Health Current Affairs - 2019
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Scientists from Newcastle University, UK have created world’s first 3D printed human corneas (3D printed thin protective film over eye) that could solve problem of shortage of available eye donors and help millions of blind people gain sight again.
Cornea is outermost layer of the human eye. Its key function is to focus vision. It also barricades eyes against harmful dirt and bacteria. Damage to cornea from injury or infection can distort vision or even lead to blindness.
The 3D printed human corneas were produced using bio-ink solution consisting of healthy corneal stem mixed together with alginate and collagen. The combination of alginate (a gel derived from seaweed) and collagen helps to keep corneal stem cells alive and produces material of necessary dimensions which is stiff enough to hold its shape and soft enough to be squeezed out nozzle of 3D printer.
NITI Aayog and Piramal Foundation have inked Statement of Intent (SoI) to work closely with District Collectors and key officers of ‘Aspirational Districts’ to support their transformation in terms of healthcare, education and nutrition. The collaboration is for four years with the option to continue, based on mutual agreement.
Under the SoI with NITI Aayog, Piramal Foundation will work in close conjunction with district administration, Central Prabhari Officers, State Prabhari Officers, state government and concerned Central ministries to improve identified indicators by strengthening existing public systems specifically in health and nutrition and education sectors. Piramal Foundation will also provide support by focusing on leadership development, change management, technology integration and implementing various innovative practices.
The Union Government had selected 115 backward (aspirational) districts for rapid transformation by 2022 in line with Government’s vision to create ‘New India’. NITI Aayog had ranked these districts on six socio-economic parameters, pertaining to health and nutrition, education, financial inclusion and skill development, agriculture and water resources and basic infrastructure. These 115 backward districts include 35 districts affected by Left Wing Extremists (LWE) violence, 55 districts just affected by LWE and another 15 including districts in Jammu and Kashmir and northeast affected by terrorism. Government has embarked upon major policy initiative for rapid transformation of these 115 districts that are lagging on specific development parameters. For this government will leverage Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs), aided by technology to bring radical transformation of these aspirational districts.