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TB remains world’s deadliest infectious disease: WHO

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Tuberculosis TB
Underreporting and under-diagnosis of TB cases remains a major challenge. (Source: AP Photo)

Geneva, Sep 19: Tuberculosis (TB) remains the world’s deadliest infectious disease although global efforts have averted an estimated 54 million tuberculosis (TB) deaths since 2000, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Tuesday.

WHO, in its latest 2018 Global TB Report, says countries are still not doing enough to end TB by 2030 and calls for an unprecedented mobilization of national and international commitments. It urges for decisive action from nearly 50 heads of state and government who are expected to gather next week for the first-ever UN High-level Meeting on TB, Xinhua news agency reported.

The report finds that overall, TB deaths have decreased over the past year, with an estimated 10 million people having developed TB and 1.6 million deaths, including among 300,000 HIV-positive people, in 2017. The number of new cases is falling by two percent per year.

However, underreporting and under-diagnosis of TB cases remains a major challenge. Of the 10 million people who fell ill with TB in 2017, only 6.4 million were officially recorded by national reporting systems, leaving 3.6 million people undiagnosed, or detected but not reported.

Ten countries accounted for 80 percent of this gap, according to the report, with India, Indonesia and Nigeria topping the list. Less than half of the estimated one million children with TB were reported in 2017, making it a much higher gap in detection than that in adults.

Treatment coverage, at 64 percent, also lags behind and must increase to at least 90 percent by 2025 to meet the targets of ending TB by 2030.

To urgently improve detection, diagnosis and treatment rates, the WHO and partners launched a new initiative in 2018 to set the target of providing quality care to 40 million people with TB from 2018 to 2022, while predicting that at least 30 million people should be able to access TB preventive treatment during the period.

The WHO strongly recommends preventive treatment for people living with HIV, and children under five years living in households with TB, and has issued related new guidance this year to facilitate greater access to preventive services for those who need it.

Next week’s UN High-Level Meeting on TB is critical and the WHO, while calling for the health sector to address the risk factors and determinants of the disease, is particularly pushing for commitments at the level of heads of state to galvanize multi-sectoral action.

“We have never seen such high-level political attention and understanding of what the world needs to do to end TB and drug-resistant TB,” said WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

“We must ensure that we hold our leaders accountable for the actions they promise to take. And we must hold ourselves accountable for keeping the pressure on.”

IANS

Health

Health Outreach Services during Covid-19

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Anganwadi Healths Outreach

New Delhi: The Government has been regularly reviewing the situation in consultation with States/UTs. In order to improve the nutritional status of Women and Children, Ministry of Women and Child Development is implementing Supplementary Nutrition Programme under Anganwadi Services and Scheme for Adolescent Girls under the Umbrella Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme to children (6 months to 6 years), Pregnant Women, Lactating Mothers and out-of-school Adolescent Girls (11-14 years).

As per the directions issued by Ministry of Home Affairs, under Disaster Management Act, 2005, all the Anganwadi Centres across the country were closed to limit the impact of COVID-19. However, to ensure continuous nutritional support to Anganwadibeneficiaries, Anganwadi Workers and Helpers have been distributing supplementary Nutrition at the doorsteps of the beneficiaries. Further, this Ministry has issued necessary directions to the States/UTs to ensure distribution of food items and nutrition support by Anganwadi workers, once in 15 days, at the doorstep of beneficiaries. In addition, Anganwadi Workers and Anganwadi Helpers have been assisting the local administration in community surveillance, creating awareness or other works assigned to them from time to time.

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare issued the guidance note on “Provision of Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child, Adolescent Health Plus Nutrition (RMNCAH+N) services during & post COVID-19 Pandemic” with States and UTs which states that campaign mode services such as – mass Vitamin a prophylaxis, campaigns for Intensified Diarrhea Control Fortnight (IDCF), National Deworming Day (NDD) and Anemia can be provided on an alternative mechanism like through home delivery of essential services & commodities etc. based on local situations. The continuation of outreach services through modified VHSNDs and Home visits by health workers was recommended in area beyond buffer zone and green zone. The activities in the containment and buffer zone were recommended through the routine visits of COVID workers. Essential medicine like IFA, ORS, calcium and Zinc are home delivered in containment zones. Specific guidance notes on the provision of the outreach services with all States and UTs to ensure continuity of essential outreach services has been issued and Webinars on implementation of outreach services related to Anemia, Nutrition Rehabilitation Centers (NRCs), Special Newborn Care Units (SNCUs), Diarrhoea prevention, NDD and IYCF practices etc have been organized.

This information was given in a written reply by the Union Minister of Women and Child DevelopmentSmt. Smriti Zubin Irani in Lok Sabha today.

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Mandatory daily antigen test for reporters, Parliament staff

Journalists covering the Monsoon session from press galleries of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha also have the option to undergo the RT-PCR test which is valid for 72 hours.

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Parliament

New Delhi: Amid fresh cases of coronavirus among MPs, reporters and parliamentary staff entering the Parliament complex will have to undergo mandatory antigen test on a daily basis, according to a new protocol put in place.

Members of both Houses are undergoing RT-PCR test on regular intervals on a voluntary basis, said a senior Parliament official.

A member of Parliament can undergo RT-PCR test as many times he or she likes.

Journalists covering the Monsoon session from press galleries of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha also have the option to undergo the RT-PCR test which is valid for 72 hours.

Since the report of the much reliable RT-PCR takes time, antigen test has been made mandatory on a daily basis.

Government officials accompanying their respective ministers during bill discussions also have to show a negative report of RT-PCR test taken within the last 72 hours of their visit to the complex. – PTI

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Rajya Sabha passes Homoeopathy Bills

The DMK MP T. Siva said, “The government is taking away the powers of the states”, and alleged that its diluting the federalism.

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Homoeopathy

New Delhi, Sep 18 : The Rajya Sabha on Friday passed two Bills — the Indian Medicine Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2020 and Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2020.

Replying during the discussion on the Bills, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said, “The Ordinance was necessitated as Parliament was not in session.”

The Minister said that Yoga and Naturopathy will also be promoted in due course, as demanded by Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) MP Manoj Jha.

During the discussion, Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MP Prasanna Acharya supported the Bill, but questioned the need for the ordinance. He said only in extraordinary situations the ordinance route should be adopted.

Speaking on the Bill, BJP MP Sudhanshu Trivedi said that new things are always opposed first, but during covid times homeopathy medicine was prescribed as an immunity booster.

Samajwadi Party (SP) member Ram Gopal Yadav asked the government not to delay the constitution of the commission as homoeopathy is a necessity for the poor as allopathy is costly and in covid times private hospitals are charging more than Rs one lakh per day.

The DMK MP T. Siva said, “The government is taking away the powers of the states”, and alleged that its diluting the federalism.

The Bill brought by the Centre amends the Homoeopathy Central Council Act, 1973. After becoming an Act, the Central Council of Homoeopathy will regulate homeopathic education and practice.

The Bill replaces the Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 which was promulgated on April 24, 2020. The period for the supersession of the Central Council — The 1973 Act — was amended in 2018 to provide for the supersession of the Central Council of Homoeopathy. The Central Council was required to be reconstituted within one year from the date of its supersession.

This period was amended in 2019 to require the reconstitution of the Central Council in two years. The central government constituted a Board of Governors to exercise the powers of the Central Council.

The Bill amends the Act to increase the period for the supersession of the Central Council from two years to three years.

The resolution moved by K. C. Venugopal, E. Kareem and K. K.Ragesh was defeated. But Ragesh raised a point of order for the right to reply as the mover of the resolution and asked about the role of the state governments in this Bill.

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