AIIMS Current Affairs - 2019

Category Wise PDF Compilations available at This Link

India, Sweden join hands to set up Healthcare Innovation Centre in India

India and Sweden has joined hands to set up a healthcare innovation centre to promote research, broadly in non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and help scale-up Indian start-ups in the sector. Later, AIIMS, Delhi; AIIMS, Jodhpur, and Swedish Trade Commissioner’s Office in New Delhi signed a Memorandum of Intent (MoI) to cement cooperation, to set up a healthcare innovation centre. The signing of MoI marks 10 years of India-Sweden health cooperation.

Key Highlights

The announcement about cooperation was made earlier in presence of Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf and Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.  The new cooperation among two AIIMS and Swedish side will be a broad-scoped one and work in areas of cancer and other NCDs, besides innovation.

Over the past decade, the cooperation between India and Sweden has grown in strength. The year 2019 marks Sweden-India Year of Health marking 10 years of India-Sweden cooperation in healthcare. This collaboration is built on quadruple-helix model with active participation of government, private enterprises, civil society and academia.

A ‘coordination cell’ will be set up at Swedish Trade Commissioner’s in New Delhi. It will look at entire ecosystem and will promote innovation broadly in NCDs and other disease areas, besides innovation in technology, processes, data, business models and skilling.

India-Sweden innovation centre collaboration will not only strengthen India’s efforts in finding innovative solutions for ‘affordable and accessible healthcare in India’ but will also strengthen healthcare delivery system by an outcome and result based approach.

National Blindness and Visual Impairment Survey, 2019

The National Blindness and Visual Impairment Survey was released by the Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan at the 13th Conference of Central Council of Health and Family Welfare.

The survey was conducted by the AIIMS, Delhi and Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The report was released in October 10, 2019. The survey was conducted between 2015 and 2019.

India is the first country to launch National Program for Control of Blindness in 1976. The aim of the program is currently to reduce the blindness prevalence to 0.3% by 2020.

Key findings of the report

  • Cataract is the leading cause of blindness in people above 50 years. OF these around 93% of blindness cases and 96.2% of visual impairment cases are avoidable
  • The prevalence of blindness in India is 1.99%. Bijnor, Uttar Pradesh has the highest population suffering from blindness. Around 3.67% of the district are blind and 21.82% suffer visual impairment.
  • Blindness is more pronounced among illiterates as compared to literates. Around 3.23% illiterates are blind and 0.43% literates are blind
  • Also, blindness is more prevalent in rural population (2.14%) as compared to urban (1.8%)

Causes of blindness according to the report

  • The causes included
    • Aphakia – Absence of lens in the eye
    • Untreated non-infectious corneal opacity-scarring of cornea
  • Cataract related surgical complication was the second highest cause for blindness.
  • The outcomes of cataract surgery are not good everywhere. Around 40% of cataract were done in government facilities. Rest of the surgeries took place in private and non – profit facilities. Of these, only 57.8% saw good visual outcome.
  • Cost was the biggest barrier in accessing cataract surgeries. Around 22.1% of blindness was caused because of cost as a barrier.
  • Around 22.1% of blindness were caused due to lack of awareness