CAO Daily Editorial analysis for UPSC IAS 20-August, 2017

Current Affairs Only Daily Editorial Analysis for Competitive    Exams


1.Meet the bacteria that save babies

The Hindu


Context

That babies born by Caesarean section are at a slightly higher risk of developing obesity, asthma and other ailments than children born vaginally is now well known. The reason: in a vaginal birth, a baby ingests some of the microbes present in the vagina during the time of delivery. These bacteria colonise the newborn’s gut and keep it healthier when compared with babies born through a C-section.

Caesarean sectionRelated image

Caesarean section, also known as C-section or caesarean delivery, is the use of surgery to deliver one or more babies. A caesarean section is often performed when a vaginal delivery would put the baby or mother at risk. This may include obstructed labour, twin pregnancy, high blood pressure in the mother, breech birth, problems with the placenta or umbilical cord

A C-section typically takes 45 minutes to an hour. It may be done with a spinal block such that the woman is awake or under general anesthesia.

What is sepsis?

Sepsis is a life-threatening illness caused by your body’s response to an infection. Your immune system protects you from many illnesses and infections, but it’s also possible for it to go into overdrive in response to an infection.

Sepsis develops when the chemicals the immune system releases into the bloodstream to fight an infection cause inflammation throughout the entire body instead. Severe cases of sepsis can lead to septic shock , which is a medical emergency.

Symptoms of sepsis include

  • a fever above 101ºF or a temperature below 96.8ºF
  • heart rate higher than 90 beats per minute
  • breathing rate higher than 20 breaths per minute
  • probable or confirmed infection

Newborns and sepsis

Neonatal sepsis is when your baby gets a blood infection within the first month of life. Neonatal sepsis is classified based on the timing of the infection, according to whether the infection was contracted during the birth process (early onset) or after birth (late onset). This helps the doctor decide what kind of treatment to administer. Low birth weight and premature babies are more susceptible to late onset sepsis because their immune systems are immature. While symptoms can be subtle and nonspecific some signs include:

  • listlessness
  • not breastfeeding well
  • low body temperature
  • apnea (temporary stopping of breathing)
  • fever
  • pale color
  • poor skin circulation with cool extremities
  • abdominal swelling
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • seizures
  • jitteriness
  • yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes ( jaundice )
  • problems feeding

Neonatal sepsis is still a leading cause of infant death, but with early diagnosis and treatment, the baby will recover completely and have no other problems. With maternal universal screening and proper neonatal testing the risk of neonatal sepsis has decreased significantly.

A low-cost life-saver

A community-based trial carried out on newborns in rural Odisha has found that administering synbiotics for a week beginning 2-4 days of life could bring about 42% reduction in sepsis.

Synbiotics

Synbiotics are a combination of probiotic or live microorganisms that provide health benefits and prebiotic which promote growth and sustain colonisation of the probiotic strain. In this case, Lactobacillus plantarum was used as a probiotic. A carbohydrate (fructooligosaccharides) that occurs naturally in plants such as onion, garlic and banana was chosen as the prebiotic.

Overwhelming results

Researchers from the University of Nebraska Medical Center, U.S. and India studied over 4,550 infants born to mothers from 149 villages in Odisha, where neonatal and infant mortality rates are among the highest in India. The babies were at least 2 kg at birth and had completed at least 35 weeks of gestation.


2.Have you taken the New India pledge?

The Hindu


Context

In this article author talks about the pledge taken by Indian citizens on Independence Day and urges all countrymen to take an extended version of pledge  to improve our nation and make it number 1

Question raised by the author

Why solve only six problems when you can solve 56?

He answers

Indian citizen, restrict themselves to solve only these six problems, What about the remaining 56 problems that afflict our great nation?

Over and above the pledge to solve the problems of dirt, poverty, corruption, terrorism, communalism, and casteism, I urge every citizen of India to also pledge to solve the problems of unemployment, farmer suicides, malnutrition, faltering GDP growth, drinking water supply, housing for all, education for all, universal health care, electrification of villages, rural road connectivity, and affordable oxygen for babies

Further, every citizen of India should pledge to solve the Kashmir problem, take care of Pakistan, and teach the Chinese a tough lesson on Dhokla. Let us together also pledge to improve the criminal justice system by implementing police reforms, filling the vacancies in the judiciary, and providing operational autonomy to the CBI.


3.Fifth Column: Hugs for Kashmir

Indian express


 Context

In this article the author talks about the Kashmir conflicts and PM Modi’s speech about Kashmir on this Independence Day

The Kashmir conflict is a territorial conflict primarily between India and Pakistan, having started just after the partition of Indiain 1947. China has at times played a minor role.India and Pakistan have fought three wars over Kashmir, including the Indo-Pakistani Wars of 1947 and 1965, as well as the Kargil War of 1999. The two countries have also been involved in severalskirmishes over control of the Siachen Glacier.

  • Army & Police:Army & Police in Kashmir are fed up with Pakistan, their terrorists & their attacks. They wanted free hand from government from long time (almost from around 20 -30 years). Same is with sentiments of common Indian (including Kashmiri’s). Modi & Mr. Manohar Parrikar provided them this opportunity. There was an incident when Indian Army retaliated heavily over Pakistan cease fire attempt. As a result after some time, Pakistani army came up with white flag begging to stop fire. Free hand is provided to stop any anti-national attempt and so we saw Burhan Wani’s encounter.
  • ISI & Pak Army:ISI & Pak Army are obsessed with India & Kashmir issue, they want Kashmir at any cost. This is not because they have any love for Kashmiri’s, this is because of strategic importance of Kashmir and they want to see India loosing Kashmir. Have you ever heard of Pakistani’s talking about Laddakh region (which is also a part of Kashmir), answer is no. This implies both these agencies are completely obsessed over Kashmir issue.
  • Pak Government:Firstly, Pak government completely lacks nationalism. They are not at all worried about what is happening in PAK or POK. Kashmir issue for them is forced by PAK Army (who is playing biggest role in administration of PAK than Civilian Government) and also Kashmir issue & India is like a trump card for them, they use it when they want it.
  • Hurriyat Leaders:Hurriyat leaders are those who want to be in Kashmir (and not POK, because they don’t get facilities there), cry against India and run their agenda. If we go back in History, when India got Independence, Hari Singh (a hindu) was king of Kashmir & Laddakh valley. He became king because of some reason British Government gifted him Kashmir (at that time there was no India, only princely states existed). From here, Hurriyat Conference formed, these are leaders who raised their voice against Hari Singh because he was a Hindu King of Muslim majority state. Hari Singh signed Letter of Accession to India but these Hurriyat Leaders didn’t accepted that and went to PAK for help. Now, this PAK ISI & Hurriyat Leaders are well aligned to de-stabilize Kashmir. Motive of Hurriyat leaders is to gain power and not to join Kashmir. They want Kashmir to be theirs and want to have a complete control on any decision of Kashmir. Because of this thinking all hindu’s had to migrate from Kashmir and were forced to live in other parts of the world.
  • Indian Government:Indian Government had very little role apart from giving army a free hand.
  • India’s History:No government ever gave Kashmir a free hand and because of their cowardliness nature, they accepted POK, Hurriyat leaders, Kashmir status as it is.
  • Kashmiri’s:Currently a normal Kashmiri is happy in India but wants more development (Section 377 is stopping this which was imposed by Nehru). They are not at all willing to join Pakistan or any other country.

After the encounter, PAK Army, ISI & PAK Govt came 0n same page to

  • Pose Burhan Wani as national hero, they ran train faming him
  • Order Hurriyat leaders to pay money to local kashmiri’s to act against police & Indian Army
  • Speed up the process of infiltration of terrorists in Kashmir
  • Show a false picture of Kashmir Human Rights issue to the world

On the other hand, Indian Army & Government became & is very strict in this matter, earlier hurriyat leaders were given warm welcome and their facilities were increased. But, this time nothing is happening. Hence, PAK Army, ISI, Hurriyat Leaders are paying Kashmiri locals (who are illiterate and don’t understand what they are doing) to throw stones on troops.


3.Time for a targeted programme?

The Hindu


This article talks about the condition of children in India due to deficiency of Vitamin A

Programme highlights

The National Prophylaxis Programme against Nutritional Blindness due to Vitamin A Deficiency ((NPPNB due to VAD) was launched in 1970.

The Programme was launched as an urgent remedial measure to combat the unacceptably high magnitude of xerophthalmic blindness in the country seen in the 1950s and 1960s. 

Vitamin A (VA) is an essential nutrient needed in small amounts for the normal functioning of the visual system, growth and development, maintenance of epithelial cellular integrity, immune function and reproduction. Severe deficiency of VA is known to produce corneal xerophthalmia, keratomalacia and blindness in children. Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) is mainly seen amongst the young children as they have high requirements due to increased physical growth and have low dietary intake. Further, episodes of illnesses such as acute respiratory tract infection and measles, which deplete VA reserves from the body, are common in this age group.

This article focuses on the urgent need for adopting a targeted instead of universal approach for the massive dose vitamin A (MDVA) prophylaxis programme. This approach is justified on the basis of available scientific evidence documenting

  • a decline in the prevalence VAD in the country,
  • side effects of MDVA supplementation,
  • resource constraints with competing priorities.

Evolution of VA supplementation (VAS) programme in India

The National Prophylaxis Programme against Nutritional Blindness due to Vitamin A Deficiency (NPPNB due to VAD) was initiated in 1970 with the specific aim of preventing nutritional blindness due to keratomalacia. The Programme was started as a 100 per cent centrally sponsored programme. It was launched as an urgent remedial measure to combat the unacceptably high magnitude of xerophthalmic blindness in the country reported in the 1950s and 1960s. To begin with, this Programme was initiated in 11 States of the country. Evaluation studies conducted by the National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), Hyderabad in 1976 in two States revealed positive results of the Programme. In subsequent years, the Programme was extended to all States in the country.

In 1994, under the National Child Survival and Safe Motherhood (CSSM) Programme, the NPPNB due to VAD was modified keeping in view of the vulnerability of VA deficiency in young children. The age group of eligible children for coverage was restricted to 9 to 36 months of age. Accordingly, each child was to receive five doses of VA before her/his 3rd birthday (children age 6-11 months, 1 dose of 100,000 IU of VA and in age 12- 36 months of age one dose of 200,000 IU of VA every six months). In view of operational feasibility, the administration of first dose of VA was linked to measles immunization.

In 2006, the age group of eligible children was revised as 6-59 months. This was done after reconsidering the recommendations of WHO, UNICEF and Ministry of Women and Child Development. This was despite the evidence that clinical VAD was limited to a few isolated geographical pockets in the country. A National survey conducted by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in 2001, covering 16 districts in all five regions of the country showed that only three out of 16 districts had prevalence of Bitot spots (BS) of 0.5 per cent and more (Table)

Current status of VAD

Clinical VAD has declined drastically during the last 40 years. There has been virtual disappearance of keratomalacia, and a sharp decline in the prevalence of Bitot spots7. The decline antedated an efficiently functioning VAS programme; an increase in coverage with universal vitamin A supplementation in recent years was not associated with disappearance or substantial decline of clinical deficiency. Recent surveys indicate that the prevalence of Bitot spots of 0.5 per cent and more (conventional cut-off to define public health problem) is limited to population groups which are socio-economically backward, poverty stricken and have poor health infrastructure.

 


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