WHO Current Affairs

WHO launches plan for cheaper TB drugs

World Health Organization (WHO) has invited pharmaceutical companies around the world to submit proposals to manufacture affordable versions of newer medicines for treatment of drug resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB). It has now requested drug makers to submit Expression of Interest (EoI) for Bedaquiline and Delaminid, two new-generation drugs, recommended for DR-TB. The aim of this proposal is to replicate success of addressing HIV epidemic. Under WHO norms, drugs submitted upon such requests and complying with its standards will be included in list for procurement by UN and other organisations.

Background

India has nearly 1.3 lakh DR-TB patients, most in the world. Currently Health Ministry gets only 10,000 doses of Bedaquiline and 400 doses of Delaminid. These medicines are obtained as donations from Janssen (US) and Otsuka Pharmaceuticals (Japan), their respective manufacturers.

Significance

EoI considered by WHO for two drugs will be key compounds to address challenges of DR-TB. It will encourage generic competition to start finding ways to make these medicines available in countries where they are not yet registered. It will also allow generics manufacturers interested in producing these two drugs and currently facing technical challenges. The pre-qualification will ensure greater numbers of manufacturers are supplying quality medicines, which, in turn, means a more competitive market and more affordable prices.

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Vinod Paul: First Indian to receive WHO’s IhsanDogramaci Family Health Foundation Prize

NITI Aayog member Dr Vinod Paul became first Indian to be awarded prestigious IhsanDoğramacı Family Health Foundation Prize by World Health Organisation (WHO).  It will be formally presented at World Health Assembly to be held in Geneva, Switzerland in May 2018.

Background

He was selected unanimously for the prestigious award by WHO Board from six other shortlisted candidates from Algeria, China, Malaysia, Mexico, Russian Federation, Uzbekistan for distinguished contributions towards improving the health and well-being of families, especially in developing countries.

Dr Vinod Paul

Dr Paul is internationally renowned researcher, clinician, educator and public health advocate in the area of family health, with special focus on newborn health. His efforts have brought long-neglected issue of newborn health to centre-stage of strategies for Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

He is instrumental in establishing the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health in 2005-06. He is recognized world over as leading expert in universal health coverage and human resources for health.

He has played key role in formulating national child health guidelines and programmes in India. Prior to joining as Member, NITI Aayog, he was head of the Department of Pediatrics at AIIMS, New Delhi.

He has published numerous articles on various issues, including on children’s, women’s and adolescents’ health, in international peer-reviewed journals and several books and monographs. His book on paediatrics is standard textbook for medical students in India and several other countries.

IhsanDoğramacı Family Health Foundation Prize

WHO’s IhsanDoğramacı Family Health Foundation Prize is global honour conferred in recognition to services in field of family health. It was established in 1980 to promote and raise standard of family health by acknowledging individuals who have given distinguished service in this field. It is named after Professor Ihsan Doğramacı, a paediatrician and child health specialist.

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