17 July, 2019

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WASH for healthcare

GS-II Paper: A WASH for healthcare


Without adequate water, sanitation and hygiene amenities, infection control is severely compromised.


Healthcare facilities are many and varied. Some are primary, others are tertiary. Many are public, some are private. Some meet specific needs, whether dentistry or occupational therapy, and some are temporary, providing acute care when disaster strikes.


  • Whatever their differences, and wherever they’re located, adequate water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) amenities, including waste management and environmental cleaning services, are critical to their safe functioning.
  • When a healthcare facility lacks adequate WASH services, infection prevention and control are severely compromised.

Reports Finding:

  • As a joint report published earlier this year by the World Health Organization and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) outlines, WASH services in many facilities across the world are missing or substandard.
  • More than 1.5 billion had no sanitation service.

Enhancing primary health care:

  • In WHO’s South-East Asia region, efforts to tackle the problem and achieve related Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) targets are being vigorously pursued.
  • Notably, improving WASH services was deemed essential to enhancing the quality of primary healthcare services, increasing equity and bridging the rural-urban divide.

Educating the health workers:

Cleanliness in centres – Second, health authorities should increase engagement and work to instil a culture of cleanliness and safety in all healthcare facilities.

Information Campaign – Alongside information campaigns that target facility administrators, all workers in the health system — from doctors and nurses to midwives and cleaners — should be made aware of, and made to practise, current WASH and infection prevention and control procedures (IPC).

Pre Service Training – To help do this, modules on WASH services and IPC should be included in pre-service training and as part of ongoing professional development.

Inclusive Approach – In addition, authorities should work more closely with communities, especially in rural areas, to promote demand for WASH services.

WHO Strategic Plan for WASH: 2018-2025

Strategic approaches 2018–2025

WHO is uniquely positioned to achieve impact through the following five strategic approaches, building on its existing work and established credibility and expertise.

  • Develop, update and disseminate health-based guidance documents and best practice guides, norms and standards that support standard-setting and regulations at national level.
  • Empower countries through multi-sectoral technical cooperation, advice and capacity building to governments, practitioners and partners.
  • Monitor research and report reliable and credible WASH data to inform policies and programmes.
  • Coordinate with multi-sectoral partners, lead or engage with global and regional platforms, and advocate for WASH.
  • Promote integration of WASH with other health programmes for example disease programmes for cholera and NTDs.
  • Respond to emerging issues such as climate change and WASH, including the impact of water scarcity on public health, and AMR.

As member states strive to achieve the flagship priorities and work towards the SDG targets ,that outcomes is crucial .Indeed, whatever the healthcare facility, whoever the provider, and wherever it is located securing safe health services is an objective member states must boldly pursue.

Source: The Hindu

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National Investigation (Amendment) Bill, 2019

GS-II Paper: National Investigation (Amendment) Bill, 2019


The Lok Sabha has passed the National Investigation (Amendment) Bill 2019.

Features of the Bill:

  • The Bill amends the NIA Act, 2008 and provides for a national-level agency to investigate and prosecute offences listed in a schedule (scheduled offences).
  • It allows for the creation of Special Courts for the trial of scheduled offences which include offences under Acts such as the Atomic Energy Act, 1962, and the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1967.
  • As per the Bill, the NIA will now have the power to investigate the following offences, in addition:

(i) Human trafficking

(ii) Offences related to counterfeit currency or bank notes

(iii) Manufacture or sale of prohibited arms

(iv) Cyber-terrorism

(v) Offences under the Explosive Substances Act, 1908.

  • Jurisdiction: The officers of the NIA have the same powers as other police officers in relation to the investigation of such offences, across India. In addition, officers of the NIA will have the power to investigate scheduled offences committed outside India, subject to international treaties and domestic laws of other countries.
  • The central government may direct the NIA to investigate such cases, as if the offence has been committed in India. The Special Court in New Delhi will have jurisdiction over these cases. The Bill states that the central government may designate Sessions Courts as Special Courts for the trial of scheduled offences. The central government will need to consult the Chief Justice of the High Court under which the Sessions Court is functioning, before designating it as a Special Court. When more than one Special Court has been designated for any area, the cases will be distributed among the courts by senior-most judge.
  • The state governments may also designate Sessions Courts as Special Courts for the trial of scheduled offences.

Source: The Hindu

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Chandipura Virus

GS-II Paper: Chandipura Virus


Chandipura virus detected in Gujarat.

What is it?

Named after the Maharashtra village where the virus was first discovered, the likely vector (carrier) of the virus is the female phlebotomine sandfly. It has been detected in sand flies in Senegal and Nigeria, apart from India. The virus is known to cause inflammation of the brain, and progresses rapidly from an influenza-like illness to coma and death.

Chandipura virus (CHPV) belongs to the Rhabdoviridae family in the order Mononegavirales of the genus Vesiculovirus. Interestingly, its continuing mutating trend has enhanced its lethality to cause human infections, unlike its genetic cousin, the vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV).


  • Sudden high fever accompanied by headaches and altered consciousness.
  • Convulsions.
  • Vomiting and nausea.
  • Unconsciousness

Key facts

The virus predominantly infects children between the ages of 2-16, spreading through the bite of a sandfly, and in some cases, even the mosquito during the monsoon and pre-monsoon season.
It is distantly related to the virus that causes rabies and is known to have a case fatality between 55-75 %.

Source: The Hindu

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ISRO is in talks with processing chip manufacturers such as Qualcomm to substitute the existing Global Positioning System (GPS) with the Indian version of satellite navigation.

What is NAVIC?

Navigation with Indian Constellation (NavIC) is an independent regional navigation satellite system designed to provide position information in the Indian region and 1500 km around the Indian mainland.


  1. Terrestrial, Aerial and Marine Navigation.
  2. Disaster Management.
  3. Vehicle tracking and fleet management.
  4. Integration with mobile phones.
  5. Precise Timing.
  6. Mapping and Geodetic data capture.
  7. Terrestrial navigation aid for hikers and travellers.
  8. Visual and voice navigation for drivers.

How many satellites does NAVIC consist of?

It is a regional system and so its constellation will consist of seven satellites. Three of these will be geostationary over the Indian Ocean, i.e., they will appear to be stationary in the sky over the region, and four will be geosynchronous – appearing at the same point in the sky at the same time every day. This configuration ensures each satellite is being tracked by at least one of fourteen ground stations at any given point of time, with a high chance of most of them being visible from any point in India.

Is India the only country to have its positioning system?

  • The GPS is a satellite-based radio navigation system that is owned by the United States government and operated by the United States Air Force.
  • Apart from GPS, there is GLONASS of Russia, Galileo of the European Union and BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (or BDS) of China.

Source: The Hindu

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