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Fact Box: Tropical Cyclone “Mora”

A deep depression in the Bay of Bengal has been declared intensified into a tropical cyclone named Mora. This is second cyclone in the Bay of Bengal after Maarutha, which helped bring in the Monsoon earlier by a week over Andaman & Nicobar Islands.

The tropical Cyclone Mora is likely to hit Bangladesh coast in next 24 hours and expected to cause heavy rains in West Bengal and North East Indian states. It may also help to pull monsoon faster over mainland.

About 2017 North Indian Ocean cyclone season

Every year, the North Indian Ocean cyclone season extends roughly between April to December with two peaks in May and November. This season includes cyclones in Bay of Bengal and Arabian sea, apart from Indian Ocean in northern hemisphere. The first cyclone of 2017 season was Cyclone Maarutha which was formed in April, 2017 triggering heavy rainfall in Sri Lanka, Myanmar and India’s Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Apart from other damages, three people were killed in Myanmar by Cyclone Maarutha. Cyclone Mora is second such cyclone in the Indian Ocean.

Naming of Tropical Cyclone

Tropical cyclones are classified into three main groups, based on intensity: tropical depressions, tropical storms, and a third group of more intense storms, whose name depends on the region. If a tropical storm in the North-western Pacific reaches hurricane-strength winds on the Beaufort scale, it is referred to as a typhoon. If a tropical storm passes the same benchmark in the Northeast Pacific Basin, or in the Atlantic, it is called a hurricane. Neither “hurricane” nor “typhoon” is used in either the Southern Hemisphere or the Indian Ocean. In these basins, storms of tropical nature are referred to simply as “cyclones”.

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Fact Box: 52nd Annual General Meeting of African Development Bank (AfDB)

The 52nd Annual General Meeting of African Development Bank (AfDB) is being held at Gandhinagar in Gujarat from May 22-26, 2017. This is for the first time that this meeting is being held in India. This meeting is expected to be attended by some 4500 delegates including the finance ministers and central bank governors of AfDBs members and non-member countries.

About African Development Bank (AfDB)

African Development Bank Group (AfDB) also known as Banque Africaine de Developpment (BAD) was founded in 1964 with a mission to fight poverty and improve living conditions of the people of African continent by promoting investment in government and private capital in development projects. The bank is made of three entities viz. African Development Bank, African Development Fund, and Nigeria Trust Fund. Its headquarters are at Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast). The motto of the bank is “Building today, a better Africa tomorrow” and currently, it has total 78 members including India. India had joined this bank in 1983. Its unit currency (for accounting purpose) is XUA under the ISO 4217 standard currency code.

India and other Non-African Members

India is a non-African member country for this bank. Some other non-African member countries include US, Japan, Germany, Canada, France, China etc. Nigeria is the largest country in terms of voting powers at the African Development Bank, followed by United States.

Significance of the meet

So far, the annual conferences of the bank have held within African continent only. For the first time in 2017, the bank is holding its first annual conference outside Africa at Gandhinagar. This event is to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.  This meet is seen as a logical follow up to the India Africa Forum summit which was held in 2015 in Delhi.

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Only 19% countries follow Breastfeeding Code

Screenshot_2As per World Health Organisation (WHO), only 19% countries of 199 countries, subscribing to the International Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes have passed laws incorporating all Code’s recommendations.

In India 46 % of infants are exclusively breastfed in their first six months and there are stringent laws against marketing of breast milk substitutes.

Mothers are often misled to believe their children are better nourished with commercial substitutesand they are often misguided with incorrect and biased information both directly through advertising, health claims, information packs and sales representatives and indirectly through the public health system

Key statistics(of 199 countries):

  • 69 countries (35 %) fully prohibit advertising of breast-milk substitutes.
  • 62 countries (31 %) completely prohibit free samples or low cost supplies for health services.
  • 64 countries (32 %) completely prohibit gifts of any kind from relevant manufacturers to health workers.
  • 83 countries (42 %) require a message about the superiority of breastfeeding on breast milk substitute labels.
  • Only 45 countries (23%) report having a functioning implementation and monitoring system.
How breast feeding is crucial for both Mother and her baby?
  • Breast milk gives infants all the nutrients they need for a healthy development.
  • The breastfed babies are less likely to be become overweight and they may also be less prone to diabetes.
  • It is safe and contains antibodies that help protect infants from common childhood illnesses.
  • Breastfeeding also benefits mothers as it reduces risks of breast and ovarian cancer.
What is “International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes”?
  • International health policy framework for breastfeeding promotion adopted by the World Health Assembly (WHA) of the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1981.
  • Developed as a global public health strategy and recommends restrictions on the marketing of breastmilk substitutes viz. infant formula.
  • Covers ethical considerations and regulations for the marketing of feeding bottles and teats.
What is covered under International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes?

All breastmilk substitutes. These are products which are marketed in a way which suggests they should replace breastfeeding, even if the product is not suitable for that purpose. They may include:

  • Infant formula
  • Follow-on formula
  • Baby foods
  • Gruels
  • Teas and juices
  • Bottles
  • Teats/nipples and related equipment
What is the aim of  the “International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitute”?
  • To ensure that mothers are not discouraged from breastfeeding and that substitutes are used safely if needed.
  • To shield breastfeeding from commercial promotion that affects mothers, health workers , health care systems and Labelling.
What is the concern over “International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitute” ?
  • The baby food industry has been the subject of pointed criticism from NGOs, international agencies and campaign groups for inability to abide by the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitute.
  • On its own, the International Code is not legally enforceable.
  • Companies are only subject to legal sanctions for failing to abide by the Code where it has been incorporated into the legislature of a nation state.
  • Many countries have fully or partially adopted the Code as law. Other countries have no legislation on baby food marketing at all.
  • Code violations by baby food manufacturers are still widespread, especially (but not exclusively) in countries that have not implemented the Code as a national measure or where monitoring and enforcement is not strong.
How is “International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes” monitored?
  • The WHO, International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN), UNICEF, Save the Children and other international organizations perform monitoring of implementation of the Code across the world both independently and with governments.

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