Medical Current Affairs

India declared free from Trachoma bacterial infection of eye

India was declared free from infective Trachoma, a contagious bacterial infection of the eye. The infection causes inflamed granulation on the inner surface of the lids.

It was announced by Union Health Minister J P Nadda after releasing National Trachoma Survey Report (2014-17) in New Delhi. With this, India met goal of trachoma elimination as specified by World Health Organisation (WHO) under its GET2020 (Global Elimination of Trachoma by the year 2020) program.

Trachoma

Trachoma is a chronic infective disease of eye and is leading cause of infective blindness globally. It is outcome of poor environmental and personal hygiene and inadequate access to water and sanitation. It affects conjunctiva under the eyelids.

Repeated Trachoma infection causes scarring leading to in-turning of the eyelashes and eyelids which further causes damage to cornea and blindness. It is main cause of corneal blindness in India, affecting young children. It was found affecting the population North Indian states like Gujarat, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh.

National Trachoma Survey Report (2014-17)

The Survey results indicate that active Trachoma is no longer a public health problem in India. It was possible due to decades of inter-sectoral interventions and efforts that included provision of antibiotic eye drops, personal hygiene, improved environmental sanitation, availability of safe water, availability of surgical facilities for chronic trachoma.

Trachoma has been eliminated among children below 10 years in all survey districts with overall prevalence of only 0.7%, much below elimination criteria of infective trachoma as defined by WHO. As per WHO targets, Trachoma is considered eliminated if prevalence of active infection among children below 10 years is less than 5%.

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Peru approves medicinal use of marijuana

The Peruvian Congress has approved a bill to authorises the medicinal and therapeutic use of cannabis (marijuana) in the country. It makes production, import and commercial sale of marijuana and its derivatives legal.

With this Peru became sixth country in Latin America to legalise cannabis. Uruguay was first in 2013, allowing sales of cannabis any purpose.  It was followed by Mexico, Argentina, Colombia and Chile.

Marijuana

Marijuana is greenish-gray mixture of dried, shredded leaves, stems, seeds and flowers of Cannabis sativa – the hemp plant. Most people smoke marijuana, though it can also be used in other forms such as edibles, powders and oils. It used for controlling pain for medical issues, like cancer, nervous system diseases, glaucoma, migraines, etc and also used to treat nausea and improve appetites for people with HIV or other chronic illnesses.

The health effects of marijuana use can lead to a rapid heart rate, increase blood pressure, red eyes, dry mouth, increased appetite and slowed reaction time in short term. In long term, daily use of marijuana during adolescent years may result in impaired learning, memory and decreased IQ.

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