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9th December 2023 (9 Topics)

9th December 2023

QUIZ - 9th December 2023

5 Questions

7 Minutes

Editorials

Context:

Anaemia is another severe public health problem among women, adolescent girls and young children.

Malnutrition's Ongoing Impact

  • Global Economic Concerns: Malnutrition hinders India's global potential, impacting human resources and development, exacerbated by recent crises.
  • Alarming Statistics: Despite progress in poverty reduction, malnutrition persists, affecting 14.9% of Indians, with 30% attributed to nutritional deprivation.
  • Long-Term Consequences: Malnutrition, especially in children, can lead to physical and mental development issues, emphasizing the need for sustained interventions.

State-Level Disparities and Anaemia Challenge

  • State-Wise Malnutrition Variation: NFHS 4 and NFHS 5 comparisons reveal inter-year shifts, exposing variations, and highlighting the absence of single-digit malnutrition rates.
  • Anaemia's Pervasive Impact: Anaemia, linked to cognitive and physical health issues, remains a challenge; maternal mortality reduction is possible with proper intervention.
  • Policy Recommendations: The 15th Finance Commission's grant and existing schemes aim to address malnutrition, but a sustained, focused approach is crucial at both central and state levels.

Urgent Need for Sectoral Reconsideration

  • Budgetary Challenges: Nutrition schemes' budgetary fluctuations impact outcomes; a consistent, sector-specific allocation is needed for effective malnutrition elimination.
  • Economic Benefits of Investment: Global studies reveal a 16:1 benefit-cost ratio for nutrition investments; the 16th Finance Commission should reconsider sectoral grants.
  • Holistic Approach Needed: Schemes like SakshamAnganwadi and Poshan 2.0 must be complemented with sustained financial support to address current and future malnutrition challenges.
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Editorials

Context:

COP28 debates fossil fuels and air quality. Delhi's severe pollution links to climate-induced weather shifts, urging immediate, science-backed solutions.

Air Quality Crisis and Climate Change

  • Global Debate at COP28: Fossil fuel discussions at COP28 underscore the intricate link between air pollution and climate change.
  • Delhi's Disturbing Scenario: In November 2023, Delhi faced a severe air quality crisis, attributed to diverse factors.
  • Call for Global Priority: Addressing air pollution emerges as a global imperative for a healthier planet.

Unraveling Delhi's Pollution Haze

  • Stubble Burning Paradox: Despite reduced stubble burning, Delhi witnessed a pollution surge, challenging previous understandings.
  • Role of Weather Shifts: Unintended weather changes, possibly linked to climate change, played a pivotal role in Delhi's air quality.
  • Changing Climate Patterns: Natural phenomena like El Nino and La Nina influence air quality, impacting regions differently.

Urgent Action Needed

  • Local and Global Impact: Severe pollution poses regional health and food security threats, necessitating urgent, science-based emission control.
  • COP28's Relevance: The climate meet should address air quality concerns, emphasizing substantial measures over cosmetic fixes.
  • Air Shed Approach: Immediate, science-backed steps are vital to target emission sources, moving beyond temporary solutions and geo-engineering.
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Editorials

Context:

A recent study exposes rampant sale of unapproved and banned antibiotic FDCs in India, fueling antibacterial resistance; regulatory and market challenges persist.

Alarming Proliferation of Unapproved Antibiotic FDCs

  • Concerning Study Findings: Academics reveal in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Policy and Practice that 60.5% of antibiotic Fixed Dose Combinations (FDCs) were unapproved, and 9.9% were banned in India in 2020.
  • AMR Threat: Unregulated FDCs contribute to Antibacterial Microbial Resistance (AMR), posing a significant health risk amid rising prevalence in India.
  • Medical Rationale for FDCs: FDCs improve patient compliance, especially for diseases like AIDS, enhancing treatment outcomes through combined formulations.

Challenges and Misuse in FDC Production

  • Complex Formulation Process: Crafting FDCs, despite known drug safety, poses challenges due to potential side effects and interactions, necessitating a rigorous approval process.
  • Industry Exploitation: Indian pharmaceutical firms exploit FDCs to avoid price control laws, introducing a plethora of medically unjustifiable combinations for profit.
  • Quality Standards and Price Manipulation: Lack of standards for testing FDC quality benefits manufacturers, allowing self-provided standards; FDCs offer companies a pretext for charging higher prices.

Role of Regulators, Doctors, and Market Dynamics

  • Regulatory Gaps: Regulatory shortcomings allow unchecked proliferation of dubious FDCs; manufacturers exploit loopholes in the absence of set standards.
  • Market-driven Pseudo-Innovation: FDC strategy incentivizes companies to create pseudo-innovations, enabling higher pricing until market competition catches up.
  • Doctor's Role: Doctors, often presuming regulatory diligence, contribute to the issue by prescribing FDCs; a complex interplay of market dynamics demands urgent regulatory intervention.
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