WHO Current Affairs - 2019

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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.


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.

Month: Categories: Awards & Honours


Rotavac: First India-designed vaccine to pass WHO test

Rotavac became first Indigenously developed vaccine from India to be pre-qualified by World Health Organisation (WHO). It means that vaccine can be sold internationally to several countries in South America and Africa.

So far, several vaccines from India have been pre-qualified by WHO, but Rotavac is first vaccine entirely developed locally to get this status in safety and efficacy.


Rotavac conceived and developed by the Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech Limited. It protects against childhood diarrhoea caused by the rotavirus. It was developed under the joint collaboration between India and United States in area of medical research.

It was developed under public-private partnership (PPP) model that involved Ministry of Science and Technology, institutions of the US Government and NGOs in India supported by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The vaccine was built on strain of the virus isolated at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi over 30 years ago. It has been included in India’s national immunisation programme. The vaccine was tested in field for over a year, have not shown any negative effect.


This recognition signifies credible industrial, scientific and regulatory process in place to develop vaccines in India. It paves the way for health and humanitarian organizations such as UNICEF, GAVI and Pan-American Health Organization to procure Rotavac for public health vaccination programmes across the world.


It is a most common causative agent of moderate-to-severe diarrhoea (MSD) among infants below 11 months age group in India. It spreads from person to person due to bacterial and parasiting agents that are primarily transmitted through contaminated food or water. It is responsible for estimated 36% of hospitalisations for childhood diarrhoea around world and for estimated 200,000 deaths in low- and middle-income countries. In India, diarrhoea caused by rotavirus, kills nearly 80 thousand children under age of 5 years and up to 10 lakh hospitalizations each year.

Month: Categories: Science & Technology