International Current Affairs 2017

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WHO wants new drugs against 12 antibiotics-resistant super-germs

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has urged governments, scientists and pharmaceutical companies to develop new drugs to tackle 12 antibiotics-resistant super-germs threatening an explosion of incurable diseases.

This is for the first time, WHO has published a list of bacteria threatening to turn once easily-treatable infections into incurable diseases. It held that antibiotics may not be ready in time if it is left on market forces alone.

Key Facts
  • WHO described these antibiotics-resistant super-germs as “priority pathogens” as they are greatest threats to human health. They are no longer respond to an ever-growing list of ineffective antibiotics.
  • They were targeted based on the severity of disease they cause how many drugs still work against them, how easily they spread and how many new ones are already being developed.
  • WHO divided these 12 “priority pathogens” into three categories of new medicine priority: critical, high and medium.
  • The high and medium priority categories include drug-resistant bacteria that cause more common diseases such as gonorrhea and salmonella-induced food poisoning which hit poor countries particularly hard.
  • These 12 germs cause ailments including blood, lung, brain, and urinary tract infections, food poisoning from salmonella and gonorrhoea.
  • The most urgent section contained three bacteria families resistant to carbapenem antibiotics which are last-resort treatment for many life-threatening infections.

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About World Health Organization (WHO)

WHO is a specialized agency of the UN that is concerned with international public health. It was established in April 1948. It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. It is member of the United Nations Development Group. It is responsible for the World Health Report, a leading international publication on health, the worldwide World Health Survey.

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Scientists claim discovery of Zealandia a submerged continent in Pacific Ocean

Geologists have claimed discovery of new geological continent named Zealandia submerged beneath the south-west Pacific Ocean.

Zealandia is around 4.5-million square km land mass and is 94% under water. Only its highest points — New Zealand and New Caledonia are visible. 

Key Facts
  • Zealandia is two-thirds the size of Australia and spreads out over 4.9-million-square kilometres of continental crust. It was once a part of Australia.
  • It is believed that it had broken off from Antarctica about 100 million years ago, and then from Australia about 80 million years ago as part of the breakup of super-continent Gondwanaland and sank beneath sea.
  • Sea-floor samples show that Zealandia consists of light continental crust and not the dark volcanic rocks that make up nearby underwater plateaus.

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February 20: World Day of Social Justice

The World Day of Social Justice is observed every year on February 20 to recognize the need to promote efforts to tackle issues such as poverty, exclusion and unemployment.

To mark this occasion, UN and International Labour Office had organised several organisations to spread importance of social justice for people.

2017 Theme: “Preventing conflict and sustaining peace through decent work

Key Facts
  • According to UN, social justice means removal of barriers that people face in the name of ethnicity, gender, age, religion, disability and culture.
  • It is an underlying principle for prosperous and peaceful coexistence within and among nations.
  • Observance of this day must support efforts of the international community in poverty eradication by promoting full employment and decent work, access to social well-being, justice for all and gender equity.
Background

The World Day of Social Justice was instituted by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in 2007 in accordance with the goals and objectives of the World Summit for Social Development and 24th session of UNGA.

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