×

UPSC Courses

DNA banner

DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

  • SHARE " Health"
You searched “

Health

”. Your tag search matches the following results:

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

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

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

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:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

COVID-19 taking an emotional toll on children Context The fear of losing loved ones to the coronavirus (COVID-19) infection is most apparent among children who dabble with immense anxiety and emotional stress brought by the ongoing pandemic and lockdown. Doctors say that the toll on the mental health of the young ones is way more than the physical symptoms of COVID-19. Stress and anxiety rise amid coronavirus pandemic “Every age group is processing the events in a di

Hydroxychloroquine does not reduce mortality, RECOVERY trial finds

Hydroxychloroquine does not reduce mortality, RECOVERY trial finds Recovery trial The RECOVERY trial, a large randomised controlled trial in the U.K. to test five drugs, including hydroxychloroquine, has found no clinical benefit from use of hydroxychloroquine in hospitalised patients with COVID-19. The trial investigators found that there was no significant benefit in mortality reduction in the intervention group, which was the primary objective. The RECOVERY trial began in March.

Persistent global transmission of chikungunya from India

Persistent global transmission of chikungunya from India Context Studying the geographic distribution and evolution of the chikungunya virus over the period from 2005-2018, a team from ICMR-National Institute of Virology, Pune, has noted India as an endemic reservoir for the virus with persistent global transmissions from the country. The paper published recently in Infection, Genetics and Evolution adds that “dispersal of the strains from India was noted to neighbouring and di

Vector-borne diseases

What are Vectors? Vectors are living organisms that can transmit infectious pathogens between humans, or from animals to humans. Many of these vectors are bloodsucking insects, which ingest disease-producing microorganisms during a blood meal from an infected host (human or animal) and later transmit it into a new host, after the pathogen has replicated. Often, once a vector becomes infectious, they are capable of transmitting the pathogen for the rest of their life during each subse

Beginning of the Rural wave-COVID-19

Rural India, the new viral flash point By, M.S. Seshadri is retired Professor of Medical Endocriniology, Christian Medical College (CMC), Vellore and now Medical Director, Thirumalai Mission Hospital, Ranipet, Tamil Nadu. T. Jacob John is retired Professor of Clinical Virology, CMC, Vellore and past President of the Indian Academy of Pediatrics Context à The initial misplaced optimism that India is somehow protected from the COVID-19 pandemic has proved to be illusory, with rapid

Can a COVID-19 vaccine be developed soon?

Can a COVID-19 vaccine be developed soon? Purpose of a vaccine à The great hope in the control of infectious diseases is always a vaccine. à A vaccine could be a weakened biological or synthetic agent administered to humans that will protect them from contracting infectious diseases by supplying specific antibodies to neutralise the disease-causing pathogen, while not making a person actually sick from it. à Vaccines have always sounded the bugle of relief from

What must schools do before reopening?

What must schools do before reopening? Context àSchools in India have been shut since the first 21-day national lockdown from March 25, some from a week or two earlier, due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. àWith the number of COVID-19 cases spiking this week, there is a growing clamour to protect children from going to examination centres and keep them away from school for some time longer. Many schools are offering online classes, but that has its own perils. What a

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

Sanitary Napkins available for Rs. 1/- per pad at Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Kendras It may be stated that menstruation and menstrual practices still face some social, cultural, and religious restrictions which are a big barrier in the path of menstrual hygiene management. In many parts of the country especially in rural areas girls and women do not have access to sanitary products or they do not opt for them as most of these items available in the market are bit costly. This

A prescription of equitable and effective care (Solutions for COVID-19 management)

A prescription of equitable and effective care By, Anand Zachariah is a Professor of Medicine at the Christian Medical College, Vellore. George Thomas is an Orthopaedic Surgeon at St. Isabel’s Hospital, Chennai. The views expressed are persona Context # Medical care has been disrupted by the novel coronavirus. # Fear, anxiety, uncertainty and confusion have all overtaken clinical services. # The private sector, which delivers the major part of medical services, is now funct

Maternal health matters

Maternal health matters By, Jashodhara Dasgupta writes on gender, rights and health Context # In a shocking incident earlier this month, a pregnant woman died in an ambulance in Noida after being turned away from a number of private and government hospitals. Questions to be raised # This raises a chilling question for all of us: if this can happen somewhere so close to the nation’s capital, what is happening in the corners of the country? # A second question that comes

Ban on export of HCQ lifted

Ban on export of HCQ lifted Government has lifted ban on export of anti-malerial drug Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) API and formulation.with immediate effect. An Inter-ministerial High-Level Empowered Committee meets regularly on fortnightly basis for assessing the availability of drugs in the country and will continue to meet to monitor the situation. In the meeting it was noted that during March-May, 2020 period (COVID-19 period) numbers of manufacturing units of Hydroxychloroquine have

COVID poses trying times for Diabetics

COVID poses trying times for Diabetics Context Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh, who is also a renowned Diabetologist, said here today that COVID poses trying times for Diabetics. Delivering the inaugural address, as chief guest, at the "World Congress of Indian Academy of Diabetes" being held for the first time on Virtual platform under the name “Dia-V Con 2020”. Diabetes and COVID19 Those suffering from Diabetes have an immuno-comprised status, which t

The many questions about Favipiravir (Analysis of Favipiravir Drug)

The many questions about Favipiravir S.P. Kalantri is Professor of Medicine at the Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences and Medical Superintendent of Kasturba Hospital, Sevagram, Maharashtra; Dinesh Thakur is a public health activist Context # The pandemic has not only exposed the dire situation of the public health infrastructure, but also the opacity with which drug/medical device approvals are granted in India. # We have had many controversies over the last few months: th

Sickle Cell Disease

Sickle Cell Disease It is a blood disorder that arises when both parents have the problem gene and pass it on to their child. If only one parent has the problem gene, then the child will not have symptoms but will have the gene called the ‘sickle cell trait’. With sickle cell disease, the red blood cells have an abnormal crescent shape, taking the shape of a sickle, hence, its name. The sickle shape results in the red blood cells becoming rigid and sticky, getti

Science vs nonsense: On Patanjali’s COVID-19 claim

Science vs nonsense: On Patanjali’s COVID-19 claim # Patanjali Ayurved’s recent claim of having discovered a “cure” and the publicity that this garnered, bypassing every regulatory requirement without any serious consequence so far, shows that India’s regulatory checks and balances are wanting. # The company said in Haridwar that its product, ‘Coronil’, had cured everyone in a clinical trial. # While quackery and the potency of ‘magic dru

TB during COVID-19

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

Why is there a stress on randomised controlled trials?

Why is there a stress on randomised controlled trials? Context # On June 23, the claim by Patanjali Ayurved [Haridwar (Uttrakhand)] that its preparations, ‘Coronil’ and ‘Swasari’, would cure COVID-19 in only seven days, was met with robust disbelief in some quarters, even as it hogged media space soon after the announcement. # Ramdev, the yoga guru, and who is associated with the company, claimed that a randomised controlled trial (RCT) among COVID-19 positive p

MMR vaccine can help fight sepsis in Covid patients

MMR vaccine can help fight sepsis in Covid patients A new paper suggests that live attenuated vaccines such as MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) may prevent the severe lung inflammation and sepsis associated with Covid-19 infection. The paper is published online in the journal mBio.   A live attenuated vaccine is derived from a disease-causing pathogen, which has been weakened in the laboratory so that it does not cause severe illness when a person is vaccin

On India’s first COVID-19 vaccine-COVAXIN

Promise and delivery: On India’s first COVID-19 vaccine Context # India’s first indigenous COVID-19 vaccine (COVAXIN) developed by a Hyderabad-based company in collaboration with the ICMR is all set to be tested on humans.   Clinical Trials of COVAXIN # The permission from the Drugs Controller General of India to carry out phase-1 and phase-2 human clinical trials was based on the safety and efficacy results of studies on mice, rats and rabbits. # The phase-1

Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme

  Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme The Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme has been activated as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Integrated Disease Surveillance Project was launched by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, in assistance with the World Bank, in 2004. It continued as the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) during 12th Plan (2012–17) under the National Health Mission with a domestic budget. Under it, a Central Surv

Staying alert

Staying alert: On monitoring non-COVID-19 diseases Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) # The Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP), the backbone of India’s disease monitoring network, is responsible for alerting the Centre and the wider world, on a weekly basis, about the emergence of disease outbreaks, a surge in novel pathogens, the rate of spread and remedial action taken.   Major focus –only on COVID-19 # On average, there are 30-40 su

Bend it like Italy: On flattening the COVID-19 curve

Bend it like Italy: On flattening the COVID-19 curve Context * Five months after WHO declared COVID-19 as a  public health emergency of international concern and three-and-half months after it called the disease a pandemic, its spread does not seem to be slowing down globally.   Spike in the cases globally * Instead, infections and the death toll continue to rise alarmingly. After a sharp increase in March, the fresh cases reported have steadily increased, breaching the

Covaxin 

Covaxin  Part of: GS-III- S&T (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST) The Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) has granted approval to Bharat Biotech to conduct human clinical trials for ‘Covaxin’, making it the first indigenous Covid-19 vaccine candidate to receive this approval. Covaxin has been developed by the company Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). It is

Surely, even if slowly: On a COVID-19 vaccine

Surely, even if slowly: On a COVID-19 vaccine Context * A letter by the ICMR’s  head, Dr. Balram Bhargava, to doctors last week, preparing to test a vaccine for human trials, appeared to be coercing them into getting a vaccine ready by August 15.   Issues in hastening the process of vaccine trials * However, there was no rationale extended for why the date August 15 cropped up. * Given the crisis at hand, regulatory agencies the world over have relaxed rules o

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

Meta-analysis does not support continued use of point-of-care serological tests for COVID-19 Serological test Serological tests to detect antibodies against novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) could improve diagnosis of COVID-19 and be useful tools for epidemiological surveillance. Epidemilogy   It is the branch of medicine which deals with the incidence, distribution, and possible control of diseases and other factors relating to health.

None gains: On U.S. withdrawal from WHO

None gains: On U.S. withdrawal from WHO Withdrawal of USA from WHO * On July 6, when the number of novel coronavirus cases and deaths in the U.S. reached over 2.8 million and nearly 0.13 million, respectively, the U.S. officially notified the United Nations of its intention to withdraw membership from the World Health Organization. * This comes after President Donald Trump announced on May 29 his decision to halt funding and pull out of the global health body. * After accusing WHO

Measles and Rubella

Measles and Rubella GS-Paper-3 Health and Children   Recently, the Maldives and Sri Lanka have become the first two countries in the World Health Organisation’s South-East Asian Region (WHO SEAR) to have eliminated both measles and rubella ahead of the 2023 deadline. In September 2019, member countries of WHO SEAR set 2023 as the target for the elimination of measles and rubella. The announcement came after the 5th meeting of the SEAR Verification Com

Is airborne transmission of COVID-19 a risk?

Is airborne transmission of COVID-19 a risk? Context * On Monday, July 6, 239 scientists from 32 countries put their signatures on an open letter that said COVID-19 is also transmitted via aerosols. Titled It is Time to Address Airborne Transmission of COVID-19, and addressed to the World Health Organization (WHO), they said there was enough evidence to show that viruses are released during exhalation, talking, and coughing as micro droplets small enough to remain aloft and pose a risk of

Milestone of a million

Milestone of a million: On India’s COVID-19 numbers -   If it took 109 days to reach 1,00,000 cases but just 15 days to double, the days taken to add each additional one lakh cases have been shrinking; the last two additions of one lakh cases to reach one million took just three days each. The number of confirmed infections and deaths crossed grim milestones — one million and 25,000, respectively.   Increasing positivity rate in India-Indication of Community

COVID19- Mom to child transmission

Study finds evidence of vertical transmission of coronavirus across the placenta Modes of COVID-19 transmission Transmission through droplets and contact with contaminated surfaces seem to be the major routes of novel coronavirus spread. The World Health Organization recently acknowledged that “short-range aerosol transmission” of the virus “cannot be ruled out” in specific indoor locations which are crowded, inadequately ventilated and where exposure to the i

Covid-19 Vaccine: ZyCoV-D

Covid-19 Vaccine: ZyCoV-D GS-PAPER-3 S&T Recently, India has started phase I/II clinical trials of Covid-19 vaccine - ZyCoV-D, designed and developed by Zydus (a pharmaceutical company) with support from the Department of Biotechnology (DBT). The adaptive phase I/II clinical trials will assess the safety, tolerability and immunogenicity of the vaccine. The other indigenously developed vaccine - Covaxin - produced

More than a crisis, a chance to rebuild health care

  More than a crisis, a chance to rebuild health care By, Dr. Bobby John is an advocate for global health and the Editor of the Journal of Development Policy & Practice Context -   The spread in COVID cases in urban agglomerations like Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Bengaluru points to both the speed and the scale of the epidemic moving within densely populated areas as well as success in the way sustained municipal efforts and community participation can together blun

Is SARS-CoV-2 a latent virus which can recur?

Is SARS-CoV-2 a latent virus which can recur? Context: There are doubts over second infection of COVID-19. There have been repeated instances of ‘reinfection’ from COVID-19 since early January 2020. Reinfection means people who had tested negative for COVID-19 test positive again after a while. Latency: The observation of re-infection of COVID-19 brings to light the possibility of SARS-CoV-2 virus having latency. The COVID-19 virus may have “reactivat

The cost of haste: On drugs, vaccines and regulators

The cost of haste: On drugs, vaccines and regulators Breach of ‘Do not harm’ principle So far-reaching are the effects of COVID-19 that it has harried drug regulatory authorities, usually the most risk-averse within the bureaucracy. ‘Do no harm’ is the driving principle of drug regulation and this is reflected in the thicket of documents and permissions that stand before the average novel drug or vaccine, for a chance at making it to the market. Compress

COVID-19 and a country club India must leave

COVID-19 and a country club India must leave By, Vikram Patel is the Pershing Square Professor of Global Health at Harvard Medical School Context This article is about the performance of India, USA and Brazil in handling the COVID-19 pandemic. These three countries share the toxic levels of historic inequalities which affect every structure of society including, most importantly, the health-care system. Stark inequalities The value of investing in a just public health-ca

Banking on serology: On seroprevalence studies

Banking on serology: On seroprevalence studies Study reveals: A recent serology survey that scientists used to estimate the spread of COVID-19 in Mumbai has found that nearly 57% of those tested in slums had been exposed to the virus and had developed antibodies against it as compared to only 16% of those tested in residential societies. Results from Delhi’s seroprevalence study, earlier this month, found that nearly a quarter of the 21,000-odd samples tested had been exposed t

Aspirin to Prevent Cataract

Aspirin to Prevent Cataract Recently, scientists from the Institute of Nano Science & Technology (INST) have developed nanorods from the Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug (NSAID) Aspirin to prevent cataracts in an economical and less complicated way. Aspirin is a popular medication used to reduce pain, fever, or inflammation and now it has been found to be an effective non–invasive small molecule-based nanotherapeutics against cataract.

Toxic brew

Toxic brew Context: Consumption of illicit liquor has led to the death of more than 100 people in Punjab. There have been many instances of large-scale loss of life due to consumption of illicit liquor in the recent past. Such major incidents have been reported recently in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Assam. Health impact: The illicit liquor vendors in a bid to keep the costs low almost invariably use toxic methanol instead of ethanol. Consumption of illicit alcohol p

COVID-19 deaths may be higher than reported

COVID-19 deaths may be higher than reported By, Hemant Deepak Shewade and Giridara Gopal Parameswaran are community physicians by training. Hemant works for an international NGO and is based in Bengaluru. Giridara works at the All India Institute of Medical Science, Delhi. This piece along with graphs can be accessed online at www.thehindu.com Context As on July 31, India had the third highest burden of COVID-19 globally (based on total reported cases). According to the Union Mini

Poor access to abortion drugs

Poor access to abortion drugs Context: Findings of the study carried out by the Foundation for Reproductive Health Services India (FRHSI) indicated a severe shortage of medical abortion (MA) drugs in five out of the six states surveyed. Medical Abortion Drugs Abortion pills are different from emergency contraceptive pills. Abortion pills or MA drugs are abortafacients which terminate a pregnancy by expelling an embryo or foetus. Abortion pills are approved for use only up

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

SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell immunity prevents recurrent severe COVID-19 disease Context Natural exposure or infection with the novel coronavirus may “prevent recurrent episodes of severe COVID-19”, a paper published in Cell says. This is because, once infected with SARS-CoV-2, the immune system elicits “robust, broad and highly functional memory T cell responses”. Study: The study found SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells even in family members who have been

National Digital Health Mission

National Digital Health Mission was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 15, 2020 while addressing the nation from the Red Fort to mark the occasion of India's 74th Independence Day. It is a part of National Digital Health Blueprint launched in 2019.  National Digital Health Mission will be a "completely technology-based" initiative. According to the Prime Minister, the initiative will revolutionise the health sector. Under the National Digital Health Mi

National Health Policy 2017

National Health Policy 2017 Aiming to provide healthcare in an “assured manner” to all, the NHP 2017 strives to address current and emerging challenges arising from the ever-changing socio-economic, technological and epidemiological scenarios. Features The policy advocates a progressively incremental assurance-based approach. It denotes an important change towards a comprehensive primary health care package which includes care for major NCDs (non-communicable disea

National Cancer Grid

National Cancer Grid National Cancer Grid (NCG) is a network of major cancer centers, research institutes, patient groups and charitable institutions across India with the mandate of establishing uniform standards of patient care for prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer, providing specialized training and education in oncology and facilitating collaborative basic, translational and clinical research in cancer. It was formed in August 2012. International Agency for Research

‘Malnutrition - the silent pandemic‘

‘Malnutrition - the silent pandemic‘ Introduction: This article focuses upon how the pandemic has worsened the problem of Malnutrition. While malnutrition already remains as the predominant risk factor for child deaths and total disability- adjusted life years (DALY), the COVID-19 has pushed back our efforts on ending malnutrition, which plagues India's children. There is a real risk that, as nations strive to control the virus, the gains made in reducing hunger and

Saving lives under the long shadow of the pandemic

Saving lives under the long shadow of the pandemic Introduction: The editorial highlights the fact that, along with fighting the COVID-19 virus, there is a growing need to make mental health and suicide prevention a priority. Impacts of COVID-19: Mental health has been affected severely owing to the fear of being infected and anxiety about an uncertain present and future. Necessary precautions such as social distancing, limited interactions and mask usage have become the ne

Vanquishing viruses: On Nobel prize for medicine

Vanquishing viruses: On Nobel prize for medicine Context: At a time when the world is faced with multiple assaults from a frighteningly obscure virus, it cannot be mere coincidence that the Nobel Committee decided to anoint three scientists who peeled the layers off another virus that confounded generations of physicians the Hepatitis C virus (HCV). The 2020 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, to Harvey J. Alter, Michael Houghton and Charles M. Rice, is a stout endorsement of years

Weighing the costs: On COVID-19 vaccine

Weighing the costs: On COVID-19 vaccine Context: Union Health Minister, on multiple occasions has said that an India-made vaccine was likely to be available in “early 2021”. The government already has an expert committee on vaccine distribution. Expert committee on vaccine distribution: The government had formed the expert committee comprising representatives from all relevant ministries and institutions to oversee all aspects of its Covid-19 vaccine plan. It ha

Genetic scissors and rewriting the code of life

Genetic scissors and rewriting the code of life Context: The 2020 Nobel Prizes for Chemistry has been awarded to two women scientists Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier “for the development of the CRISPR/Cas9 genetic method for genome editing”. About CRISPR/Cas9 CRISPR stands for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats. The CRISPR are a part of bacteria’s immunological systems that help them in recognising threatening viruses.

Health worker safety deserves a second look

Health worker safety deserves a second look World Patient Safety Day (September 17th): The World Health Organization observes World Patient Safety Day on September 17th every year. The day is celebrated to highlight the issue of harm in health-care settings. The theme for 2020 was ‘Health Worker Safety: A Priority for Patient Safety’ with a call to action to ‘Speak up for health worker safety’ Harm in health-care settings: The world over, one in 10 pa

Addressing the mental health needs of homeless persons

Addressing the mental health needs of homeless persons Context: The article talks on the ground realities during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic make a sound case for increased investments in the health and social sectors. Issues: Among the most affected during the COVID-19 pandemic are homeless persons and the ultra-poor, many of whom are employed in the informal sector.  Oppressed classes suffer the most as a consequence of multidimensional poverty. They are exposed to

The best way to vaccinate most Indians in the least time

The best way to vaccinate most Indians in the least time Introduction Recently, due to some unintended results, the Covid-19 vaccine trial has been paused. Such a step can increase people’s faith in the safety procedures involved in vaccine development. As Covid cases rise with increasing economic activity, the only way forward for India is to formulate a sensible acquisition and pricing policy for a coronavirus vaccine, when it becomes available. As the private sector is

Reducing India’s cancer burden

Reducing India’s cancer burden Introduction: The article discusses the necessary steps to be taken to help reduce India’s cancer burden. As per the data provided by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)-National Centre for Disease Informatics and Research (NCDIR), National Cancer Registry Programme Report of August 2020, there are an estimated 13.9 lakh cancer cases in India. India has witnessed a steady rise in cancer cases over the years. India’s cancer b

A tool for thought: On coronavirus pandemic in India

A tool for thought: On coronavirus pandemic in India Context A committee of experts — well-regarded mathematicians and infectious disease experts — appointed by the Department of Science and Technology to use mathematical modelling and forecast the course of the pandemic has brought good tidings. Covid19 forecasts by mathematical modelling: By their estimate, India passed its COVID-19 peak in September and the decline in the overall caseload being observed for ne

Many gains in fighting HIV

Many gains in fighting HIV By, Bilali Camara is UNAIDS Country Director for India Context There is a reduction in new HIV infections among children and in AIDS-related deaths in India In this challenging moment when we are confronted with one of the biggest health emergencies in our history, the COVID-19 pandemic, we find our strength in the gains we are making despite this disruption. Achievements in HIV reduction The newly released 2019 HIV estimates by the National AI

Mind the gaps in India’s health care digital push

Mind the gaps in India’s health care digital push Context The Independence Day address of the Prime Minister launching the National Digital Health Mission (NDHM) during an unprecedented novel coronavirus pandemic crisis, caught everyone’s attention. Yet, despite all his eloquence it was not clear to many what to expect in substantial terms. ‘Going Digital’ has no doubt been a magic phrase that has often been repeated in multiple contexts in the country, and as

Lockdowns don’t work

Lockdowns don’t work Context On the advice of experts, the world confronted the SARS Cov-2 virus in an unprecedented manner — closures of schools and workplaces and lockdowns became commonplace. Details: WHO director Tedros Adhanom said as early as March 11 that history does not have a precedent for controlling a pandemic. Yet, lockdowns were recommended. Today, cases are 40 times, and deaths 24 times higher. This has occurred during the most intense period of

Is death in Brazil a blow for AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine?

Is death in Brazil a blow for AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine? Context There has been a death in the late-stage clinical trials of a Covid-19 vaccine being developed by University of Oxford and Swedish-British drugmaker AstraZeneca. What happened and why is it important? A volunteer in Brazil participating in the trials for the Oxford University-AstraZeneca vaccine candidate, AZD1222, died this week, according to the country’s health surveillance agency, ANVISA. The vo

National well-being and the counts that matter

National well-being and the counts that matter Context: The editorial talks about the importance of adopting new ways for India to know its cumulative human capital and potential. Concerns: Since India’s crime data recording system is not built to capture subtleties, what proportion of pregnancies in India start off without the consent of the woman is not known. The intergenerational impact of a regretful and anxiety-loaded pregnancy is inadequately quantified by curr

Can a digital ID aid India’s primary health ecosystem?

Can a digital ID aid India’s primary health ecosystem? Context: Recently, the Prime Minister launched the National Digital Health Mission and made an announcement on the creation of a digital health ID for every Indian. National health ID system: The national health ID will be a repository of all health-related information of a person. Each Health ID will be linked to a health data consent manager — such as National Digital Health Mission (NDHM) — which wi

During pandemic, we must keep older people engaged, not isolate them

During pandemic, we must keep older people engaged, not isolate them Context The most vulnerable persons during the COVID pandemic are the elderly. If infected, their odds of survival are the lowest. When shut away to save them from infection, they are likely to suffer from neglect from lack of care for other ailments, and loneliness. The pandemic has highlighted humanity’s dilemma of what to do with older people. Globally, the population aged 65 and over is growing faster tha

The many lessons from COVID-19

The many lessons from COVID-19 By, Soumya Swaminathan is Chief Scientist at WHO Introduction The most important lesson from COVID-19 is the significance of investing in public health and primary healthcare. Countries that invested in primary healthcare over the past decade or two are reaping the benefits now. Another lesson is the positive role of science and scientists. The global collaboration between scientists to take forward advances in knowledge so that science is cont

The plasma therapy debate

The plasma therapy debate Context Recently published findings on convalescent plasma therapy on Covid-19 patients have triggered a debate over its efficacy. After the country’s largest such trial, known by the acronym PLACID, found that convalescent plasma was ineffective in arresting Covid-19, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has been considering dropping this option from the national guidelines. What is plasma therapy? Plasma is the liquid part of the

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

School closure, work from home, ban on public events — which works best to restrict Covid-19? Introduction: Restrictions put in place by various countries — school and office closure, ban on public events, travel restrictions etc — did help restrict the spread of Covid-19, but combined measures were more effective than any single restriction, a new study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases has found. How they worked it out The calculations are based

World Polio Day

World Polio Day Paper-2 PT-MAINS-Personality test (Government policies &Health) Polio FACTS Polio is a crippling and potentially deadly viral infectious disease that affects the nervous system.There are three individual and immunologically distinct wild poliovirus strains: Wild Poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) Wild Poliovirus type 2 (WPV2) Wild Poliovirus type 3 (WPV3) Symptomatically, all three strains are identical,

Mission Indradhanush

Mission Indradhanush Paper-2 PT-MAINS-Personality test (Government policies &Health) Mission Indradhanush was launched by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India on December 25, 2014. Between 2009-2013 immunization coverage has increased from 61% to 65%, indicating only 1% increase in coverage every year. To accelerate the process of immunization by covering 5% and more children every year, Indradhanush mission has been adopted to achieve target of full cover

Scientists create 3D atomic map of novel coronavirus replication mechanism

Scientists create 3D atomic map of novel coronavirus replication mechanism Introduction In the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is an enzyme called the main protease, which drives its replication once it infects the human cell. 3D map For the first time, scientists have completed a 3D map that reveals the location of every atom in the molecule of this enzyme. As Covid-19 cases surge again in several countries, this 3D mapping will allow scientists to better understand how the coron

A second wave of Covid-19 and is lockdown the answer?

A second wave of Covid-19 and is lockdown the answer? Context Large parts of Europe are in a second lockdown as a new wave of infection sweeps through the continent. Cases in the US are smashing new records. But overall numbers in India are falling — for reasons not yet fully clear. Is there any precedent from previous pandemics that strengthen the argument for allowing naturally acquired herd immunity in Covid-19? When a new pathogen enters a territory where nob

T-cell immunity and COVID-19

T-cell immunity and COVID-19 Innate immunity Our immune system responds to virus infections with a first-line defence called ‘innate’ immunity, followed by the second-line called ‘adaptive’ immunity. Innate immunity is like first aid — an immediate response, not strong enough to prevent pathology if the virus is highly virulent or the ‘inoculum’(infecting virus load) is heavy. Innate immunity then passes the baton to adaptive immunity, whi

Is allowing Ayurvedic doctors to perform surgery legally and medically tenable?

Is allowing Ayurvedic doctors to perform surgery legally and medically tenable? Context The Central Council of Indian Medicine, a statutory body set up under the AYUSH Ministry to regulate Indian systems of medicine, issued a gazette notification allowing postgraduate (PG) Ayurvedic practitioners to receive formal training for a variety of general surgery, ENT, ophthalmology and dental procedures. The decision follows the amendment to the Indian Medicine Central Council (Post Graduat

National Family Health Survey- 5

National Family Health Survey- 5 GS-Paper-3 Application-based topic and PT The National Family Health Survey is a survey carried out on a massive scale across the country to collect information on many parameters which would ultimately help the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW) to frame policies and programs to help in the upliftment of the vulnerable groups in India. The first round of the National Family Health Survey was conducted in 1992-92. Subsequently, four other rou

The World AIDS Day

The World AIDS Day GS-Paper-3 Health (PT-MAINS-IV) HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. It is the virus that leads to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, or AIDS, if not treated. Unlike some other viruses, the human body can’t get rid of HIV completely, even with treatment. **Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a lentivirus, which is a sub-classification of the retrovirus. It causes the HIV infection which over time leads to AIDS (Acquired Im

Super infections

Super infections Researchers at Sweden’s Karolinska institute have tried to answer why influenza infections lead to an increased risk of bacterial pneumonia. They have described findings leading to so-called “superinfections”. They cite the example of Spanish flu, which was an influenza pandemic that swept across the world in 1918–20. Unlike many other pandemics, the Spanish flu hit young healthy adults, due to the superinfections caused by bacteria, in particul

Zebrafish Gene-Heart regeneration 

Zebrafish Gene-Heart regeneration  Scientists at Pune-based Agharkar Research Institute have identified Zebrafish’s genes that can promote heart regeneration. They have sought to decode the heart regeneration processes, which can illuminate strategies to improve human cardiac regeneration. Zebrafish is a tiny freshwater fish found in tropical and subtropical regions. It is native to South Asia’s Indo-Gangetic plains, where they are mostly found in the paddy fields and

Mucormycosis

Mucormycosis Covid-19 has triggered Mucormycosis or black fungus in some patients. Mucormycosis is a serious but rare fungal infection caused by a group of moulds called mucormycetes which exist in the environment. Symptoms include face numbness, one-side nose obstruction, swelling in the eye or cheeks, and black dry crusts in the nose. Early detection can prevent loss of eyesight, nose or jaw, and 50% mortality in cases where it affects the brain. It mainly affects people who have

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

Analysis of Public Health Act

Analysis of Public Health Act Context: CoVID and Public Health Act is a highly important topic for all the 3 stages of UPSC Examination i.e. Prelims, Mains and Interview. It is also important for Essay writing. The Public Health Act was suggested by the report of the parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs. It was done as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. National Health Profile 2019 data showed that there were an estimated 0.55 government hospital beds for 1,000 people

Understanding the new Coronavirus variant

Understanding the new COVID-19 variant Context: GS-Paper III S&T, COVID-19 (PT-Mains-Interview) A new strain of Coronavirus has emerged now, which are caused by mutations, that seemed to be 70% more transmissible. Mutations were reported from different parts of the world, including Denmark, Australia, England and South Africa, but the rapid domination of the new strain — lineage B 1.1.7 — in the south of England set off a chain of events originating from the Unite

Vaccination and their distribution - COVID Analysis

Towards an effective vaccination distribution policy Context: GS-Paper III S&T COVID-19 Vaccine (PT-Mains) What is a vaccine? A vaccine is a biological preparation that provides active acquired immunity to a particular infectious disease. A vaccine typically contains an agent that resembles a disease-causing microorganism and is often made from weakened or killed forms of the microbe, its toxins, or one of its surface proteins. The agent stimulates the body's immune

Roll of COVID vaccine

Rollout of COVID vaccine Context: UPSC GS Paper III S&T Health COVID (Prelims cum Mains) The dry run to test preparedness for the nationwide roll-out of a COVID-19 vaccine kicked off in four States — Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Punjab. The two-day, end-to-end dry run was carried out in Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh; Rajkot and Gandhinagar in Gujarat; Ludhiana and Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar (Nawanshahr) in Punjab; and Sonitpur and Nalbari districts of Assam. In

Anaemia and Obesity - Health - UPSC

Anaemia and Obesity – UPSC Anemia is a decrease in the total amount of red blood cells (RBCs) or hemoglobin in the blood, or a lowered ability of the blood to carry oxygen. When anemia comes on slowly, the symptoms are often vague and may include feeling tired, weakness, shortness of breath, and a poor ability to exercise. Obesity is a complex disease involving an excessive amount of body fat. Obesity isn't just a cosmetic concern. It is a medical problem that increases your risk

COVID Vaccine Surveillance Guidelines

COVID Vaccine Surveillance Guidelines - UPSC On the threshold of a new year, the COVID-19 pandemic no longer seems terrifying to many, as overall cases maintain a downward trajectory and a massive vaccination programme is set to roll out. Normal life has resumed in substantial measure: there is a scaling up of long distance travel, elections have been held and mass protests are being organised. At the same time, critical activities such as on-campus education remain mostly suspended

COVID Vaccine: UK approves Oxford vaccine

COVID Vaccine: the UK approves Oxford vaccine The COVID-19 vaccine by Oxford University and AstraZeneca has been approved for emergency supply in the U.K. This is significant for India, as the Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) has tied up with AstraZeneca to deploy the vaccine in the country. Unlike the Pfizer vaccine which needs to be stored at -70 and -80 degree Celsius, Oxford can be stored at 2-8 degrees Celsius. Mr Poonawala said the Oxford vaccine will be priced at a m

Analysis of Bird Flu in India

Analysis of Bird Flu in India Assessment of Bird Flu spread in Kerala A three-member Central team reached Kerala on Thursday to assess the situation following the outbreak of avian influenza (H5N8) in Alappuzha and Kottayam districts. The Central team is primarily looking at the circumstances that led to the outbreak, its spread and bird culling operations being undertaken as per the Central government guidelines. The team is also evaluating the public health risk posed by H5N8. The

Issues related to Poverty and Hunger: Nutrition Committees of India

Nutrition Committees of India The three top committees responsible for policies regarding nutrition are: The National Nutrition Council (NNC), headed by NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar and including 12 Union Ministers and five Chief Ministers on a rotational basis; The Executive Committee (EC) of the National Nutrition Mission headed by the Secretary of the Women and Child Development Ministry Ram Mohan Mishra; and The National Technical Board on Nutrition (NTBN), heade

Types of Vaccines

Type of Vaccines Context: UPSC GS Paper III - Vaccines, S&T, COVID-19 (Prelims Mains) Each type is designed to teach your immune system how to fight off certain kinds of germs — and the serious diseases they cause. What does scientists consider when they create a vaccine? How your immune system responds to the germ Who needs to be vaccinated against the germ The best technology or approach to create the vaccine Based on a number of these factors, scientists deci

Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)

Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) ICMR is India’s apex scientific body for the formulation, coordination and promotion of biomedical research. It was established in 1911 as Indian Research Fund Association (IRFA) making it one of oldest and largest medical research bodies in the world. ICMR functions under Dept of Health Research, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. HQ - Delhi. Presided by Health Minister. Director General– Prof. Balram Bhargava. It pub

Bird Flu in India

Bird Flu in India Kerala was placed on high alert on Monday after an outbreak of bird flu was confirmed in Kottayam and Alappuzha districts. The presence of the H5N8 subtype of the Influenza A virus was reported in ducks in Thalavadi, Thakazhy, Pallipad and Karuvatta in Alappuzha district and Neendoor in Kottayam district. The Alappuzha district authorities have decided to cull birds within a 1 km radius of the infected areas. While it can prove lethal for birds, the H5N8 strain

Autism

Autism What is Autism? Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a broad term used to describe a group of neurodevelopmental disorders. These disorders are characterized by problems with communication and social interaction. People with ASD often demonstrate restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped interests or patterns of behaviour. ASD is found in individuals around the world, regardless of race, culture, or economic background. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (

COVID and impact on Schooling

COVID and impact on Schooling The Union Education Ministry’s directive to the States to launch a mission to avoid large-scale dropouts in schools in the coming year, partly by relaxing the detention policy, should end the anxiety of millions of students about their academic prospects. Managing schooling during COVID-19 has been a challenge, with UNESCO estimating that at the end of 2020, about 320 million students were locked out of schools globally. South and West Asia are amo

Dr. V Shanta passed away

Dr. V Shanta passed away A pioneer in cancer care in the country, and the chairperson of the Adyar Cancer Institute, V. Shanta breathed her last in Chennai early on Tuesday morning. She was admitted to Apollo Hospitals after she complained of chest pain on Monday night. She was 93.   A crusader for cancer research and making cancer care affordable for all, Dr. Shanta and her mentor S. Krishnamurthi built the Cancer Institute from a cottage hospital into a 500-plus bedde

Guidelines for the use of Covaxin

Guidelines for the use of Covaxin and Vaccine Hesitancy Those with a history of allergies, fever and bleeding disorder, people on blood thinners and those with compromised immunity or on medication that affects the immune system have been told by Bharat Biotech, manufacturer of Covaxin, not to take the COVID-19 vaccine. A statement uploaded on the company website on Monday said the vaccine was also contraindicated for pregnant and lactating women, those using other COVID-19 vaccines and

Analysis of FSSAI guidelines on Transfats

Analysis of FSSAI guidelines on Transfats On December 29, 2020, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) reduced the permissible limit of trans fatty acids (TFA) in oils and fats to 3% for 2021 and 2% by 2022, against the earlier cap of 5%. The decision was effected by an amendment to the Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restriction on Sales) Regulations. The new rules apply to edible refined oils, vanaspati (partially hydrogenated oils), margarine, bakery shor

National Health Policy for Rare Diseases

Rare diseases in India According to the government, so far only about 450 diseases have been recorded in India from tertiary care hospitals that are globally considered as rare diseases. The most commonly reported diseases include Haemophilia, Thalassemia, Sickle-cell Anaemia and Primary Immuno Deficiency in children, auto-immune diseases, Lysosomal storage disorders such as Pompe disease, Hirschsprung disease, Gaucher’s disease, Cystic Fibrosis, Hemangiomas and certain forms of mu

Status of Healthcare in India

Status of Healthcare in India In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been vociferous demands to strengthen the country’s public health system. Many erudite articles have stressed the need to revamp the system quickly so that we are better prepared to handle such emergencies in the future. Once the present crisis is over, however, public health will go into oblivion, as usual. Governments are already behaving as if things are fine and enough has been done on the

FSSAI's Amended Rules on Capping Trans Fats in Food Products

FSSAI's Amended Rules on Capping Trans Fats in Food Products FSSAI has amended rules to cap trans-fatty acids (TFAs) in food products to 2% by 2022 TFA's are mainly found in baked and fried foods, pre-packaged snacks & cooking oils They increase the shelf life of food by lowering their oxidation potential They are less costly than animal fat like butter They increase the bad cholesterol (LDL) and reduce the good cholesterol (HDL) They increase the risk of coronar

Health Care Data

Health Care  Annual health care expenditure 2000-2015 Annual health care expenditure of the country is 4% of GDP Of which, 0.9 –1.07% is Govt Expenditure and 3.0-3.6% is Out of Pocket Expenditure Lancent Report 2018 2.4M Indians die of treatable conditions every year Hospital bed coverage ratio,Doctor Population ratio WHO recommended hospital bed coverage ratio 1:1000(Beds:Population) ,  Medical council of India(MCI) target 1:16

First steps in the journey to universal health care

First steps in the journey to universal health care Introduction About 20 years ago, Thailand rolled out universal health coverage for its population at a per capita GDP similar to today’s India. For India, the lesson of COVID-19 entails setting forth on a steady and incremental path to universal health coverage; not attempting a sudden and giant leap. This is important because enough evidence exists on weak fund-absorbing capacities particularly in the backward States &mdas

Cutting trans fat

Cutting trans fat Introduction Come January 1, 2022, India will join a select group of countries limiting industrial trans fat to 2% by mass of the total oils/fats present in the product. India would thus be achieving the WHO target a year in advance (WHOs target is by 2023). Trans fat content limit In mid-2016, the trans fat content limit was halved from 10% to 5%, and in December 2020, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) capped it to 3% by 2021. Now

Capping on Transfats

Capping on Transfats Trans fat is naturally present in red meat and dairy products. The focus is on restricting the industrially produced trans fat used solely to prolong the shelf life of products to 2% by mass of the total oils/fats present in the product 2022 Repeated use at a high temperatures can increase the trans fat content. Denmark became the first country to limit industrially produced trans fat content to 2% in 2004.

Intensified Mission Indradhanush

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

Acute Encephalitis Syndrome

Acute Encephalitis Syndrome 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. T

World Unani Day

World Unani Day World Unani Day was celebrated on February 11, 2021, to spread awareness about health care delivery through the 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, an Unani medical educationist and a founder of scientific research in the Una

Spinal Muscular Atrophy

Spinal Muscular Atrophy Spinal muscular atrophy is a rare genetic disease. The person suffering from this disease cannot control the movement of their muscles. Caused By: It is caused by the loss of nerve cells that carry electrical signals from the brain to the muscles. The protein needed for this signalling is coded by a gene. Everyone has two copies of this gene- one from the mother and the other from the father. A child develops this disorder only if both copies are faulty. Ge

Telemedicine- scaling up the Indian advantage

Telemedicine- scaling up the Indian advantage Introduction In the novel coronavirus pandemic, health-care providers have been reassigned from other specialties to COVID-19, simultaneously with lockdowns and fear of transmission have dampened demand for non-emergency care. World Health Organization (WHO) survey A survey conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 105 countries in July 2020 showed that essential services were disrupted in the majority of countries, wit

Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease 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 an 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 m

Data on COVID19 Impact on Health Services.

Data on COVID19 Impact on Health Services. The novel coronavirus pandemic, health-care providers have been reassigned from other specialties to COVID-19, restricting high quality care for other conditions. Lockdowns and fear of transmission have dampened demand for non-emergency care. A survey conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 105 countries in July 2020 showed that essential services were disrupted in the majority of countries, with immunisation, antenatal and childca

National AYUSH Mission

National AYUSH Mission Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India is implementing Centrally Sponsored Scheme of National AYUSH Mission (NAM). Under ‘Medicinal Plants’ component of the NAM scheme supporting market driven cultivation of prioritized medicinal plants in identified cluster/zones with in selected districts of States and implemented in a mission mode. As per the scheme guidelines, the support is provided for: Cultivation of prioritized medicinal plants on farm

PM Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana, 2008

PM Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana, 2008 It is an irony that even after 70 years of Independence, only 40% of the population can afford branded medicines. And India is in the Top 4 countries to export generic medicine to ~ 200 countries. 1 out of 6 medicines consumed in the World is from India. And in India 6 out of 10 have no access to them. Hence India launched Jan Aushadhi Scheme in 2008 by Dept of Pharma, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers. It is implemented by BPPI, Gurugram. T

Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Nidhi (PMSSN)

Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Nidhi (PMSSN) Importance of Health Health is vital for improved developmental outcomes. From an economic standpoint, better health improves productivity, and reduces losses due to premature death, prolonged disability and early retirement. Health and Nutrition also directly impact scholastic achievements and have a bearing on productivity and income.  Health Outcomes depend substantially on public spending on health.  One extra year of pop

Gestational diabetes

Gestational diabetes Introduction about diabetes Diabetes is a major public health problem in India with an estimated 7 crore adults with diabetes and half as many with prediabetes. Unfortunately, over half remain undiagnosed till late complications set in. Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of diabetes, is primarily preventable among those at risk through proper lifestyle changes. What is gestational diabetes What is less well known is that pregnancy is a diabetogen

Data on Diabetes

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

BULK DRUG PARK - HIMACHAL PRADESH

BULK DRUG PARK - HIMACHAL PRADESH  What are bulk drugs or APIs? A bulk drug is also called an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API). It is the key ingredient of a drug or medicine, which lends it the desired therapeutic effect or produces the intended pharmacological activity. Example- Paracetamol- It is a bulk drug, which acts against pain. It is mixed with binding agents or solvents to prepare the finished pharmaceutical product, ie a paracetamol tablet, capsule or syrup, wh

National Vaccine Day-March 16th

National Vaccine Day-March 16th Introduction By virtue of extensive immunity due to oral vaccination, the last polio case was reported in India in January 2011. Subsequently, India was declared polio-free in 2014. The Government of India observes National Vaccination Day every year on March 16 to convey the importance of vaccination to its people. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the significance of this day becomes even more pertinent. The firm conviction of Prime Min

Low Efficacy of Adenovirus Based Vaccines

Low Efficacy of Adenovirus-Based Vaccines 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 T

AstraZeneca- Reports of blood clots

AstraZeneca- Reports of blood clots Data of global Covid-19 vaccination A little over 392 million doses of vaccine have been administered globally, according to the Bloomberg Vaccine Tracker, with India accounting for around 9% of them. Reports of blood clot In the last week, there have been a flurry of reports from Europe, of blood clots developing in a very small fraction of those vaccinated and leading to a cascade of European countries announcing a temporary halt to the

Stop TB Partnership Board

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

India’s COVID-19 vaccination plan

India’s COVID-19 vaccination plan Introduction More than a third of all vaccinations done in the world each day are in India. With over 40,000 sites, it is heartening to see how India is shaping the COVID-19 vaccination programme. So far, India has vaccinated only 3.2% of the adult population. Although the country covered 2.6 million doses per day on March 15, the seven-day rolling average hovers only around 0.11 per 100 people. Steps to scale up India has iden

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

Diatom Test for Detecting Death via Drowning Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) relied on a diatom test 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 en

Helium Crisis in India

Helium Crisis in India 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 a

Antigenic escape

Antigenic escape Antigenic escape (alternatively called immune escape or immune evasion) occurs when the immune system of a human being ("host") is unable to respond to an infectious agent, or in other words that the host's immune system is no longer able to recognize and eliminate a virus or pathogen. This process can occur in a number of different ways of both a genetic and an environmental nature. Such mechanisms include homologous recombination, and manipulation and

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

 Tribal TB Initiative to achieve ‘TB Mukt Bharat’ by 2025 Union Health Minister launched the “Tribal TB Initiative” as a step toward achieving 'TB Mukt Bharat' by 2025. The Ministry also released a guidance note on Joint Action Plan for the elimination of Tuberculosis (TB), a Special Edition of Tribal Ministry’s Publication ‘ALEKH’ on TB and a document on the Tribal Tuberculosis (TB) Initiative at the event. About the Initiative:

National Policy for Rare Diseases, 2021- Analysis

National Policy for Rare Diseases, 2021- Analysis Introduction The recent notification of the National Policy for Rare Diseases 2021 is pegged on this principle of inclusion. Details of the policy It offers financial support for one-time treatment of up to ?20 lakh, Introduces a crowdfunding mechanism, Creates a registry of rare diseases, and Provides for early detection. The policy has categorised rare diseases in three groups: Group 1: Disorders amenable

Water borne Diseases

Waterborne Diseases Waterborne diseases are conditions caused by pathogenic micro-organisms that are transmitted in water. These diseases can be spread while bathing, washing, drinking water, or by eating food exposed to contaminated water. A report by the United Nations says that more than three million people in the world die of water-related diseases due to contaminated water each year, including 1.2 million children. In India, over one lakh people die of water-borne diseases annua

Integrated Health Information Platform (IHIP)

Integrated Health Information Platform (IHIP) The Integrated Health Information Platform is the next generation highly refined version of the presently used  Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP). We have started a new chapter in India’s public health trajectory. India is the first country in the world to adopt such an advanced disease surveillance system. The new version of IHIP will house the data entry and management for India’s disease surveillance prog

COVID-19 response plan

COVID-19 response plan Introduction While leaders are debating whether India is experiencing a second wave or Delhi is experiencing a fourth wave, the virus is spreading rapidly across the country, helped by the more infectious variants that arrived from abroad or emerged at home as a ‘double mutant’. Changes, a year on There are several differences from the pandemic which we experienced in 2020, both in its spread and in our response. The virus affected relati

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

Mission Aahaar Kranti

Mission Aahaar Kranti The mission is aimed to spread the message of the need for a nutritionally balanced diet and to understand the importance of accessible to all local fruits and vegetables. Vijnana Bharati (Vibha) and Global Indian Scientists’ and Technocrats’ Forum (GIST) have come together to launch the mission with the motto of  (Uttam Aahaar Uttam Vichaar) or `Good Diet-Good Cognition’. The `Aahaar Kranti’ movement is designed to address the peculia

WHO guidelines to control Transmission of Zoonotic Diseases

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 anima

WHO's Global Diabetes Compact Initiative

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 summ

Supplemental Oxygen Delivery System developed by DRDO

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

Odisha’s first case of harlequin ichthyosis

Odisha’s first case of harlequin ichthyosis WHY? Mutations in the ABCA 12 gene are stated to cause harlequin ichthyosis. The ABCA12 protein plays a major role in transporting fats in cells which make up the outermost layer of skin. Severe mutations in the gene lead to the absence or partial production of the ABCA12 protein. This results in lack of lipid transport and as a result, the skin development is affected by varying degrees according to the severity of the mutation, a doc

Rare diseases and their occurrence in India

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 populations 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

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

DCGI approves anti-COVID drug- BY DRDO & Clinical Trials GS-Paper-3: S&T - Innovation – UPSC PRELIMS – Mains Application Context: An anti-COVID-19 therapeutic application of the drug 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG) has been developed by Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS), a lab of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), in collaboration with Dr Reddy’s Laboratories (DRL), Hyderabad. An anti-COVID-19 therapeutic application of the

Use of CT scans and steroids for COVID-19

Use of CT scans and steroids for COVID-19 Introduction: Dr. Randeep Guleria, director of the AIIMS and member of the National Taskforce on COVID-19, has cautioned against the use of CT scans indiscriminately to diagnose the disease, especially in the early stages. This exposes individuals to unnecessary radiation, which could be harmful in the long run, he said. A single CT scan is equal to 300 X-rays, which may increase the risk of cancer later in life for young people. Doctor

Lockdown and the spread of COVID-19

Lockdown and the spread of COVID-19 Introduction Several States are going into a strict lockdown for a fortnight to arrest the spread of COVID-19 since mid-March. Why lockdown? The horror of sweeping infections, severe disease and staggering death rates has made a lockdown a popular measure. Public acceptance of lockdown Public acceptance of restrictions comes with the realisation that the threat to life from a mutating virus has aggravated manifold, although the

PM CARES fund to buy 1.5 lacs Oxycare system of DRDO

PM CARES fund to buy 1.5 lacs Oxycare system of DRDO Oxycare system The PM CARES (Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations) Fund has sanctioned the procurement of 1.5 lakh units of the Oxycare system, developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), at a cost of ?322.5 crore. Separately, a four lakh litre capacity oxygen production plant supplied by Germany started functioning at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel COVID Hospital set

What is medical oxygen?

What is medical oxygen? The air we breathe is a mix of several gases, such as oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide and hydrogen. The term ‘medical oxygen’ means high-purity oxygen, which is used for medical treatments and developed for use in the human body. The medical oxygen cylinders actually contain highly pure oxygen gas. To get medical oxygen, a person requires a prescription. To prevent contamination, no other types of gases are allowed in the cylinder. How d

COVID-19 and the risk of Mucormycosis

COVID-19 and the risk of Mucormycosis Introduction Diabetes control can lower the chances of dangerous side-effects in COVID-19 treatment such as this fungal infection Details of Covid-19 impacts While 70%-80% of those affected with COVID-19 recover without many side-effects, about 20%-30% of patients affected with symptomatic COVID-19 might require hospitalisation — here, a minority can get worse and require treatment in an intensive care unit (ICU). People with co

Medical education reforms- Need for public education system

Medical education reforms- Need for public education system Introduction India’s health systems have been confronting numerous challenges. In order to effectively address these challenges, our health systems must be strengthened. Requirements of robust health system- Human resources One of the critical building blocks of the health system is human resources. The serious shortage of health workers, especially doctors, in some northern States is a major impediment

Sputnik V Covid vaccine to cost ?995

Sputnik V Covid vaccine to cost ?995 Introduction The country is looking to produce 15.6 crore doses of the Russian Covid vaccine The imported doses of Russia's Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine will cost ? 995.40 per shot, said the company’s partner in India Dr Reddy's Laboratories Made in India However, the doses of the vaccine that will be made in India are expected to be cheaper. The company said it is working closely with its six manufacturing partner

Civil Services Prelims-2021 postponed to on October 10

Civil Services Prelims-2021 postponed to on October 10 News: The Civil Services (Preliminary) examination, which was scheduled to be held on June 27, has been postponed to October 10. Due to the prevailing conditions caused by the novel coronavirus, the Union Public Service Commission has deferred the Civil Services Examination, 2021, which was scheduled to be held on June 27, 2021. Now, this examination will be held on October 10, 2021. The decision comes after the UPSC, last month

Covid-19 dynamics- Important data and solutions

Covid-19 dynamics- Important data and solutions Introduction This article talks about the rapid rise of the covid-19 in the second wave, its major reasons, data and the steps to be taken. Infection dynamics Earlier, we concluded that at the end of the first wave, 60% of the population had been infected (828 million). The uninfected 40% would be 1,380 million minus 828 million = 552 million. According to a recent Indian Council of Medical Research report, the reinfection

Black Fungus (Mucormycosis) in COVID-19 patients

Black Fungus (Mucormycosis) in COVID-19 patients Introduction Hospitals across the country have started to report a number of cases of mucormycosis, an invasive fungal infection affecting patients who have recently recovered from COVID-19. In common parlance, it also goes by the name ‘black fungus’, a direct reference to the blackening that is characteristic of the disease. What is mucormycosis? Mucormycosis is an aggressive and invasive fungal infection caused

Dynamics of Second Wave of COVID-19

Dynamics of Second Wave of COVID-19 The coronavirus (SARS-COV-2) is now a global concern because of its higher transmission capacity and associated adverse consequences including death. Number of Cases In 1st wave (March, 2020), cases were less than 5,000. Only in September its peak at around one lakh. But in the 2nd wave, by April only, there are close to 2 lakh cases a day and the current doubling time is 10 days. Therefore, India will reach ~3.1 million detected cases, spelling t

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

Covid-19- New Vaccination strategy, a boon or a bane? New Vaccine strategy to combat COVID-19 Two key elements of the new Vaccine strategy, which will be implemented from May 1 are: First, the phased roll-out of the vaccination drive initiated on January 16 under which the vaccine-eligible sections of the population were gradually increased, has now been extended to the entire adult population, namely, to those above 18 years. Second, and more importantly, a significant dere

Covid-19 and issue of malnutrition

Covid-19 and issue of malnutrition Introduction The political and social handling of the COVID-19 pandemic have added to the persisting issues of food insecurity faced by millions. India consistently has ranked poorly in GHI (ranking 102 among 117 countries in the Global Hunger Index 2019). With the second, more vigorous wave of COVID-19, the inability of those already on the brink of subsistence to absorb a second economic shock cannot be overlooked even as the current health cris

COVID-19 vaccination- issues of reinfection

COVID-19 vaccination- issues of reinfection Chances of infection post vaccination The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has reported that around two to four of 10,000 people given two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have tested positive for the disease. Contracting COVID-19 after vaccination is known as breakthrough infection. It has occurred in “a very small number” of people and does not undermine the effectiveness of vaccination, said Dr. Balram Bhargava, Dire

Antimicrobial resistance: the silent pandemic

Antimicrobial resistance: the silent pandemic Introduction Since January 2020, there have been over three million deaths globally on account of COVID-19, starkly exposing the vulnerabilities of health systems to infectious diseases, even in the richest countries. As serious as the current health and economic crisis is, COVID-19 may just be the harbinger of future crises like AMR. The silent pandemic: Antimicrobial resistance (AMR), the phenomenon by

Rural Health Statistics Report

Rural Health Statistics Report The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare recently released the Rural Health Statistics Report. According to the report, there is an overall shortage of specialist doctors at the Community Health Centres. The Report There is an overall shortfall of 76.1% specialist doctors at the Community Health Centres in rural areas. There are 5,183 Community Health Centres currently functioning in India. There is a shortfall of 78.9% of surgeons, 78.2% of physic

One Health approach

One Health approach Introduction The father of modern pathology, Rudolf Virchow, emphasised in 1856 that there are essentially no dividing lines between animal and human medicine. This concept is ever more salient as the world continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic. Discussions that took place around World Veterinary Day, on April 24, 2021, focused on acknowledging the interconnectedness of animals, humans, and the environment, an approach referred to as “One Health

Social murder- Failure of India’s health system

Social murder- Failure of India’s health system View of Friedrich Engels on police state When people are placed under conditions which appeal to the brute only, said Friedrich Engels, what remains to them but to rebel or to succumb to utter brutality? The scenes that are being witnessed in India now are apocalyptic in tone. When a citizen attacks hospital personnel because a life was lost due to the absence of medical care, or a citizen struggles to breathe with an oxygen cy

Behavioural change can reduce transmission (Covid-19)

Behavioural change can reduce transmission (Covid-19) Need for behavioural change There are many methods rooted in behavioural science that we can employ to improve mask wearing Most of us in India will agree that there are two large parts to this pandemic: medical science and human behaviour. Universal vaccination will reduce infections, but with vaccine availability currently challenging, ‘herd immunity’ is still many months, if not years, away. Lac

Covid-19- DOTS framework to mitigate the 3rd wave

Covid-19- DOTS framework to mitigate the 3rd wave ‘R’ and determinants The reproduction number — often referred as R — is the average number of new infections arising from one infected individual. R fluctuates over time during an epidemic. When R is greater than 1, infected individuals infect more than one person on average and we observe increasing cases. When it is less than 1, cases are declining. It is not a perfect statistic, especially when

Fatalities of medical practitioners due to COVID19

 Fatalities of Medical Practitioners due to COVID19 Bihar recorded the highest number of doctors — 69 —who died of COVID19 in the second wave so far followed by Uttar Pradesh (34) and Delhi (27). According to the Indian Medical Association (IMA)registry, 244 deaths have been recorded in the second wave “While last year we lost nearly 730 doctors across India, this year in a short period of time we have lost 244doctors.  The second wave is proving extremely f

National health service in India

National health service in India Introduction India’s fragmented, often corrupt, urban-centred, elite-focused and wretchedly underfunded agglomeration of clinics, hospitals, and variably functional primary health centres can look like no more than an accidental collection of institutions, staff, and services. Need for higher public spending on healthcare India’s public spending on health is set to double in the 2021-22 financial year, but that is from a figure th

Spanish flu-Lessons to be learnt by India

Spanish flu-Lessons to be learnt by India About the 2nd wave of Spanish flu The 1918 influenza pandemic, commonly known as the Spanish flu. The most severe pandemic in history was the Spanish Flu of 1918. It lasted for 2 years, in 3 waves, with 500 million people infected and 50 million deaths. Most of the fatalities happened in the 2nd wave. The people felt so bad about the quarantine and social distancing measures that when they were first lifted, the people rejoiced in th

India’s vaccination policy- Changes in vaccine policy for COVID-19

India’s vaccination policy- Changes in vaccine policy for COVID-19 Introduction Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 7 reversed the Central government’s decentralised policy for procurement of COVID-19 vaccines, declaring that from June 21, vaccines for everyone above the age of 18 years would be procured by the Central government and distributed free to the States. This ended the month-old controversial system of States being asked to procure vaccines for the 18-44 years

Malnutrition and COVID-19

Malnutrition and COVID-19 What is the news? A parliamentary panel asked the Ministry of Women and Child Development to conduct a survey on the impact of the pandemic on anganwadi services and malnutrition levels among children. The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Education, Women, Children, Youth and Sports chaired by Rajya Sabha MP Vinay Sahasrabuddhe is learnt to have grilled the officials of the Ministry on the need for data to understand “how anganwadi services were deli

NAFED launches Fortified Rice Bran Oil

NAFED launches Fortified Rice Bran Oil Rice Bran oil has multiple health benefits, including lowering cholesterol levels due to its low trans-fat content and high mono-unsaturated and polyunsaturated fat contents. It also acts as a booster and reduces the risk of cancer due to the high amount of Vitamin E it contains. This oil is recommended by The American Heart Association and the World Health Organization (WHO) as one of the best substitutes for other edible oils. Rice Bran oil

Treatment of Cancer: SPAG9 and ASPAGNIITM

Treatment of Cancer: SPAG9 and ASPAGNIITM Cancer is a large group of diseases that can start in almost any organ or tissue of the body when abnormal cells grow uncontrollably, go beyond their usual boundaries to invade adjoining parts of the body and/or spread to other organs. The latter process is called metastasizing and is a major cause of death from cancer. A neoplasm and malignant tumor are other common names for cancer. Lung, prostate, colorectal, stomach and liver cancer are the

COVID and Malnourishment

COVID and Malnourishment The pandemic has worsened the problem of Malnutrition. While malnutrition already remains the predominant risk factor for child deaths and total disability-adjusted life years (DALY), COVID-19 has pushed back our efforts on ending malnutrition, which plagues India's children. There is a real risk that, as nations strive to control the virus, the gains made in reducing hunger and malnutrition will be lost. The need for more equitable, resilient and sustainab

Household spending on health

Household spending on health The World Health Organization (WHO) provides data on the percentage of the total population where the household expenditure on health was greater than 10% and 25% of the total household expenditure or income in India in 2011.  This provides a clear picture of the status of spending on health by the rural and urban populations.  Population, that spent more than 10% of their income (out of their pocket) on Health.  17.33% of the population

WHO declared China Malaria free!

WHO declared China Malaria free! Malaria is caused by single-celled microorganisms/ Parasite of the Plasmodium group. The disease is most commonly spread by an infected female Anopheles mosquito.  Malaria Parasite jumped from Gorilla to humans. RH5 protein can bind with human RBCs. Argentina and Algeria both certified malaria free by WHO. And now China. Initiatives for Malaria Odisha Government had launched a malaria control programme &

E Sanjeevani Telemedicine Service

E Sanjeevani Telemedicine Service Union Health Ministry's National Telemedicine Service – eSanjeevani has crossed another milestone by completing 7 million (70 lakh) consultations. Patients consult with doctors and specialists on a daily basis using this innovative digital medium to seek Health services. In another significant milestone, in June it served around 12.5 lakh patients, which is the highest since the services were launched last year in March. Currently, the Na

Rising Neurological & Non Communicable Diseases in India

Rising Neurological & Non-Communicable Diseases in India First comprehensive estimates of disease burden due to neurological disorders and their trends were published in The Lancet Global Health. About the Report- The findings have been published under the title of ‘The burden of neurological disorders across states of India: the Global Burden of Disease Study 1990–2019’. The study aimed at increasing awareness about these disorders, early identifica

North Eastern Institute of Ayurveda & Folk Medicine Research (NEIAFMR) at Pasighat, Arunachal Pradesh

North Eastern Institute of Ayurveda & Folk Medicine Research (NEIAFMR) at Pasighat, Arunachal Pradesh Cabinet approves the change of nomenclature & mandate of North Eastern Institute of Folk Medicine (NEIFM) as North Eastern Institute of Ayurveda & Folk Medicine Research (NEIAFMR). The NEIFM, Pasighat was established for systemic research, documentation and validation of traditional folk medicine and health practices of the region. The objectives for which the Institute wa

Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY)

Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) About Ayushman Bharat Scheme It is to address health issues at all levels - primary, secondary and tertiary. It is the largest Govt funded Healthcare program of World with ~ 50 crore beneficiaries. It is an integrated approach comprising of health insurance.  Components of PMJAY Create 1.5 lakh Health and Wellness Centers (for Primary healthcare) HWCs are created

Healthcare systems in Rural areas

Healthcare systems in Rural areas Health and Wellness centres under AB-PMJAY HWCs are providing a package of the following 12 services to make basic health facilities equitable, accessible, and affordable to under-served people, especially in rural and remote areas: Care in Pregnancy and Child Birth. Neonatal and Infant health care services. Childhood and Adolescent health care services. Family planning, contraceptive services and other reproductive health care services Mana

National Policy for Rare Diseases, 2021

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 Fe

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 existi

Schemes for promoting domestic manufacturing of APIs

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

Rural Healthcare Services

Rural Healthcare Services NHM support is also provided for the 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 tr

Major overhaul in the B.Sc Nursing Syllabus

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 c

Medical Devices Parks Scheme

Medical Devices Parks Scheme The Union government notified a scheme to promote medical device parks at a financial outlay of? 400 crore till the 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 selecte

Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission

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 on 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 iss

National Health Policy & associated Policies In India

Healthcare and associated Policy In India CONTEXT: Health policy is an important topic for UPSC prelims and mains. National Health Policy aims for the development of social capital and to protect the health interest of Indian population.  Health Policy supplemented by Ayushman Bharat Abhiyan and Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission is an important step towards sustainable development of country and to counter the emerging health crises. Various health care policies

World Bank and Meghalaya signed a project on Health

World Bank and Meghalaya signed a project on Health The government of India, the Government of Meghalaya and the World Bank signed a $40 million health project for the state of Meghalaya. The project will improve the quality of health services and strengthen the state’s capacity to handle future health emergencies, including the COVID-19 pandemic. The Meghalaya Health Systems Strengthening Project will enhance the management and governance capabilities of the state and its healt

National Family Health Survey NFHS – 5

National Family Health Survey NFHS – 5 What is the National Family Health Survey (NFHS)? The NFHS is a large-scale, multi-round survey conducted in a representative sample of households throughout India. Five rounds of the survey have been conducted since the first survey in 1992-93. The survey provides state and national information for India on fertility, infant and child mortality, the practice of family planning, maternal and child health, reproductive health, nutrition,

Initiatives for the Mental Health in Students

Initiatives for the Mental Health in Students Manodarpan Initiative The Ministry of Education has undertaken a proactive initiative, named, ‘Manodarpan’, covering a wide range of activities to provide psychosocial support of Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health in students, teachers, and families during the COVID outbreak and beyond. The following components are included in the ‘Manodarpan’ initiative: Advisory Guidelines

Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission (AB-HIM)

Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission (AB-HIM) In the Budget speech of FY 21-22, ‘Prime Minister Atmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana’ (PMASBY) scheme which has now been renamed PM – Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission (PM-ABHIM) was announced on 1st February 2021, with an outlay of about Rs. 64,180 Cr over six years (till FY 25-26). This scheme is in addition to the National Health Mission. The measures under the scheme focus on developing ca

Schemes to deal with Malnutrition in India

Context: Schemes to deal with Malnutrition in India is an important topic for UPSC Prelims and GS Paper 2.   National Nutrition Mission National Nutrition Mission (NNM)was set up with a three year budget of Rs.9046.17 crore commencing from 2017-18.  Features: 1. The NNM, as an apex body, will monitor, supervise, fix targets and guide the nutrition related interventions across the Ministries. 2. The proposal consists of : mapping of various Schemes con

NITI Aayog Health Index 2021

NITI Aayog Health Index 2021 About NITI Aayog Health Index As a part of cooperative & competitive federalism, NITI Aayog and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) work to continuously nudge states/UTs towards improvements in health outcomes. In 2017 the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog) in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) and the World Bank initiated an annual Health Index for tracking Overall Performance

NVBDCP National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme

Context: National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP) is an important topic for UPSC Prelims and GS Paper2. Introduction National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP) was launched in 2003-04 by merging the National anti-malaria control programme, National Filaria Control Programme and Kala Azar Control programmes. Japanese B Encephalitis and Dengue/DHF have also been included in National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme. The directorate of NAMP is the

What is Mission Indradhanush ?

What is Mission Indradhanush? Mission Indradhanush was launched in 2014 under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.  1. Between 2009 - 2013, only 1% coverage per year has increased. We have to make it to 5%. 2. Objectives of Mission Indradhanush: We have the aim of full coverage by 2020. Cover all those children who are either unvaccinated or are partially vaccinated against vaccine-preventable diseases. 3. New Vaccines: Inactivated Polio Vaccine, Rotavac (Di

SEHAT Scheme for Teleconsultation

SEHAT Scheme for Teleconsultation Services e-Health Assistance and Teleconsultation (SeHAT) is the tri-services teleconsultation service of the Ministry of Defense designed for all entitled personnel and their families. As part of the Government’s commitment to Digital India and e-Governance, Minister of Defense launched SeHAT on 27 May 2021. It has been a great example of innovation, especially at a time when the nation is fighting COVID-19. SeHAT stays home OPD is a patien

World Neglected Tropical Diseases Day

World Neglected Tropical Diseases Day Observing the 3rd World Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) Day on 30th Jan 2022, as a key moment to highlight the global community’s commitment to ending NTDs, India joined close to 40 other nations to illuminate the iconic New Delhi Railway Station in purple and orange hues, which is one of the busiest railway stations in the country in terms of train frequency and passenger movement. NTDs are caused mostly by a variety of pathogens incl

INDIA’S LAWS ON ABORTION

INDIA’S LAWS ON ABORTION In a significant step for women’s rights in the USA, the Supreme Court overturned the landmark Roe vs Wade judgment of 1973 which gave women in America the right to have an abortion before the fetus is viable outside the womb or before 24-28 weeks. It expands the access to safe and legal abortion services for pregnant women. ABORTION IN INDIA In 1960 when the high number of induced abortions took place and the population of the country rose rapidl

LEPROSY

LEPROSY There has been an acute shortage of the essential drug named Clofazimine in the private market which is used for the treatment of leprosy. Clofazimine along with Rifampicin and Dapsone is one of the three essential drugs in the multi-drug treatment of Multibacillary Leprosy About leprosy It is a chronic, progressive bacterial infection caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium leprae. It mainly affects the nerves of the extremities, the skin, the lining of the nose

NAIROBI FLIES

NAIROBI FLIES Recently, after coming into contact with Nairobi flies, approximately 100 students of an engineering college in East Sikkim have reported skin infections. What are Nairobi Flies? It's a species of insect native to East Africa. Nairobi flies, also known as Kenyan flies or dragon bugs, are small, beetle-like insects that belong to two species: Paederus Eximius. Paederus sabaeus.   They are orange and black in color and live in areas with high

KERALA REPORTS INDIA FIRST MOKEYPOX CASE

KERALA REPORTS INDIA FIRST MOKEYPOX CASE The first confirmed case of monkeypox in India has been reported in a 35-year-old man in Kerala, who reached the state capital three days ago from the UAE. The who has reported that from January 1 to June 22 a total of 3,413 laboratory-confirmed monkeypox cases and one death have been reported to it from 50 countries and territories. A huge number of the cases have been reported from the European region (86%) and America (11%) About Monkeypox

HPV VACCINE

HPV VACCINE The HPV vaccine, Cervavac is a vaccine that can prevent cervical cancer, one of the leading of female cancer mortality worldwide.  It is indigenously developed by the Serum Institute of India. The vaccine has acquired market authorization from the Drugs Controller General of India. It is India's first Quadrivalent Human Papillomavirus Vaccination (qHPV) designed to protect women from cervical cancer. Cervical Cancer Cervical cancer is a prevalent

Marburg Disease

Marburg Disease Ghana has reported its first-ever suspected cases of Marburg virus disease. About Marburg Disease It’s a highly infectious viral hemorrhagic fever with a fatality ratio of up to 88 percent and belongs to the same family as Ebola. The disease was first identified in the year 1967 in Germany’s Marburg, Frankfurt, and Serbia’s Belgrade following two large outbreaks.  Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, South Africa, and

KALA-AZAR or BLACK FEVER

KALA-AZAR OR BLACK FEVER According to reports, eleven districts of Bengal have reported at least 65 cases of black fever or kala-azar in the last couple of weeks. About Kala-azar   It is a slow progressing indigenous disease that is caused by a protozoan parasite of the genus Leishmania. Kala-azar or leishmaniases is one of the most dangerous neglected tropical diseases which is endemic in 76 countries, with approximately 200 million people at risk of infection.

Aneurysm

Aneurysm Actor Emilia Clarke, who appeared in the Game of Thrones, has revealed her struggle with a brain aneurysm that caused the loss of "quite a bit" of the organ. What s is an Aneurysm?? It is the swelling of the arteries and veins in any part of the body and is caused by the weakening of the walls. It occurs most commonly in the aorta, back of the knees, brain, or intestines. An aneurysm often looks like a berry hanging on a stem. If the aneurysm gets ruptured, it

ALL ABOUT HEPATITIS 

ALL ABOUT HEPATITIS  World Hepatitis day is observed every year on July 28 to raise awareness about hepatitis. On World Hepatitis Day, there is always a push for more global awareness about the infection, its diagnosis, and how to prevent it. “Bringing hepatitis care closer to you” is the theme for the year 2022. It mainly aims to highlight the need to bring hepatitis care closer to the primary health care facilities, and communities, to ensure better access to treat

VK Paul Taskforce on MonkeyPox

VK Paul Taskforce on MonkeyPox The Union government has formed a task force headed by Dr. VK Paul, a member of NITI Aayog in the wake of rising Monkeypox cases in India. About Monkeypox: Monkeypox is a zoonotic disease caused by the monkeypox virus, which belongs to the same family of viruses that causes smallpox. Occurrence of Disease: The infection was first discovered in the year 1958 The first human case was recorded in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (

Pharmacopoeia Commission for Indian Medicine

Pharmacopoeia Commission for Indian Medicine The Pharmacopoeia Commission for Indian Medicine & Homoeopathy (PCIM&H) has been formed by the Indian government as a subsidiary office under the Ministry of Ayush.  The Pharmacopoeia Commission of Indian Medicine & Homoeopathy (PCIM&H) and the two central laboratories, Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia Laboratory and Pharmacopoeia Laboratory for Indian Medicine, have been combined by the government (HPL). About commission

Novel Langya Henipavirus

Novel Langya Henipavirus China's Shandong and Henan provinces have both reported cases of a novel Langya henipavirus (LayV). The zoonotic virus has been identified in 35 people so far, marking the first instances of human-to-animal transmission. What is the Langya virus? Henipaviruses, a new zoonotic virus is categorized as pathogens at biosafety level 4 (BSL4). They can cause serious sickness in both humans and animals, and there are currently no approved medicatio

Booster Dose: Corbevax

Booster Dose: Corbevax Image Source - The Financial Express According to a recent announcement from the Indian government, persons who have already taken Covishield or Covaxin as their first or second dosage of Covid-19 may take Corbevax as their third booster shot. Corbevax is still seeking the Emergency Use Listing (EUL)from the World Health Organization Up until this point, the vaccination used for the third dose had to be the same as that for the first and second doses. T

Bioengineered Cornea Implants

Bioengineered Cornea Implants A successful alternative bioengineered cornea implant comprised of collagen derived from pig skin has recently been developed by Swedish researchers. About the recent research According to estimates, 12.7 million individuals worldwide are blind as a result of their corneas. Medical-grade collagen: The researchers employed medical-grade collagen obtained from pig skin, a by-product of the food industry that is already utilised in medical equipm

Anti-Radiation Pills

Anti-Radiation Pills Image Source - Freepik   Recently, as worries of a nuclear accident at Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia power plant increased, the European Union made the preemptive decision to deliver 5.5 million anti-radiation pills to be given to locals. Radiation Emergency Radio-nuclear hazards: These are unintentional or unintended incidents that endanger both people and the environment. Such circumstances involve exposure to radiation from a radioactive source

Cervavac Vaccine for Cervical Cancer

Cervavac Vaccine for Cervical Cancer Image Source - zeebusiness The scientific completion of Cervavac, India's first locally made quadrivalent human papillomavirus (qHPV) vaccine for the prevention of cervical cancer, was recently announced by the Union Minister of Science and Technology. About Cervavac Manufacturer: The Serum Institute of India, situated in Pune, developed Cervavac in collaboration with the Department of Biotechnology of the Indian Government (DBT).

Healthcare Facilities Worldwide

Healthcare Facilities Worldwide Image Source - Deloitte According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) Joint Monitoring Program (JMP) report, over half of the world's healthcare facilities lack basic hygiene services, placing 3.85 billion people at an increased risk of diseases. The research was made public during Stockholm, Sweden's World Water Week. Highlights of the Report: Lack of Basic Hygie

Short-term TB treatments (BPaL)

Short-term TB treatments (BPaL) A six-month tuberculosis treatment plan known as BPaL that was recently chosen over the customary 18-month protocols by scientists was successful in improving the health of 84% to 94% of the sickest TB patients, according to studies conducted in several different nations. About BPaL Bedaquiline, pretomanid, and linezolid are three more recent antibiotics that are combined to form BPaL. The three-antibiotic regimen is still undergoing clinical trials

Legionnaires Disease

Legionnaires Disease The bacteria that causes Legionnaires' disease, legionella, recently produced a cluster of pneumonia cases in Tucumán, Argentina. Image Source - findatopdoc About Legionellosis disease Following an epidemic in 1976 among attendees of an American Legion convention in Philadelphia, Legionella was found.  Legionnaires' sickness. A deadly form of pneumonia (lung infection) brought on by the Legionella bacterium is called Legionnaires

National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM)

National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) The Union Health Ministry has released the updated National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM), which now includes 384 medications along with 34 new ones and 26 medications that were not on the previous list. The new anti-cancer therapies included are Bendamustine Hydrochloride, which is used to treat a certain type of blood and lymph node cancers; Irinotecan HCI Trihydrate used alone or in combination with other drugs to treat colorectal and p

Cardiovascular Diseases (CVDs)

Cardiovascular Diseases (CVDs) World Heart Day is celebrated on 29th September every year. It was first observed in the year 2000, following a collaboration between the World Heart Federation and the World Health Organization (WHO). It is a global campaign in which the federation unites people in the fight against the CVD burden and inspires and drives international action to promote heart-healthy living. Theme: "Use Heart For Every Heart" is the theme for World Heart D

Lassa Fever

Lassa Fever According to a recently released study, the spread of Lassa fever to the central and eastern regions of the continent over the next 50 years would be aided by climate change. About Lassa fever: Parts of West Africa are endemic to this zoonotic illness. Causes: The Lassa virus, a member of the Arenaviridae family, is to blame. The majority of the tropical and subtropical nations in Africa have multimammate rats, which are responsible for the disease's tran

Genetically Modified Mosquitoes

Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Recently, scientists genetically altered mosquitoes to inhibit the growth of parasites that cause malaria, which may help to reduce the risk of the disease spreading to humans. Regarding malaria Parasites Through the bites of female Anopheles mosquitoes carrying the parasites that cause malaria, people can contract this potentially fatal illness. In the mosquito's gut, the parasite advances to the next stage and moves to the salivar

Mental Health and India’s initiative

Mental Health and India’s initiative The Lancet published a paper titled "Ending Stigma and Prejudice in Mental Health" on October 10 in honor of World Mental Health Day. The research urged drastic action to eradicate stigma and discrimination related to mental health. What are the Report's Findings? Globally, about a billion people struggle with a mental illness. In the group of young people aged 10 to 19, one in seven is affected by a mental illness.

World Health Summit: Polio Eradication

World Health Summit: Polio Eradication  At the World Health Summit in Berlin recently, world leaders announced USD 2.6 billion in funding for the Global Polio Eradication Initiative's (GPEI) 2022–2026 Strategy to eradicate polio. About polio: The neurological system is harmed by the debilitating and potentially fatal viral infection known as polio. There are three separate wild poliovirus strains that are each unique and immunologically diverse: Type 1 wild pol

Drug Menace

Drug Menace The Supreme Court has stated that drug abuse has captured society and requested some modules that may convert into an Order to address the issue. More on the news The Court's View on the Drug Problem: It is an issue of demand and supply, according to the court's counsel in the case. It admitted that the drug mafia is making inroads into society, particularly among young people, posing a "dangerous scenario." Order of the Court: The Suprem

Global Tuberculosis Report 2022: WHO

Global Tuberculosis Report 2022: WHO Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) released its 2022 version of the Global TB report.  It provides a comprehensive and up-to-date assessment of the TB epidemic, and of progress in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of the disease, at global, regional, and country levels. Significant Points from the 2022 Report In 2021, an estimated 10.6 million people were diagnosed with tuberculosis (TB), a 4.5% increase from 2020,

List of Fungal Infections for the First Time: WHO

List of Fungal Infections for the First Time: WHO The World Health Organization just published the first-ever Priority Pathogens list of fungi that can endanger public health. What is the WHO's Priority Pathogen List for Fungi? FPPL: The top 19 fungi that pose the greatest risk to human health are listed on the Fungal Priority Pathogens List (FPPL). The list is based on the bacterial priority pathogens list, which was first created by WHO in 2017 with a similar goal of mobilisi

Rising Interest in DNA Testing

Rising Interest in DNA Testing The Supreme Court recently voiced worry over the rising use of Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) Tests in legal proceedings. What are the relevant issues? DNA testing are being requested by an increasing number of complainants. According to the government laboratory, these demands are rising by almost 20% a year. Despite the fact that the 3,000 or so DNA tests carried out annually by Indian laboratories pale in comparison to the 70 other countries that rely

Dengue

Dengue According to one study, the ongoing spread of Dengue fever in India has been attributed to a late monsoon withdrawal. Dengue transmission is closely linked to three key factors: rainfall, humidity, and temperature, which determine where dengue spreads and how quickly it spreads. What are the Study's Highlights? Each year, the number of months suitable for dengue transmission by Aedes aegypti mosquitos in India has increased to 5.6 months. Between 1951-1960 and

Asian Diarrhoeal Disease and Nutrition Conference

Asian Diarrhoeal Disease and Nutrition Conference Union Minister recently spoke at the 16th Asian Conference on Diarrhoeal Disease and Nutrition (ASCODD) in Kolkata. Delegates from India and other South East Asian countries, African countries, the United States, and Europe participated virtually in the conference. What are the Conference's Key Highlights? The theme of the ASCODD was "Community participation in the prevention and control of cholera, typhoid, and other enteric

Cerebrotendinous xanthomatosis (CTX)

Cerebrotendinous xanthomatosis (CTX) Recently, Hyderabad researchers found a remedy to stop progression of rare genetic diseases. About CTX Only four CTX cases have so far been medically documented in India. About the disease: It is a lipid-storage skin disease with no known medical cure but its progression can be stopped. It is a rare autosomal recessive genetic disorder caused by an abnormality in the CYP27A1 gene. The lack of this enzyme prevents cholesterol from being

The Country's First Suicide Prevention Policy

The Country's First Suicide Prevention Policy Ministry of Health and Family Welfare recently announced the "National Suicide Prevention Strategy." It is the country's first of its kind, with time-bound action plans and cross-sector collaborations aimed at reducing suicide mortality by 10% by 2030. The strategy is consistent with the World Health Organization's South East Asia Region Suicide Prevention Strategy. The Country's First Suicide Prevention Policy

World AIDS Day

World AIDS Day Every year on December 1st, World AIDS Day is observed. World AIDS Day 2022 On December 1, 1988, the World Health Organization (WHO) established World AIDS Day. Its goal is to encourage information sharing among local and national governments, international organisations, and private citizens. This year's World AIDS Day theme is "Equalize." Importance: The HIV virus infects approximately 38 million people worldwide. Despite the fact that

Asian Tiger Mosquitoes

Asian Tiger Mosquitoes A man from Germany recently had the worst experience of his life after being bitten by an Asian tiger mosquito. Asian Tiger Mosquito Also known as the forest mosquito or Aedes Albopictus. Tiger mosquitos are an exotic species named after the single white stripe down the center of their head and back. Native to Southeast Asia's tropical and subtropical regions. Later, it spread to many European countries. Characteristics: bites mostly dur

Zombie Virus

Zombie Virus Recently, French scientists warned of the possibility of another outbreak after resurrecting a 48,500-year-old zombie virus buried beneath a frozen lake in Russia. This has surpassed the previous record of a 30,000-year-old virus discovered in Siberia by the same team in 2013. About Zombie Virus: A zombie virus is a virus that has become dormant due to being frozen in ice. The virus emerged as a result of permafrost thawing as global temperatures rise. It

Toppers

Search By Date

Newsletter Subscription
SMS Alerts