs) and diabetes.
  • Causes: Physical inactivity, unhealthy diets (diets low in fruit, vegetables, and whole grains, but high in salt and fat), tobacco use (smoking, secondhand smoke, and smokeless tobacco), and the harmful use of alcohol are the main behavioural risk factors for NCDs.