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Leaded fuel a thing of the past

The world has reached “a milestone of multiculturalism”, the United Nations announced this week, as Algeria became the final country to cease offering leaded fuel to drivers. The news has been hailed by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, who said “lead in fuel has run out of gas – thanks to the cooperation of governments in […]

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Child healthcare needs a boost

Recent figures reveal a huge gap in child healthcare in India, at a time when experts warn of the vulnerabilities of young people to COVID-19 in a looming third wave. Experts expressed misgivings about a severe deficit in child healthcare at primary health centres and community health centres. Per data shared by a parliamentary standing

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Air quality standards to be rethought next year

India is to review its air quality standards next year, addressing an environmental and public health issue of significant concern.  New national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) are likely, reports indicate. Discussions are said to be considering ultra-fine particulate matter (PM0.1), smaller than fine particulate matter or PM 2.5 which denotes particular matter of 2.5

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Routine vaccinations took a hit in the pandemic: Jonathan Mosser explains why

The COVID-19 pandemic cost at least seventeen million children routine vaccinations, recent research from The Lancet shows. According to the research, “routine immunisation services faced stark challenges in 2020, with the COVID-19 pandemic causing the most widespread and largest global disruption in recent history.”  Senior author and Assistant Professor from the Institute for Health Metrics

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COVID orphans hit hard by pandemic

One child loses their caregiver to the pandemic every twelve seconds. This is according to a recent Lancet study which has spotlighted one of the most harrowing effects of the pandemic: ‘COVID orphans’.  “Globally, from March 1, 2020, to April 30, 2021,” the study states, “we estimate 1,134,000 children (95 percent credible interval 884,000–1,185,000) experienced

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Global hunger spiked during the pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic witnessed a spike in global hunger, according to a fresh report from the United Nations (UN). According to the organisation, “there was a dramatic worsening of world hunger in 2020…much of it likely related to the fallout of COVID-19. While the pandemic’s impact has yet to be fully mapped, a multi-agency report

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Paediatric trials for Covaxin underway

India has commenced paediatric trials for Covaxin, its indigenously-manufactured vaccine against COVID-19.  Covaxin, manufactured by Hyderabad-based firm Bharat Biotech, is one of four vaccines authorised for use in India alongside Covishield (produced by the Serum Institute of India on license from AstraZeneca), the Russian-manufactured Sputnik-V, and the Moderna vaccine. Bharat Biotech announced last month that

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C-sections on the rise globally

The rate of caesarean sections (or c-sections) is on the rise worldwide, according to data which found that such procedures now account for more than one-fifth of childbirths. The research further postulates that, by 2030, c-sections may account for almost one-third of childbirths as numbers increase.  It is important to note that a c-section can

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Starvation continues to ravage India

India is a country of contrasts. One such contrast is the fact that it is one of the world’s largest food producers – and home to one quarter of the world’s peoples afflicted by starvation. This scenario is rooted in inequality. According to the World Food Programme, “in the last two decades, per capita income

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Behavioural changes a key aspect of Phase-II of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission for improved sanitation

The second phase of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, which is being implemented between 2020-21 and 2024-25 after approval by the Cabinet, is planned to help the country continue to address both sanitary and environmental issues. The Mission is the Narendra Modi administration’s flagship policy when it comes to sanitation and has been a cornerstone of its

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