WHO Current Affairs - 2019
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World Health Organization (WHO) has launched comprehensive plan “REPLACE” to eliminate industrially-produced artificial trans-fats from global food supply by 2023. The elimination of trans-fats is key to protecting health and saving lives. REPLACE is abbreviated in six strategic actions as Review, Promote, Legislate, Assess, Create awareness and Enforce.
The campaign provides step-by-step guide in six strategic actions of ‘REPLACE’ package to ensure prompt, complete, and sustained elimination of industrially-produced trans-fats from global food supply. Implementing six strategic actions will help achieve elimination of trans-fat and represent major victory in the global fight against cardiovascular diseases.
Six areas of action include:
Review dietary sources of industrially produced transfats and landscape for required policy change.
Promote replacement of industrially produced transfats with healtier fats and oils.
Legislate or enact regulatory actions to eliminate industrially produced transfat.
Assess and monitor trans-fat content in the food supply and changes in transfat consumption in the population…
Create awareness of the negative health impact of trans-fat among policy makers, producers, suppliers and the public.
Enforce compliance with policies and regulations.
Industrially-produced trans-fats are contained in hardened vegetable fats such as margarine and ghee, and are often present in snack, baked, and fried foods. Manufacturers often use them as they have longer shelf life than other fats. Increased intake of trans fat (>1% of total energy intake) is associated with increased risk of coronary heart disease mortality and events as trans-fats clog arteries, increasing the risk of heart attacks. WHO estimates that every year, trans fat intake leads to over 5,00,000 deaths worldwide from cardiovascular diseases. Denmark was first country to mandate restrictions on industrially-produced trans fats.
The Union Cabinet has given approval to accede to Protocol under World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on tobacco control to eliminate illicit trade in tobacco products.
It will be applicable to both smoking and chewing or smokeless tobacco (SLT) forms as negotiated and adopted under Article 15 of WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC). India is a party to WHO FCTC.
Features of Protocol to eliminate illicit trade in tobacco products
It lays down obligations on parties and spells out supply chain control measures that must be adopted by parties while licensing manufactures of tobacco products and machinery for manufacturing of tobacco products. It mainly deals with those engaged in production, tracking and tracing regime, record keeping and security. It also spells out measures to be taken by those engaged in e-commerce, manufacturing in free-trade zones and duty free sales. It lists out offences, enforcement measures such as seizures and disposal of seized products. It calls for international cooperation in information sharing, maintaining, training, technical assistance and cooperation in scientific and technical and technological matters.
The protocol is path breaking initiative in strengthening global action against tobacco. It is also new legal instrument in public health. It is comprehensive tool to counter and eventually eliminate illicit trade in tobacco products and strengthen legal dimensions for international health cooperation.
The protocol will help in strengthening comprehensive tobacco control, leading to reduction in tobacco use which in turn, will result in reduction in disease burden and mortality associated with tobacco use. It will provide India actionable alternatives against such prevailing practices that are affecting public health at large. It will provide India a platform to influence international organizations including World Custom Organization (WCO) in controlling such illicit trade.
The WHO FCTC is the first international public health treaty negotiated under auspices of WHO. Its objective is to provide framework for supply and demand reduction measures for tobacco control at national, regional and global levels. One of the key tobacco supply reduction strategies enshrined in Article 15 of WHO FCTC envisages elimination of all forms of illicit trade and tobacco products, including smuggling, illicit manufacturing and counterfeiting. The Protocol to eliminate illicit trade in tobacco products was developed and adopted by Conference of Parties (COP) which is governing body of FCTC. It is divided into 10 parts and contains 47 Articles.