WHO Current Affairs - 2019

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19 June: World Sickle Cell Day observed

The World Sickle Cell Day is globally observed every year on 19 June, to raise public awareness about the sickle cell disease and its treatment methods. This year is the 40th celebration of World Sickle Cell Day.

About World Sickle Cell Day

Background:

The day was 1st recognized by United Nations General Assembly (63rd session) in 2008 and Sickle Cell Disease International Organization (SCDIO), Republic of Congo and the Republic of Senegal, African Union (AU), the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) and WHO (World Health Organisation) backed the observation of day. For the first time the World Sickle Cell day was celebrated on 19 June, 2009.

Significance: It is celebrated to improve public awareness about genetic disease and to improve treatment outcomes of sickle cell disease by early diagnosis.

Celebrations: The day is observed in a way that NGOs, doctors, governments and support groups come together to find strategies to eliminate the sickle cell disease. Government also organise several campaigns for proper treatment and cure of those suffering from disease.

What is Sickle Cell Disease?

It is one of the most commonly occurring genetic disease. It is an inherited genetic abnormality of hemoglobin (the oxygen-carrying protein found in red blood cells) due to which red blood cells (RBCs) causes stuck in small blood vessels and are unable to carry adequate amount of oxygen throughout body.

In normal condition RBCs are flexible and round (thus move easily through blood vessels) and can live up to 120 days before body needs to replace them but in sickle cell anemia, RBCs are sickle shaped, become rigid and sticky and the sickle cells last only 10 to 20 days causing anemia because of red blood cells disorder.

As per UN estimation nearly 5 lakh children are born every year with this condition and half of them die before turning 5 years of age.

Month: Categories: Events & Observances

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7 June: 1st World Food Safety Day observed

The World Food Safety Day 2019 was observed on 7 June with the theme-Food Safety, everyone’s business’. It was first ever World Food Safety Day.

Key Highlights

Background:  The WFS day was facilitated by World Health Organisation(WHO) in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of United Nations (UN). This day was instituted by United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) by adopting a resolution for effect in December 2018 with an aim to highlight importance of safe food and to reduce problems related to it.

Objective: By observing World Food Safety Day, WHO pursues its efforts of mainstreaming food safety in public agenda and reducing burden of foodborne diseases globally.

Food Safety

According to WHO data, almost 1 in 10 people in the world fall ill after eating contaminated, with almost 1,25,000 deaths of children under 5 years. Around 600 million annual cases of the foodborne disease have been reported every year. The development of many low-and middle-income economies is hindered due to unsafe food. As result, these countries lose around US$ 95 billion in productivity associated with illness, disability, and premature death suffered by workers.

Initiatives in India

On occasion of first-ever World Food Safety Day, Union Minister of Health launched various initiatives such as-

  • State Food Safety Index (SFSI): The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), under Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, has developed first State Food Safety Index (SFSI) to measure performance of States on five parameters of food safety. This is an effort of ministry to motivate states to work towards ensuring safe food for citizens.
  • Raman 1.0: It is hand-held battery operated equipment that performs rapid detection, in less than a minute of economically driven adulteration in fats, ghee and edible oils.
  • Food Safety Magic Box: It is do-it-yourself food testing kit comprising of a manual and equipment to check for food adulterants. This can serve as innovative solution to take food safety to schools.
  • Eat Right Awards: instituted by FSSAI, with aim to recognize contributions made by food companies and individuals to empower citizens to choose safe and healthy food options so as to improve their health and well-being.

Month: Categories: Events & ObservancesUPSC

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