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Acute Respiratory Infection cases on rise in India, says Health Ministry report

New Delhi(PTI): Acute Respiratory Infection (ARI) cases have shown an “increasing” trend in the country, even as researchers have “unearthed” wide array of health effects associated with air pollution exposure over the last 30 years. As per the ‘National Health Profile 2015’ published by Central Bureau of Health Intelligence (CBHI) today, nearly 3,000 people have died due to ARI in 2014.

Respiratory illness

3,000 people have died due to ARI in 2014.

The data released by Union Health Minister JP Nadda showed that 3,48,14,636 ARI cases were reported in 2014, out of which 1,67,90,438 were females while the total number of deaths were 2,932. The number of ARI deaths in 2013 was much higher as it stood at 3,513. The number of reported ARI cases in 2013 were 3,34,23,107, the study said. In Delhi, 3,90,170 ARI cases were reported in 2013 even as the national capital witnessed 175 deaths due to ARI while the latest data showed that in 2014, 3,39,506 cases were reported in which 104 deaths were reported.

In 2013, 753 deaths were reported in West Bengal – the highest from ARI, while in 2014, 625 and 619 deaths were reported from West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh respectively. The digital version of the annual document, which has been prepared for the first time, was also released.

The National Health Profile covers demographic, socio-economic, health status and health finance indicators, along with comprehensive information on health infrastructure and human resources in health sector.

Nadda said that data is an important source of navigation and helps in understanding the goals, our strengths and weaknesses while it is also an important means to strategize.

He noted that the e-book is a step towards realizing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of ‘Digital India’ as digital documents give an opportunity for wider dissemination of information. “We now need to work towards converting documented data into ‘real-time’ data. While digital data helps us to be more efficient, real time data helps to monitor our schemes and efforts in real time. “Analyses of the data, to understand what is narrates, is equally important. Interpretation of data enhances its value. It is necessary for people who work with data to be skilled in its analysis also,” he said, while suggesting to hold seminars and workshops to further that goal.

Nadda congratulated the CBHI team for their initiatives of using geo-mapping of four different districts of the country, from the north-eastern region, south region, desert area and Jharkhand. He hoped that this exercise will extend to other parts of the country also.

The National Health Profile study highlights substantial health information under six major indicators, which include demographic indicators and socio-economic indicators among others.