Reports & Indices

This category comprises Current Affairs 2019-2020 related to various reports and indexes / indices by National and International Bodies and organizations such as World, Bank, World Economic Forum, NITI Aayog and various other educational and research organizations. We also place report highlights of various committees and commissions in this category.

WHO publishes its first Essential Diagnostics List

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has published its first Essential Diagnostics List, a catalogue of tests needed to diagnose most common diseases along with number of global priority diseases. It aims to address people’s inability to access diagnostic services, which results in them from receiving correct treatment.

Essential Diagnostics List

The essential diagnostics list concentrates on in-vitro tests like tests of blood and urine. It contain overall 113 products which comprises 58 tests for detection and diagnosis of a wide range of common conditions. Remaining 55 tests for detection, diagnosis and monitoring of ‘priority’ diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria, HIV, hepatitis B and C, syphilis and human papillomavirus.

For each category of test, list specifies type of test and intended use, format and if appropriate for primary health care or for health facilities with laboratories. It also provides links to WHO guidelines or publications and to pre-qualified products. Some of tests enlisted in it are particularly suitable for primary health care (PHCs) facilities, where laboratory services are often poorly resourced and sometimes non-existent.

Updation

WHO will update list on regular basis and will also issue call for applications to add categories to next edition. It is expected to expand significantly over next few years to incorporate other important areas including emerging pathogens, neglected tropical diseases, antimicrobial resistance and additional non-communicable diseases.

Significance

Essential Diagnostics List will provide uniform tool that can be useful to all countries, not only to test and treat health complications better but also to use health funds more efficiently by concentrating on the truly essential tests. It also provides an essential package that can form the basis for screening and management of patients. It similar to WHO’s essential medicines list, which has been in use for four decades and serve as reference for countries to update or develop their own list of essential diagnostics.

World Health Organization (WHO)

WHO is a specialized agency of the United Nations that acts as a coordinating authority on international public health. Established on 7 April 1948, it succeeded the Health Organization, which was an agency of the League of Nations. It is a member of the United Nations Development Group and its headquarters is located at Geneva. WHO flag features the Rod of Asclepius as a symbol for healing.

Gender bias caused excess deaths of girls under 5: Study

According to recent study of Lancet Global Health, there have been 2,39,000 excess deaths per year of girls under age of five in India due to gender bias. Excess mortality is difference between observed and expected mortality rates in both genders.

Key Findings of Study

The excess mortality accounted for about 2.4 million deaths in decade of study period 2005-2015. The additional deaths were found in 90% of districts in the country. 29 out of 35 States and Union Territories in the country contributed to this mortality.

The average level of excess mortality in girls aged 0-4 in study period of 2000-2005 was 18.5 per 1,000 live births, compared to expected mortality of girl children aged under 5 in areas of world without known gender discrimination.

Four largest states in northern India, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh, accounted for two thirds of the total excess deaths of females under five. In Uttar Pradesh, excess female mortality was calculated at 30.5. In Bihar it was 28.5, in Rajasthan it was 25.4, and in Madhya Pradesh it was 22.1.

The worst affected areas in India were all rural, agricultural areas with lower levels of education, high population densities, low socio-economic development and high levels of fertility. Many deaths of females under five were partly due to unwanted child bearing and subsequent neglect.