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Leprosy

Paper: General Studies 2

Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

Why in the news?

  • Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare wrote a letter to the Union Minister of Law and Justice and the Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment seeking amendment of the existing discriminatory laws against persons affected by leprosy. 
  • It will be a befitting tribute to the Father of the Nation on his 150th Birth Anniversary if we can expedite the process and introduction of the Elimination of Discrimination against Persons Affected by Leprosy (EDPAL) Bill, which was drafted by the Law Commission of India and annexed in its 256th Report – he said.
  • it is disturbing to learn that there still exist 108 discriminatory laws against persons affected by leprosy including 3 Union and 105 State laws – he also said.
  • India is committed for justice and equality of all individuals including persons with disabilities as per the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). He also mentioned that the target of Global Leprosy Strategy, 2016 – 2020 is to reduce the number of countries with laws allowing discrimination on the ground of leprosy to zero.

What is Leprosy?

Leprosy, also known as Hansen’s disease, is a chronic infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae. The disease mainly affects the skin, the peripheral nerves, mucosal surfaces of the upper respiratory tract and the eyes. Leprosy is known to occur at all ages ranging from early infancy to very old age. Leprosy is curable and early treatment averts most disabilities.

How has Leprosy been targeted and controlled?

  • The disease is now fully curable by Multi–Drug Therapy (MDT). This therapy is available free of cost at all the Government health care facilities in the country,
  • The National Leprosy Eradication Programme (NLEP) has achieved enormous success in leprosy control, particularly in the last four decades. In addition to the routine activities, more than a dozen innovations were introduced from 2016 onwards in a phased manner to address the issues being faced by the programme. 
  • Majorly, Leprosy Case Detection Campaign (LCDC) (specific for high endemic districts), Focussed Leprosy Campaign (for hot spots i.e., rural and urban areas), Special plan for case detection in hard to reach areas, ASHA based Surveillance for Leprosy Suspects (ABSULS) have contributed to early case detection. 
  • In addition, Sparsh Leprosy Awareness Campaign (SLAC) is implemented to reduce stigma against persons affected by Leprosy in the community.These innovations have given the much needed impetus to the programme. Moreover, leprosy has become fully curable”.  
  • A leprosy affected person after treatment does not transmit the disease agent. Hence, there exists no justification for the continued stigmatization of the persons affected by leprosy

 

Chandrayaan 2

Paper: General Studies 3

Topic: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology

Why in the news?

  • The second moon mission of India, the Chandrayaan-2 has been precisely inserted in defined orbit. It reached in defined lunar orbit at 09.02 am on Tuesday.
  • ISRO aims for successful landing at 1.55 AM on 7th September. The soft landing will be near the lunar South Pole. The next major event will be on 2nd September when the lander will be separated from the orbiter. 

About Chandrayaan 2

  • Chandrayaan 2 is India’s second lunar mission. Chandrayaan-2 will attempt to soft land the lander -Vikram and rover- Pragyan in a high plain between two craters, Manzinus C and Simpelius N, at a latitude of about 70° south on the moon.
  • The main scientific objective is to map the location and abundance of lunar water.

 

Prelims Specific

  • Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) handed over the design of Mobile Metallic Ramp (MMR) to the Indian Army. The ramp will provide the strategic mobility for Armoured and Mechanized units and formations of the Army. It is portable, modular in design, which can be easily assembled or disassembled and has a load bearing capacity of 70 tons.