Non-communicable diseases (NCDs), also known as chronic diseases, are not passed from person to person and in most cases are of long duration with a prolonged course and usually have slow progression. Around the world, NCDs kill approx. 38 million people annually and three-fourths of this alarming figure is based in the low and middle-income countries. There are five main types of non-communicable diseases; cardiovascular diseases including heart attacks and strokes, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases, diabetes, and hypertension. Research has shown that such diseases are caused by the age factor, fast and unplanned urbanization and the global acceptance of unhealthy lifestyles and life patterns. According to research by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2016, 52.1% males and 53% of females died of NCDs in Pakistan under the age of 70.

Pakistan, in general, is not really equipped or ready to deal with the NCDs that have dangerously hit the people. Currently, the provincial government is responsible for structuring the policies for such diseases tailored to the local needs of a province. NCDs are increasing at a drastic rate in Pakistan and it is time for decisions, keeping the future trends in perspective, especially in health, to make the nation aware of the dangers and enable society to steer away from such diseases by making reforms in their lifestyles.

NUZAIR A. VIRANI,

Karachi.