WHO Current Affairs - 2019
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The World Malaria Day (WMD) is being observed every year on 25 April across the world to recognise the global efforts to control preventable vector borne disease malaria. It also seeks to highlight the need for continued investment and sustained political commitment for elimination and control of malaria.
The theme of 2018 WMD is “Ready to beat malaria“. The theme marks mportance of collective responsibility and commitment of global community in bringing together people on working towards making world free of malaria. It also puts exemplary progress achieved in tackling malaria under spotlight.
The World Malaria Day (WMD) was established by the 60th session of World Health Assembly, a decision-making body of World Health Organization (WHO) in May 2007. It was established to provide understanding and education of malaria and also spread information on year-long intensified implementation of national malaria-control strategies. It is one of eight official global public health campaigns currently marked by the WHO.
Malaria is mosquito-borne infectious disease most commonly transmitted through the bite of infected female Anopheles mosquito. It caused by parasitic protozoans (a group of single-celled microorganisms) belonging to Plasmodium type. After an infected mosquito bites human, parasites begin to multiply in person’s liver. It progresses to infect and destroy red blood cells (RBCs) in the body. Common symptoms of severe malaria include flu, fever and chills respiratory distress and deep breathing, abnormal bleeding, signs of anaemia and impaired consciousness. Malaria can be controlled by early diagnosis.
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.
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.
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.