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National Health Mission

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?

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister has been apprised of the Progress under National Health Mission (NHM) and Decisions of the Empowered Programme Committee and Mission Steering Group of the NHM.

What has been the progress under the NHM?

  • There has been acceleration in decline of Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR), Under Five Mortality Rate (U5MR) and the IMR since the launch of the NRHM/NHM. At the current rate of decline, India should able to reach its SDG target (MMR-70, U5MR-25) much before the due year i.e. 2030.
  • India was the biggest success story amongst Malaria endemic countries in the World, in bringing down Malaria cases and deaths which have declined by 49.09% and 50.52% in 2013, respectively , compared to 2017.
  • Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP) has been significantly strengthened and intensified. A total of 1,180 CBNAAT machines across all districts have been installed which provides rapid and accurate diagnosis for TB, including drug resistant TB. This has resulted in three-fold increased use of CBNAAT over the past year. Due to the intensified efforts, there is a 16% jump in identification of new cases in one year. Universal drug sensitive cases also increased by 54%. Newer drug regimen of Bedaquiline and Delamanid and nutrition support to all the TB patients for the duration of the treatment has been rolled throughout the country.
  • In 2018-19, 52744 AB-HWCs were approved against which 17149 HWCs were operationalized against the target of 15000.A total of 1, 81,267 Health workers including ASHAs, MPHWs, Staff Nurses and PHC-MOs were trained on NCDs during 2018-19. The states have initiated activities to operationalize the HWCs.
  • Amongst the new vaccines, Tetanus and adult Diphtheria (Td) vaccine replaced Tetanus Toxoid (TT) vaccine under universal immunization programme in 2018 to ensure Diphtheria immunity among adults.
  • In 2018, Measles-Rubella (MR) vaccination drive was conducted in 17 additional States, thereby covering 30.50 Crores children till March 2019.
  • During 2018-19, Rotavirus vaccine (RVV) was introduced in additional two States. Till today, all the States/UTs are covered with RVV.
  • During 2018-19, Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) was expanded to MP, Haryana and the remaining districts of Bihar, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.  
  • The routine and recurring incentives of ASHAs got increased from 1000 per month to 2000 per month. ASHAs and ASHA Facilitators were provided the cover of Pradhan Mantri Jevan Jyoti Beema Yojna (Premium of Rs. 330 contributed by Gol) and Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Beema Yojna (Premium of Rs.12 contributed by Gol). 
  • Anaemia Mukt Bharat (AMB) Abhiyaan was launched under POSHAN Abhiyaan in April 2018.  
  • The untied funds amount was increased from Rs, 20,000 to Rs 50,000 for sub health Centres transformed to HWCs.
  • Home Based Care for Young Child (HBYC) programme was introduced under POSHAN Abhiyaan.
  • The scheme for awarding States/UTs/Districts for achieving disease free status in TB/Leprosy/Malaria/Kala-Azar/Lymphatic-Filariasis/Cataract was approved. This will allow certification of the districts/ states as Disease Free ahead of the national certification and promote healthy competition among states and districts, similar to ODF districts and states. 
  • National Viral Hepatitis Control Programme was approved for prevention, management and treatment of Hepatitis to A, B, C and E and rollout was initiated. This would benefit an estimated 5 crore patients of Hepatitis.

 

What is the National Health Mission?

National Health Mission (NHM) is a dedicated programme launched by the Government of India in 2013 subsuming the National Rural Health Mission and National Urban Health Mission. It was further extended in March 2018, to continue till March 2020.

The main programmatic components include Health System Strengthening in rural and urban areas for – Reproductive-Maternal- Neonatal-Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCH+A), and Communicable and Non-Communicable Diseases. The NHM envisages achievement of universal access to equitable, affordable & quality health care services that are accountable and responsive to people’s needs.

The National Health Mission seeks to ensure the achievement of the following indicators: –

  • Reduce MMR to 1/1000 live births
  • Reduce IMR to 25/1000 live births
  • Reduce TFR to 2.1
  • Prevention and reduction of anemia in women aged 15–49 years
  • Prevent and reduce mortality & morbidity from communicable, non- communicable; injuries and emerging diseases
  • Reduce household out-of-pocket expenditure on total health care expenditure
  • Reduce annual incidence and mortality from Tuberculosis by half
  • Reduce prevalence of Leprosy to <1/10000 population and incidence to zero in all districts
  • Annual Malaria Incidence to be <1/1000
  • Less than 1 per cent microfilaria prevalence in all districts
  • Kala-azar Elimination by 2015, <1 case per 10000 population in all blocks

 

WHO India Country Cooperation Strategy 2019–2023

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?

  • The WHO India Country Cooperation Strategy 2019–2023: A Time of Transition’,was launched. 
  • The Country Cooperation Strategy (CCS) provides a strategic roadmap for WHO to work with the Government of India towards achieving its health sector goals, in improving the health of its population and bringing in transformative changes in the health sector.
  • The four areas identified for strategic cooperation of WHO with the country encompass: to accelerate progress on UHC; to promote health and wellness by addressing determinants of health; to protect the population better against health emergencies; and to enhance India’s global leadership in health.
  • The India CCS is one of the first that fully aligns itself with the newly adopted WHO 13th General Programme of Work and its ‘triple billion’ targets, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and WHO South-East Asia Region’s eight Flagship Priorities. It captures the work of the United Nations Sustainable Development Framework for 2018–2022. 
  • The CCS outlines how WHO can support the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and other allied Ministries to drive impact at the country level. 
  • The strategy document builds on other key strategic policy documents including India’s National Health Policy 2017, the many pathbreaking initiatives India has introduced — from Ayushman Bharat to its National Viral Hepatitis programme and promotion of digital health amongst others.

About the WHO

  • The World Health Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations that is concerned with international public health. It was established on 7 April 1948, and headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. The WHO is a member of the United Nations Development Group.
  • The WHO’s Constitution states that its objective “is the attainment by all people of the highest possible level of health”.

As of 2012, the WHO has defined its role in public health as follows:

  • providing leadership on matters critical to health and engaging in partnerships where joint action is needed;
  • shaping the research agenda and stimulating the generation, translation, and dissemination of valuable knowledge;
  • setting norms and standards and promoting and monitoring their implementation;
  • articulating ethical and evidence-based policy options;
  • providing technical support, catalysing change, and building sustainable institutional capacity; and
  • monitoring the health situation and assessing health trends.
  • CRVS (Civil Registration and Vital Statistics) to provide monitoring of vital events (birth, death, wedding, divorce).

WHO is responsible for the World Health Report, the worldwide World Health Survey, and World Health Day.

 

Mahatma Gandhi National Fellowship (MGNF) programme

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?

  • The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) announced its partnership with Indian Institute of Management (IIM)- Bangalore to launch a new programme ‘Mahatma Gandhi National Fellowship’.
  • The two-year Fellowship programme will be delivered by IIMB’s Centre of Public Policy (CPP)
  • Designed under Skills Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion (SANKALP) the fellowship aims to address the challenge of non-availability of personnel for implementation of various programmes at national, state and district levels.
  • The MGNF programme has an in-built component of on-ground practical experience with the district administration. Launched on a pilot basis in 75 districts across Gujarat, Karnataka, Meghalaya, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, eligible fellows for the programme have to be in 21-30 years age-group, have a graduation degree from a recognized university and be citizens of India. Proficiency in the official language of state of fieldwork will be mandatory.

What is SANKALP?

Launched by the Government in January 2018, SANKALP is a World Bank loan assisted project that aims to strengthen institutional mechanisms for skill development and increase access to quality and market-relevant training for youth across the country. Four key result areas have been identified under SANKALP viz: (i) Institutional Strengthening; (ii) Quality Assurance; (iii) Inclusion; and (iv) Expanding Skills through PPPs.

 

Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Paper: General Studies 3

Topic: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life

Why in the news?

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2019 was awarded jointly to John B. Goodenough, M. Stanley Whittingham and Akira Yoshino “for the development of lithium-ion batteries.”

What are Lithium Ion Batteries?

  • A rechargeable lithium-ion battery is made of one or more power-generating compartments called cells. Each cell has essentially three components: a positive electrode (connected to the battery’s positive or + terminal), a negative electrode (connected to the negative or − terminal), and a chemical called an electrolyte in between them. The positive electrode is typically made from a chemical compound called lithium-cobalt oxide (LiCoO2) or, in newer batteries, from lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4). The negative electrode is generally made from carbon (graphite) and the electrolyte varies from one type of battery to another.
  • When the battery is charging up, the lithium-cobalt oxide, positive electrode gives up some of its lithium ions, which move through the electrolyte to the negative, graphite electrode and remain there. The battery takes in and stores energy during this process. When the battery is discharging, the lithium ions move back across the electrolyte to the positive electrode, producing the energy that powers the battery. In both cases, electrons flow in the opposite direction to the ions around the outer circuit. Electrons do not flow through the electrolyte: it’s effectively an insulating barrier, so far as electrons are concerned.
  • The movement of ions (through the electrolyte) and electrons (around the external circuit, in the opposite direction) are interconnected processes, and if either stops so does the other. If ions stop moving through the electrolyte because the battery completely discharges, electrons can’t move through the outer circuit either—so you lose your power. 

What are the advantages of Lithium ion batteries?

  • They’re generally much lighter than other types of rechargeable batteries of the same size. The electrodes of a lithium-ion battery are made of lightweight lithium and carbon. Lithium is also a highly reactive element, meaning that a lot of energy can be stored in its atomic bonds. This translates into a very high energy density for lithium-ion batteries. A typical lithium-ion battery can store 150 watt-hours of electricity in 1 kilogram of battery. A NiMH (nickel-metal hydride) battery pack can store perhaps 100 watt-hours per kilogram, although 60 to 70 watt-hours might be more typical. A lead-acid battery can store only 25 watt-hours per kilogram. Using lead-acid technology, it takes 6 kilograms to store the same amount of energy that a 1 kilogram lithium-ion battery can handle.
  • They hold their charge. A lithium-ion battery pack loses only about 5 percent of its charge per month, compared to a 20 percent loss per month for NiMH batteries.
  • They have no memory effect, which means that you do not have to completely discharge them before recharging, as with some other battery chemistries.
  • Lithium-ion batteries can handle hundreds of charge/discharge cycles.

 

Prelims Specific

    • Gagan Enabled Mariner’s Instrument for Navigation and Information (GEMINI) device was launched for seamless and effective dissemination of emergency information and communication on disaster warnings, Potential Fishing Zones (PFZ) and Ocean States Forecasts (OSF) to fishermen. It was developed by Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) and Airports Authority of India (AAI) for use of the data from the GAGAN (GPS Aided Geo Augmented Navigation) satellite system.
    • Pradhan Mantri Innovative Learning Programme- ‘DHRUV’. It would allow talented students to realize their full potential and contribute to society. Every student to be called ‘DHRUV TARA’. The students will thus both shine through their achievements and light a path for others to follow. It will cover two areas i.e. Science and Performing Arts.There will be 60 students in all, 30 from each area.The 60 students come from across the country. The students will be broadly from classes 9 to 12, from all schools including government and private. This is only the first phase of the programme which will be expanded gradually to other fields like creative writing etc.
    • Global Competitiveness Index – India slipped 10 places from last year at 68th position. The GCI is released by the World Economic Forum. It maps the competitiveness landscape of 141 economies through 103 indicators organised into 12 pillars. Singapore has become the world’s most competitive economy in 2019, pushing the US to second place. India is among the worst performing BRICS nations along with Brazil (71st).