Current Affairs Today - Current Affairs 2018

Government launches National Deworming initiative

The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) launched National Deworming Initiative on the occasion of National Deworming Day (observed on 10 February). It aims to reach more than 32.2 crore children aged between 1 to 19 years to combat parasitic worm infections. This year it is fourth edition of National Deworming Day after it was launched in 2015.

National Deworming Day

The National Deworming Day is a single fixed-day approach to treating intestinal worm infections in all children aged 1- 19 years and is held on 10 February and 10 August each year. It aims to conduct mass deworming program to mobilize health personnel, state governments and other stakeholders to prioritize investment in control of Soil Transmitted Helminth (STH) infections—one of the most common infections.

Goal of the day is to deworm all preschool and school-age children between the ages of 1-19 years in order to improve their overall health, cognitive development, nutritional status and quality of life. On this day, Albendazole tablets are given to all targeted children. Dosage of half tablet to 1-2 years children and one full tablet for 2-19 years is given. It also spreads behaviour change practices in terms of cleanliness, hygiene, use of toilets, wearing shoes/chappals, washing hands etc. is also important to reduce incidents of re-infection.

Implementation of deworming programmes is led by the Union MoHFW. The Department of School Education and Literacy under the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) and Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) also collaborate to implement the day. Ministries of Panchayati Raj, Tribal Affairs, Drinking Water and Sanitation, Rural Development and Urban Development are also other key stakeholders.

STH or Parasitic worms infestation

Parasitic worms or Soil-Transmitted Helminths (STH) are among the most common infections worldwide that causing parasitic infestation with nutrient uptake in small children. STHs live in human intestines and consume essential nutrients meant for the human body. It causes complications among the children resulting in anaemia, malnutrition and improper mental and physical development. Each day, parasitic worms produce thousands of eggs which are passed in human faeces and spread to others by contaminating soil in areas where open defecation predominant and sanitation is poor.

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Government launches ASH TRACK mobile app for Fly Ash management

Ministry of Power has launched Web based monitoring System and Fly Ash mobile application named ASH TRACK. It was launched by Minister of State (IC) for Power and New & Renewable Energy R.K Singh in New Delhi.

These platforms will enable better management of fly ash produced by thermal power plants by providing interface between ash producers (thermal power plants) and potential ash users such as –cement plants, road contractors etc.

ASH TRACK App

The app shows coal based power plants situated within radius of 100 km and 300 km from a given location. It will allow user to select power station from where he wants to take fly ash. It will also show ash availability, distance from user’s location.

It will help power plants to see location of prospective fly ash users surrounding it like – cement plants, NHAI, contractors of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) projects, brick producers, etc. The app will give plant wise, utility wise and state wise fly ash utilization status in the country and  also details of ash generation and utilization in real time.

Benefits

It will allow effective monitoring and reviewing for increasing fly ash utilization. It will help in protecting environment in terms of reduction in fugitive emissions, saving of precious top soil and conservation of land for sustainable development.

Fly ash

Fly ash is end product of combustion during process of power generation in the coal based thermal power plants. Fly ash is proven resource material for many applications of construction industries and is used in manufacturing of Portland Cement, road embankment construction, bricks/blocks/tiles manufacturing and low lying area development, etc.

Fly ash management

Quality-wise Indian coal has much more ash content than other countries. Diverse approaches must be adopted for fly ash management. It includes washing coal at its place of origin will prevent ash from coming to power plant. Promoting R&D for increasing efficiency of power plants will also help in reducing ash generation. Proper management of fly ash is important for environment and also for power plants as it occupies a lot of land space. At present, 63% of the fly ash is being utilised.

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