WHO Current Affairs - 2019
Category Wise PDF Compilations available at This Link
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) launched ‘MERA (Malaria Elimination Research Alliance) India’, with aim of eliminating Malaria from India by 2030. It is a collective group of partners working on malaria control. It was launched on occasion of World Malaria Day 2019 (Observed on 25 April).
- It aims to prioritize, plan and scale up a coordinated research to have impact on population facing malaria risk and to eliminate malaria from India by 2030.
- It complements and not duplicates international efforts to eliminate Malaria on a national scale, and simultaneously contributing to broader global agenda.
- It seeks to facilitate trans-institutional coordination and collaboration around shared research agenda, which responds to programmatic challenges, addresses gaps in available tools, and proactively contributes to targeted research.
- It holds importance for Ministry of Health and Family Welfare because of operational research.
India and Malaria
Declining Trend: Malaria burden has declined in India by over 80% from 2.03 million cases in 2000 to 0.39 million in 2018, and Deaths caused by malaria also declined by over 90% from 932 deaths in 2000 to 85 in 2018. This success of India in malaria control cases, provided foundation for leadership commitment towards eliminating malaria from India by 2030. The WHO report also appreciated India’s research for decline in malaria.
India’s ‘The National Vector Borne Diseases Control Program (NVBDCP)’, developed a comprehensive framework to achieve overarching vision of “Malaria free India by 2030”. NVBDCP’s National Strategic Plan recognises critical role of research to support and guide malaria elimination efforts.
To achieve the stated objective, we need to have a coordinated approach, cutting edge research, research inputs, stick to timeline and tools which can guide national programme to develop strategies for regular changes endemicity in near malaria elimination era.
World Health Organisation (WHO) has released new recommendations on 10 ways through which countries can use digital health technology which is accessible via mobile phones, tablets and computers to improve people’s health and essential services.
Overview of WHO Recommendations
- The guideline demonstrates that health systems need to respond to the increased visibility and availability of information.
- The recommendations advise on everything from how to employ digital tools for birth notifications to implementing health worker decision support tools and using telemedicine to digital health education services.
- The guidelines are designed to help decision-makers in government health departments; the public health sector and other stakeholders, better understand how digital tools could address their population’s health needs.
- The guideline emphasises the importance of providing supportive environments for training, dealing with unstable infrastructure, as well as policies to protect the privacy of individuals, and governance and coordination to ensure these tools are not fragmented across the health system.
- People must be assured that their own data is safe and that they are not being put at risk because they have accessed information on sensitive health topics, such as sexual and reproductive health issues.
- The guideline underlines the importance of reaching vulnerable populations and ensuring that digital health does not endanger them in any way.
The recommendations were based on the two-year-long research by the WHO on digital technologies, including consultations with global experts, so that such tools may be used for maximum impact on health systems and people’s health.