WHO Current Affairs - 2019
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As per new World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines, children should not engage in more active play than sedentary screen time. It says babies and toddlers must not be left to watch television or other screens passively before turning two.
Every year more than 5 million deaths across all age groups are due to lack of physical activity. Therefore, to prevent childhood obesity and other associated diseases in later life, it is important to improve their physical, mental health, well-being, to prevent childhood obesity and other diseases associated in later life, for this physical activity, reduce sedentary time, quality sleep in young children is required.
- These WHO guidelines will be presented at ‘European Congress on Obesity’. This is for the first time. WHO has given guidelines about behavioural patterns, physical activity and sleep for children under 5 years of age.
- It focuses on passive viewing, with aim to deal with rising inactivity in children leading to obesity-related ill health and global mortality.
- It recommends that sedentary time should be turned into quality time. Example- reading book with child, can help them develop language skills.
- Sedentary screen time (including computer games) should be allowed before child turns two, and limit for 2-4 year olds is 1 hour a day and less is better.
Key Features of WHO guidelines
- For Infants (less than 1 year old): They should get no screen time and must not be kept in prams or seats for long. Parents must ensure they engage more in interactive floor-based active play, 30 minutes of tummy time and get better quality of sleep. Babies up to 3 months should sleep for at least 14-17 hours and those up to 11 months for 12-16 hours.
- Children between 1-2 years old: They should spend at least 180 minutes (3 Hours) in different kinds of physical activities, and should be allowed minimum screen time and must get at least 11-14 hours of good quality sleep.
- Children between 3-4 years old: Maximum 1 hour of screen time should be allowed. Parents must engage them in storytelling, in physical activities for at least 180 minutes (3 hours) and good quality sleep for 10-13 hours.
- Children below 5 years of age: Their screen time should not be more than 1 hour rather should spend more time playing.
World’s first Malaria Vaccine named RTS,S (trade name Mosquirix) was launched in Malawi, Africa on occasion of World Malaria Day (observed on 25 April). It was launched as part of pilot programme aimed at immunizing children aged 2 years and below in three African countries Malawi, Ghana and Kenya. Other two countries will launch this vaccine in coming weeks.
About Pilot Programme
- It is World Health Organization (WHO) coordinated three country pilot programme where risk of malaria is high. It aims to vaccinate 360,000 children per year with RTS,S vaccine across three countries and give them partial protection against disease. Children will be vaccinated on time with 4 required doses.
- The pilot programme is financed by collaboration of three key global health funding bodies: Gavi ( a public-private partnership Global Vaccine Alliance), Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and Unitaid (global health initiative that works with partners to end world’s tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, malaria and hepatitis C epidemics). Also, WHO, PATH and GSK will provide in-kind contributions.
About RTS,S Vaccine
- It is recombinant protein-based malaria vaccine. It is world’s first and only malaria vaccine. Its trade name is Mosquirix.
- It has been developed and manufactured by British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in partnership with the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative.
- It provides protection to only a third of children of less than 2 years age from severe malaria.
- It will act as complementary malaria control tool besides WHO-recommended core measures for malaria prevention, like routinely using insecticide-treated bed nets, indoor insecticides spraying and timely malaria testing and treatment.
- It is a life-threatening disease caused by parasites, which are transmitted by bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes. It is one of world’s leading killer disease. It is preventable and curable.
- In 2017, about 219 million cases of malaria were reported in 87 countries, and number of malaria deaths was 435 000.
- According to WHO, African Region carries highest share of global malaria burden with home to 92% of malaria cases and 93% of malaria deaths in 2017.