Tuesday September 25, 2018

Two neglected Tropical Diseases Elephantiasis and Trachoma on Track for Eradication in 4 Years in the World’s poorest Countries

Thanks to the partnership of the government, pharmaceutical companies and charitable foundations, by the year 2020, two tropical diseases will be eradicated

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WASHINGTON, October 14, 2016: By the year 2020, two neglected tropical diseases, lymphatic filariasis, commonly known as elephantiasis, and trachoma, a blinding illness, may be eliminated in the world’s poorest countries, thanks to a partnership of governments, charitable foundations and pharmaceutical companies.

The U.S. provides the most funding for the elimination of neglected tropical diseases, through the U.S. Agency for International Development. That funding, between 2006 and today, has provided 1.6 billion treatments in about 30 countries.

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“In the areas that USAID has supported,” NTD program coordinator Emily Wainwright said, “there are going to be 400 million people who don’t have to worry about getting lymphatic filariasis again. We will have addressed that problem. And there will be about 184 million people who aren’t going to have to worry about getting trachoma, the leading cause of preventable blindness.”

According to the World Health Organization, neglected tropical diseases affect an estimated 1.5 billion people in the poorest countries.

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Other diseases that are targeted for elimination include onchocerciasis, known as river blindness, schistosomiasis or snail fever, which causes intestinal and urogenital infections, and soil-transmitted helminthiasis, a systemic illness that causes diarrhoea, fever, fatigue and malnutrition.

Children are disproportionately affected by the parasitic and bacterial illnesses, which stunt growth and affect brain development.

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Recently, WHO released data showing that in 2015, 979 million people received preventive chemotherapy for neglected tropical diseases, an increase of 121 million from 2014.

More diseases are predicted to follow the path of elimination, according to Ariel Pablos-Mendez, assistant administrator for Global Health, Child and Maternal Survival Coordinator at USAID.

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“Just like in polio,” he said, “which is in the last battle of the disease to remove from the face of the Earth, or leprosy, which is down 95 percent [from] the levels we used to have 50 years ago, these diseases we are in a position right now … to end all of the diseases of extreme poverty by 2030.”

USAID’s Neglected Tropical Disease Program and the WHO have put a priority on eliminating 17 NTDs in 149 countries, where one in six people suffer from at least one of the illnesses. (VOA)

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Aadhaar Helpline Mystery: French Security Expert Tweets of doing a Full Disclosure Tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App

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Google asks employees to delete China search engine memo: Report. Wikimedia Commons

Google’s admission that it had in 2014 inadvertently coded the 112 distress number and the UIDAI helpline number into its setup wizard for Android devices triggered another controversy on Saturday as India’s telecom regulator had only recommended the use of 112 as an emergency number in April 2015.

After a large section of smartphone users in India saw a toll-free helpline number of UIDAI saved in their phone-books by default, Google issued a statement, saying its “internal review revealed that in 2014, the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android release given to OEMs for use in India and has remained there since”.

Aadhaar Helpline Number Mystery: French security expert tweets of doing a full disclosure tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App, Image: Wikimedia Commons.

However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended only in April 2015 that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for the country.

According to Google, “since the numbers get listed on a user’s contact list, these get  transferred accordingly to the contacts on any new device”.

Google was yet to comment on the new development.

Meanwhile, French security expert that goes by the name of Elliot Alderson and has been at the core of the entire Aadhaar controversy, tweeted on Saturday: “I just found something interesting. I will probably do full disclosure tomorrow”.

“I’m digging into the code of the @Google SetupWizard app and I found that”.

“As far as I can see this object is not used in the current code, so there is no implications. This is just a poor coding practice in term of security,” he further tweeted.

On Friday, both the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as well as the telecom operators washed their hand of the issue.

While the telecom industry denied any role in the strange incident, the UIDAI said that he strange incident, the UIDAI said that some vested interests were trying to create “unwarranted confusion” in the public and clarified that it had not asked any manufacturer or telecom service provider to provide any such facility.

Twitter was abuzz with the new development after a huge uproar due to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers.

Ethical hackers exposed at least 14 personal details of the TRAI Chairman, including mobile numbers, home address, date of birth, PAN number and voter ID among others. (IANS)

Also Read: Why India Is Still Nowhere Near Securing Its Citizens’ Data?