Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) | PIB

Introduction –
As per latest data, IMR has reduced by 58% in India during the period of 1990-2015 which is more than to Global decline of 49% during the same period. The full immunization coverage also improved from 43.5% in 2005 to 62.0% in 2015 and mortality due to Tuberculosis has reduced from 76 per 1,00,000 in 1990 to 32 per 1,00,000 in 2015.
Steps taken to combat IMR and increasing vaccine coverage under National Health Mission –

  • Promotion of Institutional deliveries through cash incentive under Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) and Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakaram (JSSK) which entitles all pregnant women delivering in public health institutions to absolutely free ante-natal check-ups, delivery including Caesarean section, post-natal care and treatment of sick infants till one year of age.
  • Strengthening of delivery points for providing comprehensive and quality Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCH+A) Services.
  • Newborn Stabilization Units (NBSU) and Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) units for care of sick and small babies.
  • Early initiation and exclusive breastfeeding for first six months and appropriate Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) practices are promoted in convergence with Ministry of Women and Child Development.
  • Universal Immunization Programme (UIP) is being supported to provide vaccination to children against many life threatening diseases such as Tuberculosis, Diphtheria, Pertussis, Polio, Tetanus, Hepatitis B and Measles.
  • Name based tracking of mothers and children till two years of age (Mother and Child Tracking System) is done to ensure complete antenatal, intranatal, postnatal care and complete immunization as per schedule.
  • Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK) for health screening, early detection of birth defects, diseases, deficiencies, development delays including disability and early intervention services has been Operationalized to provide comprehensive care to all the children in the age group of 0-18 years in the community.
  • Iron and folic acid (IFA) supplementation is being done for the prevention of anaemia among the vulnerable age groups, home visits by ASHAs to promote exclusive breast feeding and promote use of ORS and Zinc for management of diarrhoea in children.
  • Capacity building of health care providers – Various trainings are being conducted under National Health Mission (NHM) to build and upgrade the skills of health care providers in basic and comprehensive obstetric care of mother during pregnancy, delivery and essential newborn care.
  • Low performing districts have been identified as High Priority Districts (HPDs) which entitles them to receive high per capita funding, relaxed norms, enhanced monitoring and focused supportive supervisions and encouragement to adopt innovative approaches to address their peculiar health challenges.

For more information keep visiting Raj Malhotra IAS Academy Chandigarh

National Strategic Plan For Malaria Elimination | PIB

Shri J P Nadda, the Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare launched the National Strategic Plan for Malaria Elimination 2017-22.

National Strategic Plan For Malaria Elimination | Details

  • The Strategic Plan gives details about year wise elimination targets in various parts of the country depending upon the endemicity of malaria in the next 5 years.
  • Recalling the launch of the National Framework for Malaria Elimination (NFME) last year, Shri Nadda had stated that NFME outlined India’s commitment for eliminating malaria by 2030.
  • National Strategic Plan for Malaria Elimination (2017-22) gives strategies for working towards the ultimate goal of elimination of malaria by 2030.
  • Encouraging results have been achieved in the North East India and the efforts are now focussed in other states such as Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.

National Strategic Plan For Malaria Elimination | Features of the plan

The strategies involve strengthening malaria surveillance, establishing a mechanism for early detection and prevention of outbreaks of malaria, promoting the prevention of malaria by the use of Long Lasting Impregnated Nets (LLINs), effective indoor residual spray and augmenting the manpower and capacities for effective implementation for the next five years.

About Malaria

  • Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease affecting humans and other animals caused by parasitic protozoans (a group of single-celled microorganisms) belonging to the Plasmodium type.
  • Malaria causes symptoms that typically include fever, feeling tired, vomiting, and headaches. In severe cases it can cause yellow skin, seizures, coma, and / or death.
  • The methods used to prevent malaria include medications, mosquito elimination and the prevention of bites. There is no vaccine for malaria. The presence of malaria in an area requires a combination of high human population density, high anopheles’ mosquito population density and high rates of transmission from humans to mosquitoes and from mosquitoes to humans. 

National Biopharma Mission

The first ever Industry-Academia mission to accelerate biopharmaceutical development in India will be formally launched in New Delhi on 30th June 2017.

Details | Biopharma

  • The program named Innovate in India (i3) will witness an investment of USD 250 million with USD 125 million as a loan from World Bank and is anticipated to be a game changer for the Indian Biopharmaceutical industry.
  • It aspires to create an enabling ecosystem to promote entrepreneurship and indigenous manufacturing in the sector.
  • i3 is committed to addressing these gaps with a Mission to make India a hub for design and development of novel, affordable and effective biopharmaceutical products and solutions.
  • The Mission to be implemented by Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), a Public Sector Undertaking of Department of Biotechnology will bring together expertise from national and international corridors to provide strategic guidance and direction to move promising solutions through the product development value chain.

Aim | Biopharma

The aim of the Mission is to “Enable and nurture an ecosystem for preparing India’s technological and product development capabilities in biopharmaceuticals to a level that will be globally competitive over the next decade, and transform the health standards of India’s population through affordable product development”

Significance | Biopharma

  • As a flagship program of the Government of India in collaboration with World Bank, it promises to boost the growth curve for domestic biopharma in India by accelerating the translation of research concepts into viable products, supporting clinical validation, enabling sustainable networks for collaboration between industry and academia, and supporting entrepreneurial ecosystem amongst many others. Currently India has only 2.8% share in the global biopharmaceutical market, the program would elevate this to 5% resulting in an additional business opportunity of 16 Billion USD. 
  • The Mission will provide a holistic and integrated approach to strengthen and support the entire product development value chain for accelerating the research leads to product development. This will help not only in immediate product development addressing public health needs, but will also help to create an ecosystem which will facilitate development of a continuous pipeline of products.

Cooperation in the field of Health and Medicine | PIB Summary

Health and Medicine

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the MoU between India and Australia on cooperation in the field of Health and Medicine.

Areas of cooperation

  • Communicable diseases such as Malaria and TB;
  • Mental Health and Non-Communicable Diseases; 
  • Anti-Microbial Resistance and responding to public health emergencies;
  • Regulation of Pharmaceuticals, vaccines and medical devices;
  • Digital Health;
  • Tobacco Control; and
  • Any other area of cooperation decided mutually between the two countries. 

The MoU will involve cooperation through joint initiatives in the Health Sector and strengthen bilateral ties between India and Australia.

For more keep visiting Raj Malhotra IAS Academy

Kayakalp Awards | PIB Summary

Kayakalp awards are awarded for the work in maintaining high standards of sanitation and hygiene in public health facilities. The thrust of Kayakalp is to inculcate culture of cleanliness for gaining the trust and confidence of community in these facilities.

Kayakalp Awards | Background

  • The Kayakalp scheme was launched in 2015 covering 10 Central Government Institutions and District Hospitals in the year of launch.
  • The system adopted for central Government institutions follows a two tier assessment process of internal and external assessment followed by decision by a Jury constituted in the Ministry.
  • In the states, Kayakalp awards are declared based on score arrived at through a three tier assessment system of internal, peer and external assessment.  

Kayakalp Awards | Highlights

  • This year the scheme expanded coverage to 16 Central Government institutions including 6 new AIIMSs and all Primary Health Centres (PHCs) and Community Health Centres (CHCs). Thus, in the current year the Kayakalp assessment in States covered over 700 District hospitals, over 5,000 CHCs and over 25,000 PHCs.
  • Many good practices have been initiated like emphasis on good cleaning practices, pest control, measuring infection control etc. and healthy competition amongst healthcare facilities is motivating them to go an extra mile in pursuit of excellence.
  • The ICT based application ‘Mera Aspataal (My Hospital)’ captures patients’ feedback about their experience in the health facilities on the services that they received or sought to receive.
  • MOHFW have launched a joint initiative with the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation  Swachh Swasth Sarvatra. Under this initiative Community Health Centres (CHCs) in Open Defecation Free (ODF) blocks will be supported to achieve Kayakalp certification and Gram Panchayat of Kayakalp Primary Health Centres (PHCs) will be prioritized to become ODF.

Single Vaccine for dual protection | PIB Summary

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare launched Measles Rubella (MR) Vaccine campaign in the country at a function in Bengaluru, here today.

Vaccine | Measles

Measles is a deadly disease and one of the important causes of death in children. It is highly contagious and spreads through coughing and sneezing of an infected person. Measles can make a child vulnerable to life threatening complications such as pneumonia, diarrhoea and brain infection. Globally, in 2015, measles killed an estimated 1, 34,200 children—mostly under-5 years. In India, it killed an estimated 49,200 children.

Vaccine | Rubella

Rubella is generally a mild infection, but has serious consequences if infection occurs in pregnant women, causing congenital rubella syndrome (CRS), which is a cause of public health concern. CRS is characterized by congenital anomalies in the foetus and newborns affecting the eyes (glaucoma, cataract), ears (hearing loss), brain (microcephaly, mental retardation) and heart defects, causing a huge socio-economic burden on the families in particular and society in general. 

About the campaign

  • The campaign against these two diseases will start from five States/UTs (Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Goa and Lakshadweep) covering nearly 3.6 crore target children.
  • Following the campaign, Measles-Rubella vaccine will be introduced in routine immunization, replacing the currently given two doses of measles vaccine, at 9-12 months and 16-24 months of age.
  • The MR campaign targets around 41 crore children across the country, the largest ever in any campaign.
  • All children aged between 9 months and less than 15 years will be given a single shot of Measles-Rubella (MR) vaccination irrespective of their previous measles/rubella vaccination status or measles/rubella disease status.
  • MR vaccine will be provided free- of- cost across the states from session sites at schools as well as health facilities and outreach session sites.
  • After the completion of the campaign, MR vaccine will be introduced in routine immunization and will replace measles vaccine, given at 9-12 months and 16-24 months of age of child. 

Highlights of the campaign

  • Government has taken this as an achievable target. This shall be taken up in a mission mode and rolled out in partnership with States, NGOs and development partners such as WHO, UNICEF, Gates Foundation, Lions Club, IPA, IMA, etc.
  • In the nationwide campaign, the Ministry will reach out to and cover 41 crore children in the age group of 9 months – 15 years.
  • Government has urged parents, caregivers, community leaders, teachers, anganwaadi workers and other frontline health workers to become the active part of this campaign.


Measles vaccine is currently provided under Universal Immunization Programme (UIP). However, rubella vaccine will be a new addition.


Measles immunization directly contributes to the reduction of under-five child mortality, and with combination of rubella vaccine, will control rubella and prevent CRS in country population. Given the wide target group of the vaccination campaign, schools and educational institutions will play a critical role, and will require partnership from multiple stakeholders at all levels. 

Centre of Integrative Oncology | PIB Summary

Centre of Integrative Oncology would be inaugurated at National Institute of Cancer Prevention and Research (NICPR), Noida.

Centre of Integrative Oncology | Background

The setting up of this Centre is an outcome of the deliberations held in Indo-US Workshop on 3-4th March 2016 organized by Ministry of AYUSH, where the invited US delegates from Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), National Institute of Health, National Cancer Institute deliberated with the eminent experts from India with expertise in Cancer research and other promising areas for two days to share experiences and work out a road map for future collaborations.

Centre of Integrative Oncology | Highlights

  • The main objective of the Centre is to build collaborations in the areas of cancer prevention, research and care.
  • This would pave the way to carry forward the ongoing bilateral dialogue and facilitate collaboration with stake holders, both national and international, like National Cancer Institute, USA.
  • The Centre would be the clearing house for information for AYUSH projects on cancer research and management.
  • The Centre would also offer 5 post-doctoral and 5 Senior Research Fellowships each year to deserving candidates to facilitate quality research in the country in the area of cancer research. The fellowship program would be launched at the inauguration.

For more information keep visiting Raj Malhotra’s IAS Coaching Academy

Pulse Polio Programme | PIB Summary

The President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee launched the Pulse Polio programme for 2017 by administering polio drops to children less than five years old, at the Rashtrapati Bhawan.

Pulse Polio | Highlights

Tomorrow, on the National Immunization Day, 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.

Pulse Polio | Initiatives taken post-Polio Virus free status

Although polio virus has been eradicated from India, the risk of importation still persists from remaining three countries (Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria) where poliovirus is still circulating.

  • The need still persists for the country to maintain the population immunity and sensitive surveillance till global polio eradication happens. This is maintained through National and Sub National Polio rounds along with sustained high quality polio surveillance.
  • India 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 eight other countries.
  • An Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan (EPRP) is in place under which Rapid Response Teams (RRT) have been formed in all States/UTs to respond urgently to any importations of poliovirus.
  • To provide double protection to our children, Government of India has also introduced the injectable Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV) into its routine immunization program.

Pulse Polio | Key facts on immunisation

  • Due to high penetration of immunisation programmes, India has reduced under-5 mortality rate from 75 per 1000 live births in 2005 to 45 per 1000 in 2014 as per recent SRS estimates.
  • Rotavirus virus vaccine has been introduced as part of the UIP (Universal Immunisation Programme) last year and the Ministry is soon to introduce Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine that will help to reduce the burden of diarrhea, pneumonia and meningitis, and a countrywide campaign with Measles-Rubella vaccine in phased manner.
  • The innovative initiative of the Government, Mission Indradhanush, launched in 2014 has strengthened our immunization coverage and ensured that all vaccines reach our targeted beneficiaries even in remotest areas.

Health Ministry to launch programme for five non-communicable diseases | PIB Summary

Health Ministry to launch population based prevention, screening and control programme for five non-communicable diseases


On February 4th coinciding with World Cancer Day, Union Health and Family Welfare Minster is expected to launch the concerned programme.

Non-Communicable diseases (NCDs) which are Cardiovascular Diseases (CVDs) such as heart attacks and stroke, Diabetes, Chronic Respiratory Diseases (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases and Asthma) and Cancer inter alia account for over 60% of all mortality in India. Of these, nearly 55% are premature mortality. This imposes a financial and social cost on families and the country.

According to the World Economic Forum, India stands to lose $ 4.58 trillion (Rs 311.94 trillion between 2012 and 2030 due to non-communicable diseases.

What is the need of the detection programme?

Given that primary health care, including prevention and health promotion can lead to improved health and developmental outcomes at much lower cost, the Ministry is now expanding access to prevention and primary care services. 

Early detection of NCDs not only enables onset of treatment but prevents high financial costs and suffering.  Since these conditions do not exhibit symptoms until complications set in, it is essential to detect them early. For instance – For some cancers, survival rates are good when they are detected and treated in the early stages. 

Screening for these conditions, which can be undertaken at the level of the sub centre or Primary health Centres helps early detection and also serves to raise health awareness among people to lead healthy lifestyles.

Highlights of the programme

As part of the National Health Mission, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is launching population based prevention, screening and control programme for five common non-communicable diseases, namely Hypertension, Diabetes, and Cancers of oral cavity, breast and cervix.

The training of frontline workers- the ASHA and ANM which will be initiated and in some sub-centres, population based screening will also start. Detailed protocols for treatment, referrals and follow-up on these disease conditions will be provided. 

In the first phase, the population based screening component will be rolled out in 100 districts in 32 states and UTs with about 1000 sub-centres undertaking screening before March 31st of this year. ASHAs will also be capturing information on major risk factors so that persons at risk could be counselled on leading healthy lifestyles to prevent onset of NCDs.

In subsequent phases, Chronic Obstructive Respiratory diseases will be included and the programme will be scaled up to cover other districts. Support to states will also be provided for community health promotion and prevention efforts, and referral and treatment.

For more information keep visiting Raj Malhotra IAS Academy

Under Nutrition | Issues & Solutions

Notwithstanding the sizeable economic and social gains made by India over the last two decades, the pernicious, often invisible, challenge of maternal and child under nutrition remains a national public health concern. This undermines the assumption that economic growth is in itself a sufficient condition for improvement in public health.

Under Nutrition | Extent of the problem


India is home to over 40 million stunted and 17 million wasted children (under-five years. Despite a marked trend of improvement in a variety of anthropometric measures of nutrition (for example, rates of stunting, wasting in children under-five) over the last 10 years, child undernutrition rates in India persist as among the highest in the world. This inequality in access is accentuated by the stark state-level disparity in nutritional status.

Under Nutrition | Issues 

Malnutrition is also responsible for lowering individuals’ immunity to infections and diseases; for instance, low body weight is responsible for 50 per cent of tuberculosis (TB) in India, and also leads to higher death rate. Future growth will require significant investments into human resources of which health investments are critical.

Under Nutrition | Way Forward


In response, policy-makers must account for two key facts:

  1. Direct nutrition interventions (adequately scaled up), while essential, can reduce stunting only by 20 per cent; indirect interventions (for example, access to WASH) must tackle the remaining 80 per cent, and
  2. 50 per cent of the growth failure accrued by two years of age occurs in the womb owing to poor nutrition of the mother. A lack of nutrition in the first 1,000 days of a child’s life causes irreversible, long-term damage to a child’s cognitive functions, undermining later-stage investments aimed at realising the developmental potential of India’s children (such as the Government of India’s flagship programme, Skill India).

Hence, there exist significant policy returns from investing in this critical window of opportunity, that is, from the period of conception of the child to the two-year post-natal period.

Under Nutrition | Key Recommendations

  • Establish a nodal body for multi-programme coordination on nutrition.
  • Strengthen and restructure the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) programme, and leverage the Public Distribution System (PDS).
  • Extend coverage of food fortification of staples.
  • Target multiple contributing factors, for example, water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH).
  • Align agricultural policy with national nutritional objectives.
  • Boost private sector engagement in nutrition-interventions through PPP.


Direct and indirect policy implementation requires grass root intervention instead of a top-down approach. The generic as well as local factors should be accommodated during policy formulation. Isolationist approach has bred a plethora of schemes which often end up being ineffective at the ground. Output à Feedback à Input à Output model should be strictly and consistently followed for better policy formulation and better results.