Public Health Current Affairs

Government to roll out Integrated Initiative for Prevention & Control of Viral Hepatitis

The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has decided to roll out ‘Integrated initiative for prevention & control of viral hepatitis’ under National Health Mission (NHM) for prevention and control of viral hepatitis. The initiative will have budgetary support of more than Rs. 517 crore for three years. India is committed to eliminating the viral hepatitis by 2030.

Key Facts

Under this initiative, the ministry will scale up to 100 treatment and 665 testing centres over period of next three years in all states. It will address components such as surveillance, awareness generation, immunisation, safe blood, injection safety infection control, diagnosis of viral hepatitis, capacity building, research and monitoring. It is also proposed to establish 15 model treatment centres, which will function as referral centres for diagnosis and treatment of hepatitis C and assist in capacity building.

Viral hepatitis

Hepatitis means inflammation of the liver. Liver is vital organ that processes nutrients, filters blood, and fights infections. When the liver is inflamed due to viral hepatitis or damaged, its functions are affected. Hepatitis is most often caused by a virus and most common types of viral hepatitis are Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C. Viral hepatitis is recognised as public health problem worldwide. India is committed to ending it by 2030.

Heavy alcohol use, toxins, some medications, and certain medical conditions also can cause hepatitis. It can also spread through use of injectable drugs, unsafe health care, unsafe injection practises and transfusion of unscreened blood and blood products. Symptoms of hepatitis can include fever, fatigue, vomiting, loss of appetite, nausea, abdominal pain, dark urine, grey-colored stools, joint pain, and jaundice. Treatment of Hepatitis depends on the diagnosis.

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Malaria Summit held in London

The Malaria Summit was held in London, United Kingdom organisations to make game-changing commitments towards beating malaria. It was organized by non-profit organisation Malaria No More in conjunction with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and supported by British Prime Minister Theresa May.

Key Facts

The summit coincided with Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London, a biennial convening of 53 Commonwealth leaders, whose countries are disproportionately affected by malaria. It united 14 heads of state and governments, scientists, private sector and international organisations to make game-changing commitments towards beating malaria.

The participants committed on high level political commitment towards malaria elimination, significant increase in investment from malaria endemic countries to leverage and complement donor funding, new innovative tools to overcome the growing threat of resistance and improved methods to track disease to enable more effective and efficient intervention and to prevent resurgence.

The summit pledged investment of over $3.8 billion to pay for innovation in malaria research and treatment. The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria also pledged $2 billion would be invested in 46 countries affected by malaria between 2018-20.

Malaria

Malaria is life-threatening mosquito-borne blood disease caused by Plasmodium parasite. It is transmitted to humans through bite of Anopheles mosquito. Once infected mosquito bites human, the parasites multiply in host’s liver before infecting and destroying red blood cells.

Symptoms of mosquito resemble those of flu, but, without treatment, the effects can sometimes be long-term and fatal. It can be treated and controlled with early diagnosis. Currently, no vaccine is licensed for use in the United States or globally, although one is available in Europe.

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