Non-communicable diseases (NCDs, e.g., cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases, neurological diseases) have been the commonest cause of death and disability globally for at least the last three decades. Even in sub-Saharan Africa, NCDs contribute a third of the disability-adjusted life year burden. However, research resources allocated to NCDs in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are trivial.

This article stresses that any impact assessment of health insurance schemes is sensitive to the methodology as well as the data used for analysis. It is based on two recent studies evaluating the impact of publicly-fi nanced health insurance schemes on benefi ciaries.

Surveillance and monitoring do not evoke much enthusiasm among doctors. Perhaps we have forgotten what these terms mean and their true purpose. Surveillance is the continuous collection, analysis, interpretation, dissemination and feedback of health related data, and is essential for guiding prevention and control activities for any disease. (Editorial)

India, like the rest of the world, is experiencing an epidemic of diabetes, a chronic disease characterized by dangerous levels of sugar in the blood that cause cardiovascular and kidney disease, which lower life expectancy. The prevalence of diabetes (the proportion of the population with diabetes) has been increasing steadily in India over recent decades, particularly in urban areas.