India has officially received certificates from World Health Organisation (WHO), recognizing the elimination of Yaws and Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus (MNT) from the country.
The certificates were presented to Union Health Minister J P Nadda at the 69th Session of the WHO Regional Committee for South-East Asia Region held in Colombo, capital of Sri Lanka.
- WHO had officially declared India yaws-free in May 2016 after a team of experts verified interruption of disease transmission in the country.
- India was the first country in the world to eliminate yaws under the 2012 WHO neglected tropical diseases (NTD) roadmap.
- Besides, India also was declared maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT) free in August 2015 after it was reduced to less than one case per 1 000 live births in all 675 districts.
- Yaws is a chronic bacterial infection that affects the skin, cartilages and bones. It is caused by the spirochete bacterium Treponema pallidum pertenue.
- It spreads by direct contact with the fluid from a lesion of an infected person. It mainly affects children below 15 years of age.
- It mainly occurs in overcrowded communities with limited access to basic amenities such as water, sanitation and health care services.