Sunday, December 11, 2011

News Bulletin

Top of FormProf. C.N.R. Rao Bags Ernesto Science Prize for 2011

Prof. C.N.R. Rao of Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bangalore, has been awarded the Ernesto Illy Trieste Science Prize for 2011. This is in recognition of his contributions to materials research. This award is being given for the first time by the Academy of Sciences of the Developing World. The award includes a cash prize of dollars 100,000, a medal, and a citation. The award was presented in Trieste. The award recognizes Prof. Rao’s 50 years’ monumental contributions to the chemistry of materials. Prof. Rao delivered a lecture on his research contributions after receiving this award. Source: PIB/21.11.2011
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HLL Lifecare Limited Makes Progress 

The Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare, Ghulam Nabi Azad, was presented with a cheque of Rs. 233 lakhs as annual dividend to Government of India by HLL Lifecare Limited (HLL). HLL was established on 1st March 1966, with its incorporation as a corporate entity under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. 

HLL was set for the production of male contraceptive sheaths for the National Family Welfare Programme. The Plant was established in technical collaboration with M/s Okamoto Industries Inc., Japan. 

HLL has now grown into a multi-product, multi-unit organization addressing various public health challenges.HLL is today a mini flagship company, and upgraded as a Schedule B Central Public Sector Enterprise.

HLL has also tied up with Indira Gandhi National Open University to run courses in post-graduate diploma course on Clinical Engineering and Management (PGDCM) and diploma course on Clinical Engineering and Management (PDCEM). Azad was also presented with the first copy of course prospectus.

The Minister was also handed over HLL contraceptive product “cycle beads” – a colour coded string of beads that helps women track their menstrual cycle and identify their fertile days as an easy and effective family planning method.Source:PI.B.09.11.2011

Measures for Effective Implementation of Diagnostic Technique Act
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The recent initiatives undertaken by Government of India to strengthen effective implementation of the Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act include the following:

• Rule 11 (2) of the PC & PNDT Rules, 1996 has been amended to provide for confiscation of unregistered machines and further punishment of organizations which fail to register themselves under the Act.

• The National Inspection and Monitoring Committee has been reconstituted and apart from inspections, further empowered to oversee follow-up action by Appropriate Authorities against organizations found guilty of violations under the Act during inspections.

• Operational guidelines for PNDT-NGO Grant in Aid Scheme have been revised to ensure targeted use of resources for effective implementation of the Act.

• States have been asked during appraisal of the annual Programme Implementation Plan (PIP) to take advantage of funding available under NRHM for strengthening infrastructure and augmentation of human resources required for effective implementation of the PC & PNDT Act.

Hundred and twenty seven cases have been reported for violations of Pre-Conception and Pre- Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 1994 in the current year.

As per the 2011 Census (provisional), the sex ratio has increased from 933 in 2001 to 940 in 2011. However, the child sex ratio (0-6 years) has shown a decline from 927 in 2001 to 914 in 2011. As per the United Nations World Population Prospects: The 2010 Revision, there are 106.8 males per 100 females in India. This information was laid in Lok Sabha on 25th November, 2011.

p of FormssssfffffffPopulation Dynamics, Climate Change and Sustainable Development

The Union Health and Family Welfare Minister and Chair, Partners in Population Development (PPD) Ghulam Nabi Azad addressed the opening session of the International Conference on “Population Dynamics, Climate Change and Sustainable Development” at Pretoria, South Africa, on 1st November, 2011.

Azad emphasized that the route to a climate sustainable human population, to a certain extent, lies in the removal of barriers to use of family planning and the rights-based population policies envisioned by the International Conference of Population and Development (ICPD) participants in Cairo in 1994.

“Empirical evidence indicates that population dynamics will play a key role in efforts to mitigate and adapt to the effects of changes in the climate system. Universal access to reproductive health will ultimately contribute to declines in fertility. These fertility declines would lead to population levels below those projected in most greenhouse-gas emission scenarios developed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change” Azad said.

The opening session of the conference was attended by Minister for Social Development, and Board Member, PPD, Government of the Republic of South Africa, Ms. Bathabile Dlamini, PPD Board Members and other subject experts.

Azad invited attention of the gathering to the fact that human consumption is depleting the Earth’s natural resources and impairing the capacity of life-supporting ecosystems. He said scientific evidence has pointed out that the epidemiological impact of climate change on disease patterns would be profound worldwide, especially in developing countries where health system are still vulnerable and vast majority of population remains underserved.

He emphasized that it is this marginalized and underserved population which is most at risk and will be the hardest hit due to climate change – inducing migration, destroying livelihoods, disrupting economies, undermining development and exacerbating inequities between sexes. Estimates suggest that 150 million environmental refugees will exist by 2050; one in six countries could face food shortage each year due to severe drought; It is also being said that average global temperatures could rise by as much as 6.4 degrees Celsius by the end of this century destroying as much as 30 percent of plant and species, he added.

Azad said some key activities that we could begin to address the challenge include: Advocacy to reduce restrictions on access to family planning information and services, including for young people and the unmarried; Advocacy for the financial and human resources necessary to strengthen family planning and related reproductive health services, including programs that address the HIV/AIDS.

Other actions are supporting access to all methods of family planning including the safe abortion services that are essential to reproductive health and childbearing choices. Besides, advocacy for reduction in consumption of critical natural resources and the resulting waste and pollution and advocacy for education and empowerment of girls and women in order to encourage women to participate in socio-economic development, slower population growth, raise the age at first birth, prevent unintended pregnancies and deaths associated with high fertility.

At the opening session, Azad also launched a publication on “Innovative Experiences in Addressing Population and Reproductive Health Challenges in PPD Member States”. He said the experience of sharing case studies would be beneficial not only in promoting population stabilization and reproductive health agenda in general but also in fast tracking achievement of MDGs and ICPD goals in developing countries.

India has been the chair of the PPD Board for the last 3 years. PPD is an inter-governmental initiative which was launched in 1994 for the purpose of expanding and improving South-to-South Collaboration in the fields of reproductive health, population and development following the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD).Source:PIB.01/.11.2011

India to spend 2.5% of GDP on Health

Syeda Hamid, Member of Planning Commission, has earlier said that 2.5% of GDP will be used instead of 1.8% of GDP in health sector during next Plan Period. Addressing the International Vaccination Symposium at Surajkund near Delhi on 17th November, Hamida said that this will be a very big jump. 

She said that to strengthen the National Immunization Programme we have to bring confidence in community and people to avail this help. She added that year by year achievement has to be recorded to get maximum benefits. Planning Commission will insist that what is spent has to be commensurate in result, she added.

Giving examples of her visit to Bhawanpura village in Haridwar district and Malegon she said, “These villages are inhabited by very poor people and surrounded by industries. Though sickness is rampant and level of poverty is high, they do not go to government dispensaries as they have no faith in medicines given to them and also have apprehension to what kind of treatment they will receive. Public health scenario is abysmal but women refuse to avail these facilities.”

For outreach programme, Smt Syeda Hamid suggested that interaction of local police, Anganwadi workers, religious heads of different sects and others have to help in mobilizing people to accept health facilities. She also said that we have to break barriers and gender can play a big role in improving the situation. Besides this, issues of sanitation, waste disposal, pollution by industries, better innovated delivery system, road and transport etc have to be improved.

Referring to the development in these sectors in Bangla Desh and Sri Lanka, Hamida said this is an awakening call for us as we are lacking behind these countries in the field of Human Development. She suggested to follow the policy of ‘break silos and conversion’ to achieve larger goal of vaccination and bring the nation on human development in the context of health.

All concerned Ministries, departments, sectors and aspects have to work together. Talking about ‘Limited Evidence of Introduction of new vaccine’, Syeda said, “We must not wait for an enemy to enter our society. Such vaccines should be used as early as possible preventive measures.”

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