Tuesday January 28, 2020

India Accounts More Than Half Leprosy Cases Globally: WHO

"As outlined in WHO's Global Leprosy Strategy 2016-2020, policies that promote inclusion and aim at ending leprosy-related discrimination, stigma and prejudice should be at the front and at the centre of all leprosy programmes, as powerful tools to achieve a leprosy-free world," she noted

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WHO
WHO vows tighter, broader action against tobacco, industry interference.

Even though the number of leprosy cases have steadily declined worldwide, an estimated two lakh cases continue to be reported every year, with India accounting for more than half, said World Health Organization (WHO).

“Leprosy-related discrimination, stigma and prejudice are the most powerful barriers to ending leprosy for good, especially given the disease is 100 per cent curable when detected early,” said Poonam Khetrapal Singh, WHO Regional Director for Southeast Asia.

According to WHO, apart from India, a significant number of leprosy cases are detected in the Southeast Asia region, Brazil, sub-Saharan Africa and the Pacific.

Leprosy, Wikimedia Commons

“Though leprosy is often equated with serious deformity and disability, the percentage of patients having these symptoms is down to six per cent, demonstrating the disease is being diagnosed earlier than ever,” Singh added.

She further noted that core public health interventions such as active case-finding, improved treatment regimens and strengthened surveillance continue to drive down leprosy’s incidence and spread, but the disease’s bio-social components must be brought to the fore.

Also Read- Are Indian Scientists’ Minds Cluttered With Prejudices?

“As outlined in WHO’s Global Leprosy Strategy 2016-2020, policies that promote inclusion and aim at ending leprosy-related discrimination, stigma and prejudice should be at the front and at the centre of all leprosy programmes, as powerful tools to achieve a leprosy-free world,” she noted. (IANS)

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Novel Coronavirus: Government Deploys Health Team on Nepal Border

Many Indian students studying in Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak have been stuck there

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Coronavirus
The Coronavirus outbreak, which has so far caused 41 deaths in China, and caused the country to quarantine 16 cities, is causing comparisons to the 2003 spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, which decreased the value of the global economy by $40 billion. VOA

In the wake of a confirmed case of novel coronavirus in Nepal, the Union Health Ministry has subsequently strengthened its vigil in the areas bordering Nepal.

The recent deployment of health team has taken place at Panitanki in West Bengal, entry point from Nepal, said the Health Ministry on Monday.

“Update on #ncov2020 – Subsequent to confirmed #coronarvirus case in #Nepal, vigil strengthened at Panitanki (West Bengal) entry point from Nepal,” the ministry tweeted.

Earlier on Sunday the ministry had informed that in response to confirmed case of the new virus in the neighbourhood country Nepal, India stepped up vigil in districts bordering Nepal. The health ministry said that teams of medical experts were also deployed at border outpost with Nepal at Jhulaghat and Jauljibi in Pithoragarh district in Uttarakhand.

Coronavirus
Southeast Asia’s proximity to China and dependence on that nation for a major share of its economy is raising concerns that the coronavirus outbreak  that started there will not only have health impacts but harm the region’s economies. VOA

In continuation of its efforts to stop the virus from entering in India and making the passengers aware, the ministry has also displayed signage advising the passengers for self reporting and other precautions, disseminated through advisories, at the Mumbai airport.

According to the health ministry, a total of 29,707 passengers from 137 flights have been screened. Fortunately, no case of coronavirus has been found till date.

Also Read: Patients May Suffer Invasive Treatments for Harmless Cancers: Researchers

According to the announcement made by Chinese health authorities on Monday, 2,744 confirmed cases of pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), including 461 in critical condition and a total of 5,794 suspected cases have also been reported. The killer virus has caused 80 deaths in China, as per Chinese authorities.

Many Indian students studying in Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak have been stuck there. The health ministry said it is working closely with the Ministry of External Affairs and is in touch with the students. (IANS)