July 17, 2024

The Health

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Union Health Ministry forms ‘National Task Force’ to improve quality of brain healthcare

New Delhi: The Union Health Ministry has constituted a ‘National Task Force on Brain Health’ to improve accessibility and quality of brain healthcare at primary, secondary and tertiary level.

According to an office memorandum (OM) issued on Saturday, brain health is an emerging and growing concept that encompasses preventive, promotive and rehabilitative domains to provide and ensure brain health for all as part of universal health coverage and to accomplish SDGs.

Disorders of the nervous system are the leading cause of disability adjusted life years (DALYs) and the second leading cause of death globally, accounting for 9 million deaths per year, the memorandum said.

In the past three decades, most studies in India have shown a high disease burden for specific diseases including stroke, epilepsy, headache, Parkinson’s disease, and dementia, mostly reported for the urban Indian population.

Despite progress in improving access to national health care, disparities persist based on socioeconomic status, age, geography, and gender.

A pragmatic approach for effective strategies on surveillance, prevention, acute care and rehabilitation is needed urgently to provide easily accessible services for promotion, protection and recovery of neurological health and care in India, the OM said.

“Accordingly, it has been proposed to constitute a ‘National Task Force on Brain Health’ with technical experts in the field of neurological care and science and concerned ministries to review the gaps in depth and make recommendations,” it said.

According to the terms of reference of the task force, it will recommend pathways to improve accessibility and quality of brain health at primary, secondary and tertiary health care level.

It will also recommend specific action to be taken for strengthening and creating a robust, structured system to provide effective, timely diagnosis, treatment and care to patients with neurological disorders and formulate strategies for promotion, management and prevention of neurological disorders in Ayushman Aarogya Mandirs.

The task force will recommend ways to create systems for supportive rehabilitation infrastructure, equipped to provide services and interventions aimed at enhancing overall well-being and functioning for individuals living with neurological conditions.

The task force will submit its report by July 15.

(Published 20 April 2024, 10:49 IST)