International Current Affairs - 2019

Latest International Current Affairs 2019 with news summaries and current events in International developments, geopolitical, organizations, groupings and fora related updates for India and world with all important national news updates and events for the year 2019.

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WHO unveils Strategy to tackle Global Snakebite “Emergency”

The World Health Organization (WHO) has unveiled a new global strategy to greatly reduce deaths and injuries from snakebites. WHO also warned that a scarcity of antivenoms could soon spark a “public health emergency”.

About WHO’s Global Strategy

  • It seeks to achieve 50% reduction in mortality and disability caused by snakebite envenoming by 2030.
  • Increasing the number of manufacturers by 25% and significantly boost production of quality antivenoms.
  • Creating a global antivenom stockpile so as to ensure access to treatment like anti-venoms and ancillary medical care.
  • Encouraging research on new treatments, diagnostics and health device breakthroughs.
  • Integrating snakebite treatment and response into national health plans in affected countries and providing better training to health personnel and educating communities.

About Snakebite Envenoming

  • Need: Every year it affects about 1.8–2.7 million people, claiming 81,000–1,38,000 lives and causing around 4,00,000 cases of permanent disability.
  • Region Affected: In many tropical and subtropical countries Snake bite is a neglected public health issue. In 2017 World Health Organization (WHO) formally categorised “snakebite envenoming” as a Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD). Most of Snake bites occur in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
  • Consequences: Snake venom can cause- irreversible kidney failure, paralysis which can stop breathing, bleeding disorders that can lead to fatal haemorrhage, and tissue damage that can cause permanent disability and limb loss.
  • Most deaths and serious fatalities due to snake bites are entirely preventable by making High quality snake antivenoms accessible. They are also included in WHO’s List of essential medicines.

Month: Categories: International


WHO: Algeria and Argentina declared Malaria-Free

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared Algeria and Argentina as ‘Malaria-Free’ countries after no cases of indigenous transmission of disease were recorded.

Key Highlights

  • Background: The Malaria parasite was first discovered in humans in Algeria by a French physician named Charles Louis Alphonse Laveran in 1880. By 1960s, Malaria became Nigeria’s primary health challenge, with reporting almost 80,000 cases each year. The country then started it steps towards responding to disease. On the other hand, Argentina began is elimination efforts in 1970s.
  • About: The indigenous transmission of disease was last reported from Algeria in 2013, while last case of Argentina was recorded in 2010.
  • Algeria became second country in Africa to be declared malaria-free, after Mauritius, which was certified in 1973.
  • Argentina became second country in South America to be certified malaria free after Paraguay, which was certified in June 2018.
  • The certificates will be presented to both countries on sidelines of the 72nd session of the World Health Assembly (WHA) which is being held in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • Steps Taken: by both nations include-
  1. Improved surveillance which helped every last case of malaria to be rapidly identified and treated.
  2. Free diagnosis and treatment of patients ensured that no one was left behind. This helped to prevent, detect and cure the disease.
  3. The trained health workers were deployed to spray homes with insecticides and to also diagnose disease through microscopy.

WHO and Malaria

As per the WHO’s World malaria report 2018:

  • Malaria remains one of world’s leading killers of decade. In 2017, Malaria accounted for about 219 million cases from 87 countries and more than 400,000 deaths. Of total count over 60% of fatalities was among children under 5 years of age and had caused 266,000 deaths worldwide.
  • In 2017, the African region recorded 92% of malaria cases and 93% of malaria deaths thus had highest share of global malaria burden.
  • Four countries in African continent accounted for nearly 50% of all malaria cases worldwide, namely Nigeria (25%), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC 11%), Mozambique (5%), and Uganda (4%)

WHO Malaria-Free Certification Criteria: The Country under consideration has to prove that it has interrupted indigenous transmission of malaria for at least 3 consecutive years. Till date a total of 36 countries have received WHO’s malaria free certification.

About Malaria

  • It is mosquito-borne infectious disease.
  • Cause: by infectious Plasmodium type parasitic protozoans (group of single-celled microorganisms).
  • Transmission: on biting of infected female Anopheles mosquito.
  • Mosquirix or (RTS,S) is World’s first vaccine against a parasitic disease.

Month: Categories: International