Friday October 19, 2018

India is Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus free: WHO

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A health worker giving a tetanus shot to a pregnant woman at an outreach site in Bangladesh. (CNW Group/UNICEF Canada)

New Delhi: The WHO has declared that mothers and newborns are free from tetanus at the time of birth in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said here on Thursday.

He was inaugurating the Call to Action Summit 2015 – an initiative to reduce child and maternal deaths across the world – and said the event will help the developing countries to tackle health challenges related to women and child.

Boasting India’s polio-free status, Modi said: “India was declared polio free because of the collective efforts of several stakeholders. I am happy to inform you that today the WHO has declared India maternal and neonatal tetanus free.”

Over 600 delegates from across the world will attend the two-day summit to discuss initiatives to reduce maternal and child mortality rate.Health Minister J.P. Nadda and the health ministers of several nations including Senegal, South Sudan, Afghanistan and Ethiopia were among those who attended the event.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), there are 24 countries that make up for 36 percent of the global population and account for 70 percent of child and maternal deaths.

Mali has the highest Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) at 78, while South Sudan has the highest Mother Mortality Rate (MMR) at 730.India’s IMR stands at 40 while the MMR stands at 167. In comparison, in 1990, the IMR was 380, and the MMR was 540.

(IANS)

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Ebola Not A Global Health Emergency: WHO

WHO advised DRC's nine neighboring countries that they were at high risk of having the disease spread into their territories

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An emergency committee convened by the World Health Organization has decided that the Ebola outbreak in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo does not constitute a public health emergency of international concern.

The WHO said Wednesday that 216 cases of Ebola and 139 deaths had been reported, and its International Health Regulations Emergency Committee said the outbreak was a matter of serious concern, especially since it is occurring in an area of conflict in eastern DRC. It said this posed problems for health workers who need to move around freely and track people who are infected with the virus and need treatment.

But the committee said that one reason it did not regard the outbreak as a global threat was that the virus had not spread into neighboring countries.

Congo,ebola
A Congolese health worker administers Ebola vaccine to a boy who had contact with an Ebola sufferer in the village of Mangina in North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. VOA

Committee Chairman Robert Steffan said the international response to the outbreak had been very good. He said WHO and other agencies had achieved quite a lot since the outbreak was declared Aug. 1. In fact, he said the disease was being brought under control in North Kivu province.

The disease is flaring up in another province, and the response is being concentrated in this area, he said, “so we do have some optimism that this outbreak, just like the one in May, will be brought under control within reasonable time.”

Steffan said the committee agreed that declaring an international emergency at this time would hinder efforts to contain the Ebola virus. He said a declaration would have implications for travel and trade, making it difficult for needed experts and supplies to access the affected areas.

Ebola, WHO
A health care worker from the World Health Organization, left, gives an Ebola vaccination to a front line aid worker who will then vaccinate people who might potentially have the virus, in Mbandaka, Congo. VOA

However, as a precaution, WHO recommended exit screenings, including at airports, ports and land crossings. But it noted that entry screenings, particularly in distant airports, would have no public health benefit and would be costly.

Also Read: North Kivu And Ituri, Congo To Welcome More Than 80,000 Children In This New School Year

WHO advised DRC’s nine neighboring countries that they were at high risk of having the disease spread into their territories, and it said it was supporting them with equipment and personnel. It said these preparedness activities were expensive and would require substantial financial support from the international community. (VOA)

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