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NATIONAL DIGITAL HEALTH BLUEPRINT

The government has released National Digital Health Blueprint (NDHB) which aims to create National Digital Health Eco-System, in public domain. Health Ministry has sought inputs from various stakeholders on its vision. Findings of the National Digital Health Blueprint (NDHB): It lays out the ‘building blocks’ for the implementation of the National Health Stack (NHS), which aims to deploy Artificial Intelligence (AI) in leveraging health records. Keeping true to the government

A Future for the World’s Children? report

Syllabus subtopic: Issues Relating to Development and Management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.   Prelims and Mains focus: about the report and its key findings; India’s performance   News: A Future for the World’s Children? report was recently released by a Commission of more than 40 child and adolescent health experts from around the world. The Commission was convened by the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF and

Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI)

Syllabus subtopic: Statutory, Regulatory and various Quasi-judicial Bodies.   Prelims and Mains focus: about the move and its significance; about IRDAI   News: The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) is considering the possibility of allowing life insurance companies to offer health policies despite opposition from general insurance companies.   Background The IRDAI move follows intense lobbying by private life insurance companie

National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA)

Syllabus subtopic: Statutory, Regulatory and various Quasi-judicial Bodies.   Prelims and Mains focus: about the decision; about drug prices control order; about NPPA and its functions   News: The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has decided to exempt a new stent made by Meril Life Sciences from price control, several months after a patient activist group raised safety concerns about the product.   Background The decision comes nearly three

New Technical Committee for APIs

Syllabus subtopic: Issues Relating to Development and Management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.   Prelims and Mains focus: about the new committee and its functions; about COVID-19 outbreak and its implications; about API   News: The government has decided to set up a 10-member technical committee to revive India’s lost capacity to make certain crucial drug ingredients.   Significance of the move The developme

International efforts to Fight Coronavirus

International efforts to Fight Coronavirus Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II- IR I. Amidst COVID-19 pandemic, G20 summit was held through video conferencing, recently. Key takeaways: G20 nations pledged a united front in the fight against coronavirus. They also committed to inject $5 trillion into the global economy to ensure the situation of deep recession doesn’t arise. G20 leaders also pledged to work with bodies such as the Internationa

Can drugs for Ebola be used to treat COVID-19?

Can drugs for Ebola be used to treat COVID-19? Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III-  S&T Medical research towards the development of drugs and vaccines against the coronavirus infection – COVID 19. Background: The virus, SARS-CoV-2, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), has caused the world’s largest pandemic. Over six lakh are infected and nearly 29,000 dead globally. In India, the number of cases is growing despite the unpreceden

Convalescent Plasma Therapy and COVID-19

Convalescent Plasma Therapy and COVID-19 Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III-  S&T Basis of the Therapy: The convalescent plasma therapy seeks to make use of the antibodies developed in the recovered patient against the coronavirus. The whole blood or plasma from such people is taken, and the plasma is then injected in critically ill patients so that the antibodies are transferred and boost their fight against the virus. Time Period f

Looking beyond just diagnosis and quarantine

Looking beyond just diagnosis and quarantine Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III S&T The author of the article calls for greater attention towards the development of therapeutic options against epidemics in India. Background: The world has suffered numerous pandemics and COVID-19 will certainly not be the last. Future pandemics are a certainty. Ebola, Zika, Nipah, SARS, MERS, H1N1 and COVID-19 are some of the viral diseases. Unlike bacterial infections such as ch

Alcohol Sanitizers and Coronaviruses

Alcohol Sanitizers and Coronaviruses Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III- S&T The novel coronavirus has a lipid envelope. Soap being a detergent destroys this envelope. The same is true for alcohol also. Structure of Lipid Envelope: SARS-CoV-2 particles, like other coronaviruses, are spherical and have proteins called spikes protruding from their surface. These spikes latch onto human cells, then undergo a structural change that allows the vi

Indian Government’s Latest Moves - COVID-19

  Indian Government’s Latest Moves - COVID-19 Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III- S&T Combination of Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin against COVID-19 instead of HIV drugs According to the new clinical management guidelines issued on 31st March, 2020, a combination of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) - used for treatment of auto-immune disorders, and azithromycin - the antibiotic has been recommended for use in severe patients. The earlier gu

The Orphan Drug Act – Rare diseases

Covid-19 and the Orphan Drug Act – Rare diseases Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III- S&T Recently, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the Covid-19 outbreak a pandemic. However, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) declared Covid-19 an orphan disease, or a rare disease. Key Points The FDA granted Gilead Sciences orphan drug status for its antiviral drug, Remdesivir, on March 23, 2020. Ori

Coronavirus outbreak: Kerala based SCTIMST joins

Coronavirus outbreak: Kerala based SCTIMST joins hands with Wipro 3D to make automated ventilators On April 03, 2020, In view of increasing coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in India, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST), an institute of National Importance of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) based in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, has partnered with ‘Wipro 3D’ to build a portable and lightweight emergency ventilator

ICMR approves TB machines for Covid-19 testing

Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has given its nod to Diagnostic machines used to test drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) for conducting Covid-19 tests. In this regard, Truenat beta CoV test on Truelab workstation will be used for screening test of COVID-19. A total of 800 truenat machines are available in India. Currently India is using real time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) testing approved by United States and Food and Drug Administration (FDA). About Truenat:

World Health Day 2020

Important Days World Health Day 2020: April 7 World Health Day is observed annually on April 7, under the sponsorship of the World Health Organization (WHO), to spread about equal healthcare facilities worldwide, the importance of Health and Wellness and to kill myths around Health. Theme of the year 2020: Support nurses and midwives. The theme celebrates the work of nurses and midwives and reminds world leaders of the critical role they play in keeping the world healthy.

Animals affected through COVID-19

Animals affected through COVID-19 Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III-Health Owing to a recent news report on a Tiger being infected with Covid-19 in New York (Bronx Zoo), the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has issued an advisory regarding the containing and management of Covid-19 in National Parks/Sanctuaries/Tiger Reserves. Also, a tiger in Pench Tiger Reserve (Madhya Pradesh) has died due to respiratory illness. The National Tiger Conservation Authori

CSIR and COVID-19

CSIR and COVID-19 CSIR - centre for cellular and microbiology in Hyderabad engaged in fight against COVID 19 CCMB is an authorized testing centre for COVID-19 and receives patient samples from government hospitals across 33 districts of Telangana to check for SARS-CoV-2 virus. Currently, test capacity is around 350 samples a day.  CSIR labs are leading the way in genome sequencing of the Corona Virus and CCMB is  performing Next Generation Sequencing and analysis to map out the

Cognitive Science Research Initiative and SATYAM-Yoga

Cognitive Science Research Initiative and SATYAM-Yoga Part of: GS-III- S&T - Health (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST) Recently, the Department of Science and Technology (DST) has initiated the Science and Technology of Yoga and Meditation (SATYAM) programme. Under SATYAM, DST has invited proposals to study appropriate intervention of yoga and meditation in fighting Covid-19 and similar kinds of viruses.   Aim: To provide assistance to soc

Chitra Gene Lamp- N makes confirmatory test results-COVID-19

Chitra Gene Lamp- N makes confirmatory test results-COVID-19 Part of: GS-III- S&T (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST) The confirmatory diagnostic test which detects the N Gene of SARS- COV2 using reverse transcriptase loop-mediated amplification of viral nucleic acid (RT-LAMP) will be one of world’s first few if not the first of its kinds in the world. The test kit, funded by the DST called Chitra GeneLAMP-N is highly specific for SARS-CoV-2 N-gene and can detect two regions of the ge

Plasma enrichment technique

Plasma enrichment technique The plasma enrichment techniques, antibodies from the blood of patients who have recovered from Covid-19 are used to treat severely infected patients. It is aimed at assessing the efficacy of convalescent plasma to limit complications in Covid-patients.

Australia Company to begin 1st human trial of COVID -19 vaccin

Australia Company to begin 1st human trial of COVID -19 vaccin Clinical research company Nucleus Network revealed that, it would test the effectiveness and safety of a Recombinant Spike Protein Nanoparticle vaccine, NVX-CoV2373, developed by US based Biotechnology Company. A small group of healthy volunteers would be recruited for the trial to test the effectiveness of this vaccine. The human trial procedures would involve four phases, following strict protocols to make sure it was safe an

India to supply hydroxychloroquine

India to supply hydroxychloroquine to 55 countries India has decided to supply anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine to 55 countries. Government sources said, out of these, 21 countries will get the drug on a commercial basis and other countries will receive it on a grant in very small quantities.  India will soon get COVID19 testing kits from South Korea. Indian missions have also taken quotations for testing kits from vendors in the UK, Malaysia, France, Germany, Japan and the US.&n

COVID19-Virtual Reality

Telemedicine The World Health Organization (WHO) refers to telemedicine as “healing from a distance“. It is the use of telecommunications technology and information technologies to provide remote clinical services to patients. Physicians use telemedicine for the transmission of digital imaging, video consultations, and remote medical diagnosis. Telehealth as “the utilization of electronic information and telecommunications technologies to support and promote long-distance

INDIAN scientists have developed low cost diagnostic kit for COVID -29

INDIAN scientists have developed low cost diagnostic kit for COVID -29 Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology in Thiruvananthapuram, under the Department of Science and Technology, has developed an innovative diagnostic test kit named, Chitra Gene LAMP-N  for the diagnosis of COVID-19. This detects the N-Gene of virus using reverse tranase loop-mediated amplification of viral nucleic acid or RT-LAMP technique. This new kit is considered as one of the first

Pool testing of corona virus

Pool testing of corona virus Uttar Pradesh has become the first state in the country to start pool testing of corona virus samples. The move is aimed at speeding up the screening process and also brings down the cost of testing samples. State health department has also decided to carry out the audit of any death in state due to COVID-19. The death audit will help in providing better treatment to other COVID-19 patients. The Pool testing of corona samples started yesterday and 150 samples were

Export curb removed from Paracetamol

Export curb removed from Paracetamol The Centre has permitted the export of formulations (medicinal products) made from Paracetamol. However, the restriction on export of Paracetamol Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) will continue. The API is the part of any drug that produces the intended effects.   Paracetamol Paracetamol is a common fever medication globally. Paracetamol is the most sought after and widely used drug ever sin

Polyprotein – Virus and Bacteria

Polyprotein – Virus and Bacteria Difference between Coronavirus and bacterium: Bacterium Coronavirus Bacteria are living even outside a host body. The viruses are basically inactive outside a host organism. Each bacterial cell has its own machinery to reproduce itself.   Viruses would be unable to renew and grow by themselves.  

Health Problems and New National Health Policy

National Health Policy,2017 The National Health Policy, 2017 (NHP, 2017) seeks to reach everyone in a comprehensive integrated way to move towards wellness.  It aims at achieving universal health coverage and delivering quality health care services to all at affordable cost. Objectives Improve health status through concerted policy action in all sectors and expand preventive, promotive, curative, palliative and rehabilitative services provided through the public health sector with

DCGI approves trial of a drug to reduce mortality rate

DCGI approves trial of a drug to reduce mortality rate The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has approved trial of a drug for reducing mortality rate in critically ill COVID-19 patients. The trial is likely to begin at multiple hospitals. The drug which has been developed by Cadila Pharmaceuticals Ltd. with the support of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) is meant to treat critically ill patients suffering from Gram-negative bacterial sepsis. CSIR appointed monitorin

TDB approves financial support to MyLab Discovery Solutions

TDB approves financial support to MyLab Discovery Solutions for ramping up production of COVID-19 diagnostic kits The Technology Development Board (TDB) has approved financial support to MyLab Discovery Solutions, Pune, for ramping up production of COVID-19 diagnostic kits. Mylab Discovery Solutions is the first indigenous company to develop real-time PCR based molecular diagnostic kit which screens and detects COVID 19 from samples. The support from TDB will ensure ramp up in the production

One more institute of CSIR started whole-genome sequencing of coronavirus

One more institute of CSIR started whole-genome sequencing of coronavirus One more institute of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has started whole-genome sequencing of novel coronavirus. Chandigarh-based Institute of Microbial Technology (IMTech) has taken up the task of large-scale genome sequencing of the virus. Earlier, the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology and the Institute of Genomic and Integrated Biology had started working on it. The complete genome se

e-Raktkosh Portal

e-Raktkosh Portal Recently, the Union Health minister urged the use of the e-Raktkosh portal as a single point for maintaining real-time information on the status of stocks of each blood group. The Health Minister has termed the availability of blood in blood banks as 'essential'. In several blood disorders like thalassemia and haemophilia regular transfusion of the blood is necessary. Blood Disorder A blood disorder is any co

UVC disinfection trolley:

Context: UV disinfection trolley can effectively clean up hospital spaces in combating COVID-19. Coronavirus is sensitive to UVC light, as in the case of other viruses and bacteria The present system has been deployed at Employee’s State Insurance Corporation hospital in Hyderabad for field trials Developed by: International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy and New Materials (ARCI), an autonomous R&D Centre of Department of Science and Technology (DST), G

Coping with today, planning for tomorrow-COVID-19

Coping with today, planning for tomorrow Part of: GS-I- CULTURE (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST) (By Dr. Ramasubramanian is Consultant, Infectious Diseases, Apollo Hospital, and Director, Capstone Clinic; Dr. Aruna Mohan is Consultant Paediatric Dentist, and Director, Capstone Dental Care ) Quote for essay (Ethics) “And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over.

Plasma therapy is no silver bullet

Plasma therapy is no silver bullet By, Dr. Balram Bhargava is Director General, Indian Council for Medical Research Introduction The COVID-19 pandemic has posed unprecedented challenges to governments, health professionals and the general public at large, around the world. Every response, administrative, social, economic or medical is being subjected to intense public scrutiny, as it rightly should be in the spirit of mature democracy. Scientific research in medicine is the only

UN Chief said world should follow South Korean model to fight CoVID -19

UN Chief said world should follow South Korean model to fight CoVID -19 Part of: GS-III- S&T (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST) UN Chief Antonio Guterres has expressed hope that many countries in the world will follow the remarkable example of South Korea in addressing the coronavirus pandemic. Republic of Korea, the country has been extremely successful in addressing the coronavirus outbreak and is planning to tackle climate change in its recovery from COVID-19. South Korea has prese

Taiwan’s coronavirus protocol shows how it is done

Taiwan’s coronavirus protocol shows how it is done By, Dr. Chen Shih-chung is Minister of Health and Welfare, Taiwan Introduction Pandemics can spread rapidly around the world because of the ease of international transportation. The most salient examples are the Spanish flu of 1918, the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak of 2003, and the H1N1 influenza of 2009. Intermittently, serious regional epidemics, such as the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in

3 drug regimen in Phase 2 trial for COVID-19

Phase-2 trial with three drugs offers hope Introduction A phase-2 trial involving participants with mild to moderate coronavirus (COVID-19) illness found no detectable virus within an average seven days of starting treatment with a three-drug regimen compared with 12 days in people in the control group. Samples tested for the virus comprised nasopharyngeal swab, posterior oropharyngeal saliva, throat swab, and stool samples. Clinical Improvement Clinical improvement was also sign

Using NFHS for population surveillance for coronavirus

Using NFHS for population surveillance for coronavirus Introduction Governments worldwide have been testing for coronavirus (COVID-19) in high-risk individuals, such as those with symptoms, close contacts of those tested positive, health-care professionals and those with travel history to an affected region. But this does not give an accurate number of those affected, making it impossible to understand the true prevalence in a population. Inaccurate data Lancet Global Health prop

DRUVS and NOTESCLEAN - COVID-19

DRUVS and NOTESCLEAN Defence Research Ultraviolet Sanitiser (DRUVS). Hyderabad based Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) premier lab, Research Centre Imarat (RCI), has developed an automated contactless UVC sanitisation cabinet, called Defence Research Ultraviolet Sanitiser (DRUVS). It has been designed to sanitise mobile phones, iPads, laptops, currency notes, cheque leafs, challans, passbooks, paper, envelopes, etc. The DRUVS cabinet is having contactless oper

COVID KAVACH ELISA

COVID KAVACH ELISA Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)-National Institute of Virology (NIV) at Pune has developed and validated the indigenous IgG ELISA test “COVID KAVACH ELISA” for antibody detection for COVID-19. ICMR-National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune is the apex laboratory of the country with state-of-art infrastructure and expertise for research in virology. NIV’s competent scientific team successfully isolated the SARS-CoV-2 virus from laboratory conf

National infant mortality rate at 32, Madhya Pradesh worst performer

National infant mortality rate at 32, Madhya Pradesh worst performer Data Madhya Pradesh has the worst infant mortality rate in the country while Nagaland has the best. Chhattisgarh has the highest death rate, while Delhi has the lowest. Bihar continues to remain at the top of list in birth rate while Andaman and Nicobar is at the bottom. These details were released by the Centre recently in its Sample Registration System (SRS) bulletin based on data collected for 2018.

Stringency Index

Stringency Index Part of: GS-III- S&T (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST) A Stringency Index created by Oxford University shows how strict a country’s measures were, and at what stage of the pandemic spread it enforced these. As per the index, India imposed its strictest measures much earlier than others. What is Stringency index? The Stringency Index is a number from 0 to 100 that reflects these indicators. A higher index score indicates a higher level of

Covid’s vitamin D link

Covid’s vitamin D link Context A new study has found an association between low average levels of vitamin D and high numbers of Covid-19 cases and mortality rates across 20 European countries. The research, led by scientists from UK’s Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) and Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn NHS Foundation Trust, is published in the journal Aging Clinical and Experimental Research. Vitamin D Vitamin D is known to modulate the response of white bloo

SwasthVayu ventilator

SwasthVayu ventilator Context CSIR - National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) Bangalore, a constituent of lab of CSIR has developed a Non Invasive BiPAP Ventilator in a record time of 36 days to treat COVID-19 patients. About BiPAP Non-Invasive ventilator BiPAP Non-Invasive ventilator is a microcontroller-based precise closed-loop adaptive control system with a built-in biocompatible “3D printed manifold & coupler” with HEPA filter (Highly Efficient Particulate Ai

ICMR's clearance on using convalescent plasma therapy

ICMR's clearance on using convalescent plasma therapy Context The U.S. FDA and India’s ICMR have approved the use of plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients only for trial purposes. With the ethics committee approval in hand on May 8, the ICMR cleared the last hurdle to conduct a multicentric phase-2 trial using convalescent plasma on COVID-19 patients with moderate illness. Phase 2 trial- to check the efficacy of Plasma therapy Its three feasibility studies in about

Feluda Test

Feluda Test Part of: GS-III- S&T (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST) Recently, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research’s Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (CSIR-IGIB) has developed India’s first paper strip test for Covid-19 namely, ‘Feluda’. Imp Points Description: The Feluda is a paper strip test that detects the coronavirus in an hour. Feluda is an acronym for FNCAS9 Editor Linked

Human Challenge Studies

Human Challenge Studies In new guidelines issued on May 6, the World Health Organization has said that well-designed human challenge studies could not only accelerate coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine development but also make it more likely that the vaccines ultimately deployed will be far more effective. Note:   In human challenge studies, healthy participants are first administered the candidate vaccine and then deliberately exposed to novel coronavirus.

Herd Immunity-Dangerous assumption

Aiming to achieve herd immunity naturally is ‘dangerous’, WHO warns Introduction The World Health Organization has condemned the “dangerous” concept of herd immunity for managing the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Dr. Michael Ryan, executive director of the WHO’s health emergencies programme said it was wrong to think that countries can “magically” make their populations immune to novel coronavirus. Herd immunity The concept of herd immu

Antimicrobial masks manufactured by IISC

IISc develops antimicrobial composite material and testing protocols for PPEs A team from Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru (IISc) has developed a three-layered antimicrobial composite material of low-cost for making masks. And another team, including members from IISc, is involved in testing masks and developing a way of recycling them. Antimicrobial masks The mask material consists of three layers. 1. The outermost layer is made of polyester fabric Awith polymeric nanofib

BPDS and POMID disinfectant sprays

BPDS and POMID disinfectant sprays Scientists at CSIR-Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute (CMERI), Durgapur, have developed two mobile indoor Disinfection Sprayer units. These units can be used for cleaning and disinfecting pathogenic micro-organism effectively, especially in hospitals. Called Battery Powered Disinfectant Sprayer (BPDS) and Pneumatically Operated Mobile Indoor Disinfection (POMID), these units can be used to clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces suc

Where is health in the stimulus package?

Where is health in the stimulus package? By, A.K. Shiva Kumar is a Delhi-based development economist Introduction India has done well to limit the COVID-19 score and flatten the curve. Credit for containing the spread of the virus should go to our frontline medical and health workers in government who literally rushed in where angels fear to tread to save people’s lives. Putting aside threats to personal safety, family interests, and stigma, selfless government health workers

MicroRNA- Why old age make it more difficult to fight COVID-19

MicroRNA- Why old age make it more difficult to fight COVID-19 A group of tiny RNA — that is supposed to attack the SARS-CoV-2 when it infects human bodies — diminishes with age and in people with chronic health problems, which may explain why older individuals and those with pre-existing health conditions are more vulnerable to Covid-19. MicroRNAs play a big role in controlling gene expression, and are a frontline defence when viruses invade. According to a study published

Preparing for a syndemic

Preparing for a syndemic By,Chirantan Chatterjee is a faculty member at IIM Ahmedabad and Visiting Fellow at Hoover Institution, Stanford University Introduction The World Health Organization has announced that COVID-19 will likely never go away. Experts warn that there will be a second wave of infections. Syndemic situation may arise Meanwhile, some people have also raised the alarm about diseases like dengue and malaria in the upcoming monsoon season. &n

Impact of weather on COVID-19 reproduction number

How far can weather impact Covid reproduction number? A new study by Harvard University has estimated the impact of weather on transmission of Covid-19 infections and found a negative relationship between temperatures above 25°C and estimated reproduction number, with each degree Celsius associated with a 3.1% reduction in the reproduction number. The study found that higher levels of relative humidity strengthen the negative effect of temperature above 25°C. But the findings

Less invasive surfactant administration (LISA)

Less invasive surfactant administration (LISA) A recent medical technique, known as less invasive surfactant administration (LISA), has been started at J.K. Lon Government Children’s Hospital here for treatment of lung disease or respiratory distress syndrome among premature babies. The procedure, started initially for newborn children with the birth weight of less than 1,500 grams, has yielded encouraging results. Most of the premature babies admitted to the hospital’s ne

Working safely: On workplaces during the pandemic

Working safely: On workplaces during the pandemic Introduction Opening up economic production from a lockdown, even partially, when the COVID-19 pandemic has not peaked in the country poses an extraordinary challenge. Guidelines to be followed in a workplace Reducing the number of people present at any given time is a universal principle, either through resort to shifts, or arrangements to enable employees to work from home. Physical distancing of at least one metre, mandatory us

How public health boosts an economy

How public health boosts an economy By, K. Srinath Reddy is president, Public Health Foundation of India. Views are personal Introduction International Monetary Fund, called the present crisis the worst downturn since the Great Depression. The ?20-lakh-crore package recently announced includes proposals to prevent and respond to future pandemics. These include strengthening of health and wellness centres, establishment of infectious diseases hospital blocks in all districts, expansi

Backing the angels in white coats

Backing the angels in white coats By,Suneeta Reddy is Managing Director, Apollo Hospitals Introduction Never since the Second World War have we seen the size, scale and human impact of the lockdown. Yet, we have managed and continue to manage the worst health and economic crisis we have seen in our lifetimes. Over 1,01,000 Indians have so far become infected by the novel coronavirus. We are not yet fully able to test and isolate efficiently, we are yet to find a protocol for cure an

Rotavac

Rotavac Bharat Biotech’s diarrhea vaccine ROTAVAC gets WHO pre-qualification. The WHO pre-qualification paves the way for health and humanitarian organizations such as UNICEF to procure it for public health vaccination programs across the world. Rotavirus is the most common cause of severe diarrhea and kills more than 200,000 children every year. ROTAVC is also included in the Universal Immunization Program

Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)

Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) The National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI) has recommended the introduction of HPV vaccine in the UIP. NTAGI is an advisory body that recommends vaccines for India’s Universal Immunization Programme (UIP). Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is a group of more than 150 viruses. It is usually harmless and goes away by itself. However, some types cause papilloma or warts in parts of the body. HPV spreads by skin-to-skin contact and is the most com

Avifavir

Avifavir Russia will start giving its first drug approved to treat COVID-19 to patients next week, its state financial backer said, a move it hopes will ease strains on the health system. Russian hospitals can begin giving the antiviral drug, which is registered under the name Avifavir, to patients from June 11. Avifavir, known generically as favipiravir, was first developed in the late 1990s by a Japanese company later bought by Fujifilm as it moved into healthcare. RDIF head Kirill

GAVI

GAVI Context Prime Minister Addresses the virtual Global Vaccine Summit 2020. India has today pledged 15 Million US Dollars to Gavi, the international vaccine alliance. GAVI(Global Vaccine Summit) The virtual Global Vaccine Summit hosted by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson in which over 50 ?countries - business leaders, UN agencies, civil society, government ministers, Heads of State and country leaders participated. India’s civilization teaches to see the world as one fami

Shine a light: On retraction of a research paper

Shine a light: On retraction of a research paper Part of: GS-III- R&D (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST) About News Study in The Lancet, perhaps the most influential medical journal in the world, found no benefit from the use of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), a well-known antimalarial, to treat sick COVID-19 patients. Today, that study stands retracted. As it had relied on a huge dataset of about 96,000 patients sourced from 671 hospitals in six continents, the World Health Organization, citing

Global Virtual vaccine summit – GAVI and India’s Immunisation programme

Global Virtual vaccine summit – GAVI and India’s Immunisation programme Part of: GS-III- Health  (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST) PM Modi said this while addressing the virtual Global Vaccine Summit hosted by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson in which over 50 countries - business leaders, UN agencies, civil society, government ministers, Heads of State and country leaders participated.   Imp Points He said, India’s civilization teaches to see the world as on

What are some of the key terms being used to describe the novel coronavirus outbreak? THE HINDU EXPLAINED

What are some of the key terms being used to describe the novel coronavirus outbreak? THE HINDU EXPLAINED Part of: GS-III- Health (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST) Here is a short glossary of terms that you might hear/use regularly, but may not understand entirely. COVID-19 — A term coined by the World Health Organization (WHO) to denote the disease that has led to a pandemic. On February 11, 2020, WHO announced a name for the mysterious disease originating in China, caused by a new co

Prevalence of diabetes among women high in southern India

Prevalence of diabetes among women high in southern India Part of: GS-III- Health  (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST) More than one in 10 women aged 35-49 suffer the disease          Researchers have identified a bunch of districts in India that have the maximum prevalence for diabetes among women. At least 50 of the 640 districts studied have high prevalence of diabetes — greater than one in 10 — among women aged 35-49 years.

Indian Air Force develops ARPIT

Indian Air Force develops ARPIT The Indian Air Force has designed, developed and manufactured an Airborne Rescue Pod for Isolated Transportation (ARPIT). This pod will be utilised for evacuation of critical patients with infectious diseases including COVID-19 from high altitude area, isolated and remote places. Requirement of an air evacuation system with facility to prevent spread of infectious aerosol from a COVID-19 patient during air travel was felt by IAF when COVID-19 was declared as

Needed, a transfusion for public health care

Needed, a transfusion for public health care Dr. Raj B. Singh is a pulmonologist in Chennai. The views expressed are personal Part of: GS-III- Health  (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST) Health services cannot be left to private medicine in a developing country, or indeed, in any country Context A news channel in India alleged recently that several private hospitals in the country were “exposed” by a “sting operation” to be levying fees in excess when CO

Call for action: On ICMR antibody test study

Call for action: On ICMR antibody test study Context The results of a serological test conducted across 69 districts by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) have indicated that the confirmed numbers of COVID-19 infections reported from the RT-PCR tests are likely an undercount. Serological or antibody tests # Serological or antibody tests are not as accurate as the PCR tests, but they are useful indicators of the spread of the novel coronavirus among people. # The ICMR

India may have undercounted COVID-19 cases

India may have undercounted COVID-19 cases The findings of a serological survey by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) from 69 districts across 21 States indicate that an estimated 7,00,000 people could have been infected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus in these districts even in early May. The number indicated by the survey is twenty times higher than the 35,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported as of early May in the entire country, suggesting that the actual COVID-19 count ov

COVID-19 taking an emotional toll on children

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ICMR RECOMMENDS THE USE OF RAPID ANTIGEN TEST KIT

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Beginning of the Rural wave-COVID-19

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Can a COVID-19 vaccine be developed soon?

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Jan Aushadhi Suvidha Oxo-Biodegradable Sanitary Napkin @Rs.1

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PBC Complex

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Umifenovir

CSIR-CDRI’s candidate drug Umifenovir secures DCGI approval for Phase III Clinical Trial against COVID-19 Context CSIR constituent lab CSIR-Central Drug Research Institute(CDRI) Lucknow, has received permission for carrying out Phase III randomised, Double blind, Placebo controlled trial of efficacy, safety and tolerability of antiviral drug Umifenovir. Umifenovir This drug has a good safety profile and acts by preventing entry of virus into human cells and also by pri

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Favipiravir drug for COVID-19

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eBloodServices mobile App

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India has the highest burden of tuberculosis (TB) in the world. Even as the government was pushing to end TB by 2025, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a massive disruption in TB services. TB case notifications across India have dropped by over 50% since March, with an estimated 3,00,000 missed case notifications (until May 30). This is worrisome, since undiagnosed TB can worsen patient outcomes and increase transmission in the

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MMR vaccine can help fight sepsis in Covid patients

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On India’s first COVID-19 vaccine-COVAXIN

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Meta-analysis does not support continued use of point-of-care serological tests for COVID-19

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IIT-M develops nano-coated filter for healthcare workers

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IIT-M team conducts research on cancer-curing properties of turmeric

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COVID19- Mom to child transmission

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AJO-Neo

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SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell immunity prevents recurrent severe COVID-19 disease

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School closure, work from home, ban on public events — which works best to restrict Covid-19?

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House panel moots law to keep a check on private hospitals

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Healthcare Analysis in India

Analysis of Healthcare in India India’s health care is a dark echo chamber. It is 70% private and 30% public in a country where 80% people  do not  have any protection for health and the out of pocket expense is as high  as  62% (i.e Government does not bear much for public healthcare). With public spending at 1.13% of GDP and a huge shortage of healthcare  workers particularly nurses and midwives, policy moves and plans  appear  like a sound in

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Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare has launched Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI) 3.0 and the IMI 3.0 portal. Focus of the IMI 3.0 will be the children and pregnant women who have missed their vaccine doses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Beneficiaries from migration areas and hard to reach areas will be targeted. Mission Indradhanush was launched in 2014 to provide affordable and accessible healthcare to all citizens of the country. The present 8th campaign will targ

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A child has recently been diagnosed with Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) in Bihar, the first case for this year. AES, locally called chamki bukhar (fever causing seizure), usually surfaces during summer in the flood-prone districts of north Bihar. It is characterized by acute-onset of fever and a change in mental status (mental confusion, disorientation, delirium, or coma) along with new-onset of seizures in a person of any age at any time of the year. The disease most commonly affect

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World Unani Day was celebrated on February 11, 2021 to spread awareness about health care delivery through Unani system of medicine through its preventive and curative philosophy. World Unani Day is celebrated every year to mark the birth anniversary of Hakim Ajmal Khan.   He was an eminent Indian Unani physician who was a great scholar, a social reformer, a noted freedom fighter, a Unani medical educationist and founder of scientific research in Unani System of Medicine.  

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Telemedicine- scaling up the Indian advantage

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Ministry of Health & Family Welfare is going to integrate Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) with NPCDCS. NPCDCS - National Programme for Prevention & Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke. Conditions - It is a distinct hepatic condition where there is accumulation of excess fat in the liver of people who drink little or no alcohol, causing fatty liver. Causes - NAFLD is a part of the metabolic syndrome characterized by diabetes,

Data on COVID19 Impact on Health Services.

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Data on Diabetes India has second highest number of diabetes patients aged 20-79 yrs as of 2019- WHO. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimated the global prevalence of diabetes among adults  over 18 years of age as 8.5% in 2014. There are estimated 72.96 million cases of diabetes in adult population of India. The prevalence in urban areas ranges between 10.9% and 14.2% and prevalence in rural India was 3.0-7.8% among population aged 20 years and above with a muc

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AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, produced from harmless adenovirus have low efficacy compared to Pfizer and Moderna vaccines which are produced from mRNAs. About Adenovirus: Adenoviruses are common viruses that cause a range of illnesses. They can cause cold-like symptoms, sore throat, bronchitis, pneumonia, diarrhoea and conjunctivitis. Adenoviruses are non-enveloped, double-stranded DNA viruses.  Adenoviruses Transmission: Adenoviruses are usually s

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Stop TB Partnership Board

Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare appointed as the Chairman of the Stop TB Partnership Board. The Minister will serve a 3-year term/ About Stop TB Partnership: Stop TB Partnership was established in the Year 2000. Its aim is to eliminate tuberculosis as a public health problem. Amsterdam Declaration: In 2000, Stop TB Partnership gave a call for collaborative action from ministerial delegations of 20 countries with the highest burden of TB. Secretariat: Geneva,

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Essential Medicines

Essential Medicines India has adopted this concept from WHO.  Essential medicines do not mean that they are only life saving drugs.  In fact, the word life saving drugs is not defined in any of the domestic legislations. These are the medicines that are required to be available with the health system all the time adequately. When WHO published the 1st Model List of Essential Drugs in 1977, it identified 208 individual medicines which together could provide safe, effective

Diatom Test for Detecting Death via Drowning

Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) relied on a diatom tests for leads in the alleged murder case of Mansukh Hiran. About Diatom Test It helps in diagnosing the death caused by drowning. It tests diatoms in the body being tested. Diatoms are photosynthesizing algae found in aquatic environment including fresh and marine waters, soils, etc., (almost anywhere moist). If the person is alive when he enters the water, the diatoms will enter the lungs when the person inhales water whi

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India imports the majority of helium for its domestic needs but now the U.S appears to cut off exports of helium from 2021. Hence, the Indian industry stands to lose out heavily. About Helium: Helium is a chemical element with the symbol He and atomic number 2. It is a colourless, odourless, tasteless, non-toxic, inert, first in the noble gas group in the periodic table. Its boiling point is the lowest among all the elements. Helium is the second lightest and second most abundant el

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Tribal TB Initiative to achieve ‘TB Mukt Bharat’ by 2025

Union Health Minister launched the “Tribal TB Initiative” as a step towards achieving 'TB Mukt Bharat' by 2025. The Ministry also released a guidance note on Joint Action Plan for elimination of Tuberculosis (TB), a Special Edition of Tribal Ministry’s Publication ‘ALEKH’ on TB and a document on Tribal Tuberculosis (TB) Initiative at the event. About the Initiative: The Health Minister stated that India has over 104 million tribal population liv

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Water borne Diseases

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Integrated Health Information Platform (IHIP)

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Use of Technology in Health Sector

Use of Technology in Health Sector Samsung Case Study Samsung Electronics is recycling its old Galaxy smartphones into healthcare equipment for under-served people in India, Morocco, Vietnam and Papua New Guinea. Old phones will be remodelled as eyecare equipment to screen patients with eye diseases, the company said in a statement. When the South Korea handset maker introduced the recycling programme in 2017, it made a handheld camera to enable diagnosis of an internal organ. T

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WHO guidelines to control Transmission of Zoonotic Diseases

The World Health Organization(WHO), World Organization for Animal Health and United Nations Environment Programme jointly released guidelines to control “Zoonotic Diseases” for governments. Guidelines ask to reduce the risk of transmission of zoonotic pathogens to humans in food production and marketing chains. What are Zoonotic Diseases? Zoonosis is an infectious disease that jumps from a non-human animal to humans. Zoonotic pathogens may be bacterial, viral, or p

WHO's Global Diabetes Compact Initiative

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently launched a Global Diabetes Compact Initiative. About Global Diabetes Compact Initiative: Global Diabetes Compact aims to reduce the risk of diabetes. It will ensure that all people diagnosed with diabetes have access to equitable, comprehensive, affordable, quality treatment and care. This initiative launched at the Global Diabetes Summit. WHO and the government of Canada Co-hosted the summit with the support of the University of Toronto

Supplemental Oxygen Delivery System developed by DRDO

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has launched the SpO2 (Blood Oxygen Saturation) supplemental Oxygen Delivery System which will be useful for soldiers in extreme high-altitude areas. About DRDO’s Supplemental Oxygen Delivery System: The system delivers supplemental oxygen based on the SpO2 (Blood Oxygen Saturation) levels. Thus, it prevents the person from going into a state of Hypoxia. Hypoxia is a state in which the amount of oxygen reaching the tissu

Odisha’s first case of harlequin ichthyosis

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Rare diseases and their occurrence in India  The common denominator of rare diseases is the infrequency of their occurrence in the human population. Often debilitating lifelong disease or disorder condition with a prevalence of 1 or less, per 1000 population is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a rare disease. As per an estimate, there are 7,000 known rare diseases with an estimated 300 million patients in the world; 70 million are in India.  According to the O

DCGI approves anti-COVID drug- BY DRDO & Clinical Trials

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Lockdown and the spread of COVID-19

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PM CARES fund to buy 1.5 lacs Oxycare system of DRDO

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What is medical oxygen?

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COVID-19 and the risk of Mucormycosis

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Medical education reforms- Need for public education system

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Sputnik V Covid vaccine to cost ?995

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Civil Services Prelims-2021 postponed to on October 10

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Black Fungus (Mucormycosis) in COVID-19 patients

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Dynamics of Second Wave of COVID-19

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Covid-19- New Vaccination strategy, a boon or a bane?

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Covid-19 and issue of malnutrition

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COVID-19 vaccination- issues of reinfection

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Antimicrobial resistance: the silent pandemic

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Rural Health Statistics Report

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One Health approach

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Behavioural change can reduce transmission (Covid-19)

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Malnutrition and COVID-19

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NAFED launches Fortified Rice Bran Oil

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National Policy for Rare Diseases, 2021 Rare Diseases: WHO defines a rare disease as a lifelong disease or disorder that often highly weakens an individual. It has a prevalence of 1 or less per 1000 population. Example: Haemophilia, Thalassemia, Sickle cell anaemia, auto-immune diseases among others. However, every country has its own definition for rare diseases. The US  defines rare diseases as a disease or condition that affects fewer than 200,000 patients in the country.

AYUSH

AYUSH It was earlier known as Indian System of Medicine. It is governed by Ministry of AYUSH and National AYUSH Mission both in 2014.  NAM includes co-location of AYUSH at PHCs, CHCs and District Hospitals, upgradation of hospitals and setting up of upto 50 bedded integrated AYUSH hospitals. For AYUSH drugs, MoAYUSH has amended Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945 for scientific studies. Ministry of AYUSH launched TKDL (Traditional Knowledge Digital Li

Progress Under National Health Mission (NHM) in 2019-20

Progress Under National Health Mission (NHM) in 2019-20 The Cabinet noted that NHM has envisaged new Initiatives in 2019-20 as: Social Awareness and Actions to Neutralize Pneumonia Successfully (SAANS) initiative was launched to accelerate action to reduce deaths due to childhood pneumonia. SurakshitMatritvaAashwasan (SUMAN) initiative was launched to provide assured, dignified, respectful and quality healthcare at no cost and zero tolerance for denial of services and all existing Sch

Infant Mortality due to Pneumonia and SAANS Initiative

  Infant Mortality due to Pneumonia and SAANS Initiative As per Sample Registration System Report (2010-13) of Registrar General of India, Pneumonia contributes 16.9% of infant deaths and it is the 2nd highest cause of infant mortality. The list of major causes of infant mortality- Top 10 Causes of Death in age below 1 year in India : 2010-2013 Rank Cause of Death Deaths (%) Male

Organ Donation and Transplantation

Organ Donation and Transplantation Definition of Organ & Tissues Transplantation Organ transplantation is a medical procedure in which an organ is removed from one body and placed in the body of a recipient, to replace a damaged or missing organ. The donor and recipient may be at the same location, or organs may be transported from a donor site to another location. Organs and/or tissues that are transplanted within the same person&#

Progress under National Health Mission (NHM) in 2019-20

Progress under National Health Mission (NHM) in 2019-20 The Cabinet noted that NHM has envisaged new Initiatives in 2019-20 as: Social Awareness and Actions to Neutralize Pneumonia Successfully (SAANS) initiative was launched to accelerate action to reduce deaths due to childhood pneumonia. SurakshitMatritvaAashwasan (SUMAN) initiative was launched to provide assured, dignified, respectful and quality healthcare at no cost and zero tolerance for denial of services and all existing Sch

Schemes for promoting domestic manufacturing of APIs

Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for promotion of domestic manufacturing of critical Key Starting Materials (KSMs)/ Drug Intermediates (DIs) and Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) In India: The scheme provides for financial incentives to manufacturers selected under the scheme for manufacturing of 41 Key Starting Materials (KSMs)/ Drug Intermediates (DIs) and Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs). The incentives will be provided on incremental sales to selected participants f

Rural Healthcare Services

NHM support is also provided for provision of a range of free services related to maternal health, child health, adolescent health, family planning, universal immunisation programme, and for major diseases such as Tuberculosis, vector borne diseases like Malaria, Dengue and Kala Azar, Leprosy etc. Other major initiatives supported under NHM include Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram (JSSK) (under which free drugs, free diagnostics, free blood and diet, free transport from home to institution,

Major overhaul in the B.Sc Nursing Syllabus

The B.Sc. nursing programme in the country has undergone its first major overhaul after 1947, making it a competency-based curriculum. To be implemented from January 2022, the revised curriculum has been standardised, updated and aimed at bringing in uniformity in nursing education across India. Medical ethics has been introduced for the first time. The new system now adopts a credit-based semester pattern with more emphasis on acquiring competency in each area of study. Also, forensic

Medical Devices Parks Scheme

The Union government notified a scheme to promote medical device parks at a financial outlay of ?400 crore till financial year 2024-2025. The scheme aims to ensure easy access to testing and infrastructure facilities. It is expected that this will bring down the cost of production of medical devices, thereby making them more affordable for domestic consumption, the Department of Pharmaceuticals said in a statement. The financial assistance for a selected medical device park would be 90% o

Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission

Under this, every citizen will now get a digital health ID and health records digitally protected A campaign of strengthening health facilities that had been going for the last seven years was entering a new phase today, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi while launching the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission. The Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission would now connect the digital health solutions of hospitals across the country with each other. A release issued by the Central Government stressed

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