By: D.K Choudhary
World Leprosy Day-January 9, 2017
i. The World Leprosy Day was celebrated on January 29, 2017 all over the world.
ii .The World Leprosy Day is celebrated worldwide on January 30 annually or its nearest Sunday, as the day coincide with the anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s death on 30 January 1948. He worked tirelessly to help those afflicted with leprosy.
iii. The main aim of the day is to increase the public awareness of the Leprosy also known as Hansen’s Disease.
iv. In 2017, International Federation of Anti-Leprosy Associations will continue its call for the proactive, early detection of leprosy to reduce disability caused by leprosy in children to zero by 2020.
v. Leprosy is one of the oldest recorded diseases in the world. It is an infectious chronic disease that targets the nervous system, especially the nerves in the cooler parts of the body like the hands, feet, and face.
President Mukherjee Launches Pulse Polio Programme on National Immunization Day
i. The National Immunization Day was observed on January 29, 2017 to spread awareness about eradicating polio.
ii. As a part of the day, President Pranab Mukherjee launched the pulse polio programme on January 28, 2017 by administering polio drops to children aged below five years at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
iii. Around 17 crore children of less than five years across the country will be given polio drops as part of the drive of Government of India to sustain polio eradication from the country.
iv. On March 27, 2014, the entire South-East Asia Region of the World Health Organisation, including India got the polio-free certification. However, the risk of National Immunization Dayimportation still persists from three countries namely Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria, where poliovirus is still circulating.
v. Thus the day is marked to maintain the immunity among the population and sensitive surveillance till the global polio eradication is achieved.
vi. For this, the government is conducting continuous polio vaccination at the international borders with India. A travel advisory has also been issued to vaccinate all travelers who are travelling between India and other South East Asian countries including Bangladesh, Bhutan, North Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, the Maldives and Myanmar.
vii. Besides, an Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan (EPRP) has been set up by the Union Health Ministry led by Shri JP Nadda, under which Rapid Response Teams (RRT) have been formed in all states and UTs to respond urgently to any importations of poliovirus.
viii. In addition, the Ministry will soon introduce Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine that will help reduce the risk of diarrhea, pneumonia and meningitis and (launch) a countrywide campaign with Measles-Rubella vaccine in a phased manner.