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Nutrition survey finds rising diabetes risk in children

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New Delhi, Oct 7 : There is a growing risk of non-communicable diseases among children aged 5 to 9 years and adolescents aged 10-19 years in India. As per the Comprehensive National Nutrition Survey (CNNS) 2016-18, one in 10 school-age children and adolescents were pre-diabetic.

One percent of school-age children and adolescents were diabetic and three percent of school-age children and four per cent of adolescents had high total cholesterol.

Seven percent of school-age children and adolescents were at risk for chronic kidney disease. Five percent of adolescents were classified as having hypertension.

The CNNS, the first-ever nationally representative nutrition survey of children and adolescents in India, has also found that 35 per cent of children under five were stunted, 22 per cent of school-age children were stunted while 24 per cent of adolescents were thin for their age.

The CNNS India for the period 2016-18 is the largest micronutrient survey ever conducted.

To provide robust data on the shifting conditions of both under-nutrition and overweight and obesity, the Ministry of Health conducted the survey to collect a comprehensive set of data on nutritional status of Indian children from 0-19 years of age.

This survey was the largest micronutrient survey ever implemented. Also, the survey used gold standard methods to assess anaemia, micronutrient deficiencies and biomarkers of NCDs for the first time in India.

As far as stunting was concerned, a number of the most populous states including Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh had a high (37-42 per cent) prevalence.

The lowest prevalence of stunting (16-21% ) was found in Goa and Jammu and Kashmir. A higher prevalence of stunting in under-fives was found in rural areas (37 per cent) compared to urban areas (27 per cent). Also, children in the poorest wealth quintile were more likely to be stunted (49 per cent), as compared to 19 per cent in the richest quintile.

Stunting and underweight prevalence were both about 7 per cent in newborn children, with a steady increase in both indicators until two years of age. The prevalence of stunting peaked at 40 per cent at approximately two years of age and slowly declined to 30 per cent by the fifth year of life. The prevalence of underweight was highest (35 per cent) in the third year of life and ranged from 25 per cent to 34 per cent during 36-59 months of age.

Overall, 35 per cent of children aged 5 to 9 years were underweight, with 10 per cent severely underweight. The prevalence of underweight was 30 per cent at age five years and remained stable across the five-year period.

On deficiencies, as per the survey, the prevalence of vitamin A deficiency was 18 per cent among pre-school children, 22 per cent among school-age children and 16 per cent among adolescents.

Vitamin D deficiency was found among 14 per cent of pre-school children, 18 per cent of school-age children and 24 per cent of adolescents.

Nearly one-fifth of pre-school children (19 per cent), 17 per cent of school-age children and 32 per cent of adolescents had zinc deficiency.

On anaemia, the survey found that forty-one per cent of pre-schoolers, 24 per cent of school-age children and 28 per cent of adolescents suffered from it. Anaemia was most prevalent among children under two years of age.

Female adolescents had a higher prevalence of anaemia (40 per cent) compared to their male counterparts (18 per cent).

Anaemia was a moderate or severe public health problem among pre-schoolers in 27 states, among school-age children in 15 states, and among adolescents in 20 states.

Thirty-two percent of pre-schoolers, 17 per cent of school-age children and 22 per cent of adolescents had iron deficiency.

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Congress alleges govt procuring Covid vaccine at inflated prices

The Congress leader said the price of such a vaccine must be cheaper than AstraZeneca-Serum Institute of India’s Covishield.

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New Delhi, Jan 17 : The Congress on Sunday questioned the procurement of Covid vaccines, alleging that the government has procured the vaccines at inflated prices despite the manufacturers claiming they would supply the vaccines without seeking profit.

Congress General Secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala, addressing a press conference, said, “Why should the Modi government pay Rs 95 per dose more to Bharat Biotech for a vaccine that has been developed with the expertise and experience of scientists of government-run ICMR and pay more for a vaccine that has only been tested on 755 individuals and is yet to be cleared after phase-3 trials?”

The Congress leader said the price of such a vaccine must be cheaper than AstraZeneca-Serum Institute of India’s Covishield.

“Why is the price of the vaccine at Rs 1,000 per dose in the open market?” he asked.

Surjewala said, “‘Covishield’ is an AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured by Serum Institute of India. Serum Institute is supplying this vaccine at Rs 200/dose to government. AstraZeneca has committed to supplying the vaccine at no profit while ‘Covaxin’, manufactured by Bharat Biotech, is being supplied at Rs 295/dose. Admittedly, Covaxin has been developed by Bharat Biotech in partnership with Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).”

SII CEO Adar Poonawalla had said stated that his company will sell Covishield for Rs 1,000 per dose in open market, that is Rs 2,000 for 2 doses required for every individual.

Surjewala said, “Why should export of vaccine be permitted without immunisation of India’s population? ‘Corona Vaccine For All’ should be the stated policy of Modi government.”

“However, the government’s approach on free vaccination or cost of vaccination, cost to exchequer, profit margins of companies, etc, for India’s 130 crore people is completely opaque and shrouded in secrecy,” he said.

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13 Israelis suffer facial paralysis post inoculation

“For at least 28 hours, I walked around with it (facial paralysis),” one person who had the side effect told Ynet.

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Jerusalem, Jan 17 : At least 13 Israelis suffered mild facial paralysis as a side effect after receiving the first Covid vaccine jabs, the Health Ministry said, adding that the count could be higher.

The officials have raised questions on whether or not to administer the second dose to these individuals the Health Ministry had recommended for the second dose, reported the Jerusalem Post.

“For at least 28 hours, I walked around with it (facial paralysis),” one person who had the side effect told Ynet.

“I can’t say it was completely gone afterwards, but other than that I had no other pains, except a minor pain where the injection was, but there was nothing beyond that.”

As for receiving the second dose, he admits he is undecided, but says that “it is important to note that this is something rare, and I don’t want people to avoid getting vaccinated – it’s important”.

“I recently came across, for example, someone vaccinated who was dealing with paralysis, and decided not to give her a second dose,” Galia Rahav, Director of the Infectious Diseases Unit at Sheba Medical Centre told Ynet.

“It is true that it can be given according to the Health Ministry, but I did not feel comfortable with it.”

She added that, “No one knows if this is connected to the vaccine or not. That’s why I would refrain from giving a second dose to someone who suffered from paralysis after the first dose.”

However, the Health Ministry has assured of the second dose only when the paralysis passes, Ynet reported.

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Delhi reports 51 cases of minor adverse events post vaccination

As many as 1,91,181 people were vaccinated on day one of India’s first phase of the coronavirus vaccination drive.

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Hours after the Health Ministry announced on January 16 that India has reported no case of post-vaccination hospitalisation yet, 51 persons complained of minor adverse events in Delhi. Another person developed severe adverse event following immunization and had to be referred to the AEFI centre.

Out of a total of 4,319 healthcare and frontline workers who were vaccinated on Jnauary 16 in the National Capital, two healthcare workers at NDMC’s Charak Palika Hospital reported mild adverse event post-vaccination including mild tightness in the chest. They were kept under observation by AEFI team and discharged 30 minutes later after they felt at ease. The two other cases were reported from Northern Railway Central Hospital, of which one was referred to the AEFI centre, the Delhi government has informed.

As many as 1,91,181 people were vaccinated on day one of India’s first phase of the coronavirus vaccination drive.

Beneficiaries from 11 states and union territories across India received Covishield or Covaxin shots on the first day of the vaccination drive, namely, Assam, Bihar, Delhi, Haryana, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, and Uttar Pradesh.

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