International Current Affairs
World Pneumonia Day is observed globally every year on November 12 to generate awareness about ‘pneumonia’ disease. The observance of day aims to highlight the severity of pneumonia and bring together people from all over world to promote the prevention and treatment of the disease.
Significance of Day
- Raise awareness about pneumonia, the world’s leading killer of children under age of five.
- Promote interventions to protect against, prevent and treat pneumonia and
- Generate action to combat pneumonia.
World Pneumonia Day was first observed in 2009 after more than 100 organisations joined together form Global Coalition against Child Pneumonia. At present, global coalition comprises of over 140 NGOs, academic institutions, government agencies and foundations.
Pneumonia is form of acute respiratory infection that affects the lungs. It is caused by inflammation of the airspaces in the lungs. Lungs are made up of small sacs called alveoli, which fill with air when healthy person breathes. When an individual has pneumonia, alveoli are filled with pus and fluid, which makes breathing painful and limits oxygen intake.
Causes: It is caused by number of infectious agents, including viruses, bacteria and fungi. The most common are Streptococcus pneumoniae (most common cause of bacterial pneumonia in children), Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) (second most common cause of bacterial pneumonia), Respiratory syncytial virus is most common viral cause of pneumonia.
Treatment: Vaccinations are available against several common organisms that are known to cause pneumonia. Besides, antibiotics can also treat pneumonia by controlling the bacterial or fungal infection.
Newly appointed Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa ended his five-decade-long association with Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and joined newly-formed Sri Lanka People’s Party (SLPP). SLFP was founded by his father Don Alwin Rajapaksa in 1951. Rajapaksa’s joining SLPP signals that he will contest snap polls, under his own party banner and not that of President Maithripala Sirisena’s Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP). SLPP was formed in 2017 by Rajapaksa’s supporters as platform for his re-entry into politics. In February 2018 local council elections SLPP won two-third of total 340 seats.
Sri Lankan Political and Constitutional Crisis
In January 2015 Presidential election, then President Mahinda Rajapaksa (was in office for decade from 2005) was unexpectedly defeated by his then deputy Sirisena with support from Ranil Wickremesinghe’s United National Party (UNP). But, power-sharing arrangement between President Sirisena and PM Wickremesinghe in later times became increasingly uncertain on several policy matters, mainly on economy and security.
Further rift had developed between them over policy towards China and India, with Wickremesinghe favouring Indian investment as counter to Chinese inroads in Sri Lankan infrastructure projects and Sirisena’s intention to contest 2020 presidential election under Mr Wickremesinghe’s party.
In October 2018 Sirisena had abruptly removed Wickremesinghe and replaced with Rajapaksa, a pro-China strongman as new Prime Minister. This move had plunged Sri Lanka into political and constitutional crisis. Sirisena had suspended parliamentary proceedings and later dissolved it, after it became evident that there is not enough support in House to prove Rajapaksa’s premiership.