Competitive Exams: Current Affairs 2011: Health News

Health News

Road Traffic Injuries Globally Claim 5 Million lives Every Year

  • According to WHO Global Status Report on Road Safety, over 50 million are injured on the world's road every year and as many as five million deaths happen due to road accidents. Road accident deaths at a global level were ranked ninth as a cause of disability adjusted years of life lost in 2004 and is expected to be ranked fifth by the year 2030. In India more than half of the road accidents victims are in the age group of 25 − 65 years, the key wage earning and child raising age group.

  • Officially proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in March 2010, a Decade of Action Plan for Road Safety 2011 − 2020 provides the framework to countries and communities to increase action to save lives on the world's roads. The global launch of the Decade is planned for May, 2011. States Should Strictly Implement The PC & PNDT Act: Health Secretary

  • Seventeen States, where the child sex rati-has been reported to be low by the recent census data, were called for this meeting.

  • It was noted in the meeting that the absolute decline from 927 (2001) to 914 (2011) in the Child sex ratio figure at national level and the declining trend evident in 27 states/UTs particularly Haryana with 830, is a matter of grave concern. Jhajjar and Mahendragarh in Haryana emerged in the country with the lowest CSR of 774 and 778 respectively. Data for 346 districts in 11 States (released so far) shows 6 distt recorded CSR below 800; 47 distt between 800 − 850 and 103 distt beteen 850 − 900 against the national average of 914. Azad Reconstitutes Central Supervisory Board Under PNDT Act Chairman-Health Minister Co-chair-Women and Child Developmen minister The recent census figures highlighted the declining trend in Child Sex Rati-in the country. In order to check female foeticide, the Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Act, 1994 (PNDT Act), was brought int-operation from 1st January, 1996. The Act was amended to make it more comprehensive and was renamed as Pre-conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 1994 (PC & PNDT Act). The amended Act and Rules framed there under came int-force with effect from 14.2. 2003. The main objective of the Act/Rules is to ban the use of sex selection techniques before or after conception as well as misuse of pre-natal diagnostic techniques for sex selective abortions and to regulate such techniques, so as to pre-empt the misuse of such technologies and consequent adverse impact on the sex ratio.

  • Stringent punishments are prescribed under the Act so as to serve as a deterrent for minimising violations of the Act. Appropriate Authorities are empowered with the powers of Civil Court for search, seizure and sealing the machines, equipment and records of the violators of law, including sealing of premises and commissioning of witnesses. It has been made mandatory to maintain proper records in respect of the use of ultrasound machines and other equipment capable of detection of sex of foetus and also in respect of tests and procedures that may lead to pre-conception selection of sex. The sale of ultrasound machines has been regulated through laying down the condition of sale only to the bodies registered under the Act.

Tobacco Users in India

  • According to the Global Adult Tobacc-Survey (GATS), 2010, more than one-third (35%) of adults in India use tobacc-in some form or the other. Among them, 21 % adults use smokeless tobacco, 9 % smoke, and 5 % smoke as well as use smokeless tobacco. As per this report, the estimated number of tobacc-users in India is 274.9 million, with 163.7 million users of only smokeless tobacco, 68.9 million only smokers, and 42.3 million users of both smoking and smokeless tobacco.

  • As per Report on Tobacc-Control in India, 2004, an estimated number of 8 − 9 Lakh people die every year in India due to diseases caused by consumption of tobacc-products.

  • According to ICMR, 50% of cancers among men and 25% among women in India are related to tobacco use.

  • Nearly 90% of oral cancers are related to use of chewing tobacco

Banned Medicines

The Central Government has prohibited six drugs on the recommendations of the Expert Committee constituted by

DTAB in view of the safety issues involved in the use of these drugs by a Gazette Notification dated 10.02. 2011 with immediate effect. The names of these drugs along with the brief reasons for their ban are furnished below:

  1. Nimesulide formulations in children below 12 years of age-Nimesulide containing products are not permitted in many countries in children under 12 years of age. The drug has been considered to be hepatotoxic and children are considered more susceptible to hepatotoxicity.

  2. Cisapride and its formulations for human use-Use of this drug is reported to be associated with increased risk of serious cardiac arrhythmia.

  3. Phenylpropanolamine and its formulations for human use-Use of this drug is associated with risk of hypertensive episodes like cardiac congestive failures and hemorrhagic strokes.

  4. Human Placental Extract and its formulations for human use-There is n-clear evidence of efficacy of this drug in most of the conditions and there are safety concerns like transmission of blood borne infections, immunoreactions and unwanted exposure to hormones associated with its use.

  5. Sibutramine and its formulations for human use-Use of this drug is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke.

  6. R-Sibutramine and its formulations for human use-Use of this drug is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke.

Universal Immunization Program

Under the Universal Immunization Program (UIP), the following vaccines are provided free to all children including new borne:

  1. DPT (Diphtheria-Pertusiso Tetanus)

  2. OPV/Oral Poli-Vaccine

  3. Measles

  4. BCG (Bacillus Calmette-Guerin)

  5. Hepatitis B (In selected States and selected cities)

  6. Japanese Encephalitis (In selected areas)

Courtesy: The Hindu and Times of India