Diseases Current Affairs - 2020

Draft National Policy for Rare Diseases placed in website of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

On March 17, 2020, the draft National Policy for rare diseases has been shared in the website of ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The draft has been opened for comments from the states and Union territories and also from General public.

Also, the ministry has included one-time financial assistance of Rs 15 lakhs to families affected with rare diseases and living under Below Poverty line. This has been included from Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi

The above information was provided by Minister of HFW in Rajya Sabha

National Policy for Rare Diseases

The draft National Policy for rare diseases was published by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in January 2020. IT was prepared in 2017 and was recommended to a committee for review.

There is need for the policy as there are more than 450 rare diseases in India. Out of these diseases only 5% of them have therapies available.

The policy aims to start a registry of rare diseases. The registry is to be maintained by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). The policy categorizes rare diseases under three categories namely one-time curative treatment, diseases requiring long-term treatments with high cost and diseases requiring long-term treatments with low cost.

Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi

The Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi also called National Illness Assistance Fund is a scheme completely sponsored by the central government. Under the scheme, financial assistance is provided to patients suffering from life threatening diseases as a one-time grant.

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Corona Virus: SAARC Video Conference; India proposes COVID-19 Emergency Funds

On March 15, 2020, SAARC leaders participated in a video conference to frame a strategy in order to fight Corona Virus. PM Modi attended the video conference on behalf on India.

Proposals of the members

India proposed creation of Covid-19 Emergency Fund. Also, India is to set up disease surveillance portal in order to trace the virus carriers in better way.

Afghanistan suggested to create a common platform for tele-medicine suggestions. Sri Lanka proposed to set up ministerial level group. Other countries like Nepal, Bhutan and Maldives agreed on joint cooperation to fight against the disease. Bangladesh suggested for a creation of health ministerial group.

Pakistan raised Kashmir issue at the conference demanding to life restricting in Jammu and Kashmir region to deal with the threat.

India’s measures

India is fighting Corona Virus with the strategy, “Prepare, don’t panic”. India had started screening people entering India in mid-January. Gradually India imposed travel restrictions and then travel ban. This has helped India to contain the disease spread and keep the numbers lowest to around 100.

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