Health Current Affairs - 2019

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Aruna Shanbaug, face of mercy killing in India passes away

Aruna Shanbaug, a nurse who was in a vegetative state for 42 years after being sexually assaulted passed away in Mumbai’s King Edward Memorial (KEM) hospital.

Earlier in second week of May she was put on ventilator after suffering a serious bout of pneumonia but she lost her battle for life.

In 1973, she brutally assaulted by a sweeper at KEM hospital which had cut off oxygen supply to her brain. Since then she was in vegetative state (coma) and was cared by KEM hospital staff.

In 2011, the Supreme Court (SC) had rejected a plea for her mercy killing (euthanasia) which was filed by former journalist and author Pinki Virani. However, based upon this case SC had framed the guidelines for passive euthanasia instead of active euthanasia.

After this ruling of SC, she had become the face of mercy killing as her case sparked a debate in the country about the euthanasia laws.

It should be noted Pinki Virani had authored non-fiction book called ‘Aruna’s Story’ in 1998 based upon her life. While Duttakumar Desai had written Marathi play Katha Arunachi based upon her and in 2002 was staged under director Vinay Apte.

Quick Facts

  • Active euthanasia: In this case medical professionals or another person deliberately do something that causes instant death of patient.
  • Passive euthanasia: In this case, the common treatments such as antibiotics or life support of patient are withhold which in turn leads to death.
  • It should be noted that Netherlands was the first nation to legalise Euthanasia.

Month: Categories: Persons in News


58% immunisation rate in rural areas, 67% in urban areas of India: Union Government

Union government has announced that, the current immunisation rate in rural areas is around 58 per cent while it is over 67 per cent in urban regions of the country.

It was announced by Union Health Minister J P Nadda on 12 May 2015 in a written reply in Rajya Sabha.

As per the written reply,

  • Lack of awareness among parents and non- availability of vaccines is the main reasons behind the low rate of immunization in the country.
  • In order to promote immunisation programme in India, government had allocated funds of Rs 221.70 crore, Rs 188.91 crore and Rs 189.26 crore for year 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15 respectively.
  • While, government had not allocated any funds for the development of new vaccines in the last three years.
  • To improve immunisation rates, government has taken elaborating steps.
  • Union Government also is providing flexible funds to states for mobility support, alternate vaccine delivery and mobilisation of children accredited social health activists.
  • Government also had conducted special immunisation weeks in areas with pockets of low immunisation coverage in the country.
  • Under ‘Mission Indradhanush’, government has implemented immunization drives to target areas with partial immunisation and no immunisation in 201 high-focus districts to protect children against seven life-threatening diseases including pertussis, diphtheria, tetanus, polio, measles, tuberculosis and Hepatitis B.

Month: Categories: Reports & Indices