World Health Organisation (WHO) Current Affairs - 2020

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WHO revises Protocol for Antibiotics

With an aim to curb antibiotic resistance, the World Health Organization (WHO) has revised the protocol for antibiotics. This revision is the biggest such revision of the antibiotics section in the 40-year history of the essential medicines list (EML).

Salient Highlights

WHO has divided the drugs into three categories — access, watch and reserve. It has also specified which category of drugs are to be used  for treating common ailments and which are to be used to treat complicated diseases.

As per the classification, commonly used antibiotics will be placed under the ‘access’ category. WHO has recommended that the antibiotics in this category be made available at all times as a treatment for a wide range of common infections. The drugs that fall under this category includes drugs such as amoxicillin which is widely-used for treating infections such as pneumonia.

Second line of antibiotics which are slightly potent will be placed under ‘watch‘ category. WHO recommends that the drugs coming under this category be prescribed less to avoid further development of resistance. Example of drug that falls under this category is Ciprofloxacin, which is used to treat cystitis and upper respiratory tract infections like bacterial sinusitis and bacterial bronchitis.

The highly potent drugs which should be used only as a last resort will be placed under the ‘reserve’ category. WHO recommends that these drugs be used only when all other alternatives failed such as life-threatening infections caused by multidrug-resistant bacteria.


The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that acts as a coordinating authority on international public health. Established on 7 April 1948, it succeeded the Health Organization, which was an agency of the League of Nations. It is a member of the United Nations Development Group and its headquarters is located at Geneva. WHO flag features the Rod of Asclepius as a symbol for healing.

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First National Deworming Day observed on 10 February

First National Deworming Day was observed on 10 February.

On the eve of the National Deworming Day, Union Ministry for Health & Family Welfare launched the National Deworming initiative.

It was launched by Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare Jagat Prakash Nadda in Jaipur, Rajasthan.

National Deworming initiative

  • Aim: To protect more than 24 crore children in India between the age of 1 to 19 years from intestinal worms. It also aims target intestinal parasitic worms among the children to achieve status of being Worm-free.
  • It is one of the largest programmes in the world undertaken to deworm children.
  • In the first phase, about 14 crore children will be covered across eleven States/UT. They are, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Haryana, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Tripura.
  • Albendazole tablets will be given to all targeted children in first phase. Dosage of half tablet to 1-2 years children and one full tablet for 2-19 years will be given.
  • While in second phase, nearly 10 crore children will be targeted between 11 February and 14 February 2015.

Parasitic worms infestation

Worms interfere with nutrient uptake in small children causing parasitic infestation. It leads to severe complications among the children resulting in anemia, malnutrition and improper mental and physical development.

According to World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates, nearly 24 crore children in India in the age group of 1-14 years are at risk of intestinal parasitic worm infestation.

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