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Ayurveda and patient safety
Aspects of vaccine distribution
Aishwarya Reddy’s death
Dilli chalo farmer’s protest
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Source: The Hindu
Syllabus: GS-2- Health
Context: Efficacy of Ayurveda to incorporate surgical techniques.
What are the requirements for conducting a successful surgery?
- Apprenticeship is the key: Surgery in the present era is an interdisciplinary effort. This is one branch of medicine where knowledge can only be acquired through apprenticeship that is, the learner needs to be guided by an expert
- A well-trained anaesthesiologist keeps the patient free of pain.
- Other specialist doctors address any other illnesses that the patient has before surgery can be safely performed.
- The well-trained surgeon must have a good knowledge of the structure of the human body in health and disease.
- Clinical judgement: The surgeon needs to know when not to perform surgery, a skill commonly called clinical judgement. These skills are difficult to teach and difficult to master.
- Modern medical training: It consists of a basic degree during which the fundamentals of the functioning of humans in health and disease, and techniques to diagnose illnesses are taught. Increased knowledge in various domains is obtained through postgraduate training.
- Ayurveda and modern medicine: It is impossible for Ayurveda to incorporate surgical techniques while ignoring all the other domains of modern medicine and still perform surgery safely and effectively.
- Safe and effective health care should not become a casualty of a misguided desire to protect indigenous systems.
What are the problems?
- Data: Data from the United States suggests that up to 4,000 surgical errors occur each year despite well-considered controls on who can perform surgery.
- Efforts to reduce this rate focus on better training. Besides professional codes, legal mechanisms have been developed to ensure safe medical practice.
- Consumer protection act: In India, the Consumer Protection Act serves as an incentive to modern medical practitioners to provide high quality health care. Even this legal mechanism is not accessible to the poor.
- Deepening inequality: The quality of medical care received in India is highly dependent on personal resources. Surgical facilities manned by graduates of Ayurveda will be utilized only by the very poor who do not have the resources to access modern medical care.
- This will further root the existing grossly unequal access to health care.
- Increase medical colleges: There is a shortage of trained medical personnel in rural areas. The only way to address this is to greatly increase the number of government medical colleges.
- The way forward is to incorporate traditional medical systems into modern medicine.
Source: Indian Express
Gs2: Issues Relating to Development and Management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health.
Context: Aspects of vaccine distribution.
- The World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the COVID-19 a pandemic in march 2020 and the most optimistic prediction for a vaccine to be available was by the middle of 2021.
- Now, the labs around the world are working faster than anticipated and the first vials of a vaccine are likely to roll out in the next two months.
Why stakes in a vaccine against COVID-19 are unprecedented?
- Though, Economies have gradually opened up after lockdowns, festivals have been celebrated in a subdued manner, and polls have been conducted in several countries.
- But it’s the vaccine that can set us free, can give back the human freedom of association, and most importantly, it can relieve the anxiety and worry that has become the part of life in large parts of the planet.
How early research in Corona virus family is helping now?
- The epidemics caused by pathogens of the coronavirus family in the past 20 years, SARS and MERS, have pushed scientists to study the varied interactions between the human immune system and contagions.
- These studies have illustrated that, unlike other flu viruses, coronaviruses make use of various biological pathways in the human body. For example-opting enzymes of the host’s cells.
- Knowledge of the spike protein has made the scientific community to understand the ways in which the immune system behaves when a person contracts the novel coronavirus.
- The recent approaches targeting the spike protein whether through genetic material as in the case of the vaccines developed by Moderna and Pfizer or through a viral vector from chimpanzees as in the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, have benefitted from earlier research with coronaviruses.
What are the challenges to vaccine distribution?
- India, produces 60 per cent of the world’s vaccines and is home to the largest manufacturer, the Pune-based Serum Institute.
- Yet, the country also has the largest number of unvaccinated children in the world.
- NSO data shows that less than 60 per cent children receive the entire basket of vaccines.
- Delay in acceptance or refusal of vaccines despite availability of vaccination services in more than 90 per cent countries in the world is another hurdle in immunisation programmes.
What is the Way forward?
- Securing 1.3 billion people will require a massive public policy effort at improving the country’s public health infrastructure.
- Partnership with the private sector in immunisation programme.
- Controlling the growth of black markets.
- Checking the diversion of resources from regular immunisation programmes.
- Institute transparent mechanisms at points where science and research meet public policy.
The novel coronavirus forces us to do things differently, it demands a different conception of herd from science and public policy.
Source: Indian Express
Gs2: Issues Relating to Development and Management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
Context: Aishwarya Reddy’s death points finger at an education system that turns a blind eye to inequality.
- Recently a young student, Aishwarya Reddy from Lady Shri Ram College, died by suicide.
- The girl from a poor family took her life due to her inability to buy gadgets required by her to continue her online education.
What factors that pushed her to choose death over life?
- Digital divide in accessing online education.
- Delay in giving her the well-deserved scholarship on time by the Department of Science & Technology’s (DST).
- Lack of knowledge on part of the college administration about its students’ socio-economic backgrounds because of which all students, except the freshers, were asked to leave the hostel premises.
- The girl’s inability to proactively reach out to those in positions of authority for help.
- The painful experiences of the daily struggle of her parents, their inability, desperation and frustration to buy her a laptop and the guilt of pushing them to mortgage their house and forcing her younger sister to drop out of school.
What is the most fundamental cause for such student’s suicides?
- ours is an unequal society and our socio-economic and cultural locations determine the school that we go to and the nature/quality of education that we get.
- So, most students find it difficult to come out of their vicious cycles of disadvantage, a few resilient ones manage to enter those elite institutions, to which there is limited access.
- Though they clear, the Children with different caste, class, religion and ethnicity, with unequal economic, social and cultural capital, are all treated alike.
- For example, syllabus, curricular resources, pedagogic processes, assessment practices are same for everyone, irrespective of the divergent spaces they come from.
- Though this seems to be equal and neutral is in effect unequal and biased.
What is the way forward?
- Institutions should take responsibility to make such spaces more democratic and egalitarian.
- They need to adopt more proactive measures to reach out to their students, especially those belonging to marginalised backgrounds.
- It is important to recognise that the pressures faced by students such as the pressure to do well academically, pressure to conform and look/dress/talk in a certain way, appreciate a particular kind of music/film etc.
Read also :- Current affairs
Source- The Hindu
Syllabus- GS 3- Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Public Distribution System- objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security; Technology missions; economics of animal-rearing.
Context- Farmers from all over the country are protesting seeking the repeal of the new farm laws.
What is Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce [FPTC] Act, 2020?
- Break the monopoly- It allows intra-state and inter-state trade of farmers produce beyond the physical premises of Agricultural Produce and Livestock Market Committee (APMC) markets.
- State will be now prohibited from levying any market fees or cess outside APMC areas.
However, a large proportion of Indian harvest is sold outside mandis, only 29% and 44% of the harvest is sold in a mandi.
Farmer’s fears– This could corporatize agriculture, threaten the current mandi network and State revenues and dilute the system of government procurement at guaranteed prices.
What are the concerns of farmers?
- They are farmers are forced to sell their harvest outside the mandis due to
- India still doesn’t have enough mandis– Only 7,000 APMC markets operating across the country.
- Transport costs- Most small and marginal farmers, given their small marketable surplus, do not find it economical to bear the transport costs to take their harvests to mandis.
Therefore, the farmer ends up selling their harvest to a village/local trader even if at a lower price. Even if private markets replace mandis, small and marginal farmers will continue to sell to traders in the village itself.
- No assurance of receiving higher prices even if private market emerges.
- Adverse impact on rural investments- Mandi taxes are reinvested by APMCs to improve market infrastructure. A fall in mandi taxes would reduce the surplus available with APMCs for such investment.
What are the reasons for poor private investment in market?
- High transection cost- Private players have incurred considerable costs in opening collection centres and for salaries, grading, storage and transport.
- Corporate retail chains face additional costs in urban sales and storage, as well as the risk of perishability.
Therefore, corporate retail chains prefer purchasing bulk quantities from mandis rather than directly from farmers.
What is the farmer’s fear with regard to MSP?
Many policy signals point to a strategic design to weaken the MSPs
- MSPs are rising at a far slower rate over the past five to six years than in the past.
- The government has not yet agreed to fix MSPs at 50% above the C2 cost of production.
- Recommendation of CACP to stop open-ended procurement of food grains.
What Steps needs to be taken?
- India needs an increase in the density of mandis, expansion of investment in mandi infrastructure and a spread of the MSP system to more regions and crops.
- APMCs need internal reform to ease the entry of new players, reduce trader collusion and link them up with national e-trading platforms.
- The introduction of unified national licences for traders and a single point levy of market fees.
The Farm Acts were legislative measures that were passed without elaborate discussion with stakeholders. Thus, government has to take steps to address the genuine fears of farmers.
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