Table of Contents
- Non-Communicable Diseases
Facts for Prelims
- Palkhi festival
- Global Slavery Index 2023
Despite consistently ranking high in the health index of NITI Aayog, Kerala has faced a setback with the ICMR-INDIAB study, which identifies it as having the worst overall indicators for long-term morbidity and mortality due to NCDs.
About Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD):
- NCDs, also known as chronic diseases, are long-lasting conditions influenced by various factors.
- Common types of NCDs include cardiovascular diseases, cancers, and chronic respiratory diseases.
- NCDs result from a combination of genetic, physiological, environmental, and behavioral factors.
- NCDs have increased due to factors like tobacco use, harmful alcohol consumption, unhealthy diets, lack of physical activity, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and high cholesterol.
- The NCD epidemic has severe health consequences for individuals, families, and communities, and poses a significant burden on healthcare systems.
- NCDs also have socioeconomic costs, impacting productivity and straining health expenditure.
- Globally, NCDs account for 7 out of 10 deaths, with risk factors including tobacco, alcohol, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, and air pollution.
Kerala’s Case Study:
- Kerala has recognized NCDs as a major health challenge since the late 1990s.
- The state faces high prevalence rates of diabetes, pre-diabetes, and hypertension, along with other risk factors like high cholesterol and abdominal obesity.
- This situation increases the likelihood of cardiovascular diseases and chronic kidney diseases, impacting health spending and leading to catastrophic illnesses.
Data Analysis for India:
- The ICMR study reveals that the proportion of NCD-related deaths in India increased from 37.9% in 1990 to 61.8% in 2016.
- The major NCDs in India are cardiovascular diseases, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases, and diabetes, often caused by unhealthy diets, lack of physical activity, and tobacco and alcohol use.
Indian Initiatives for Tackling NCDs:
- The National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases, and Stroke (NPCDCS) is implemented under the National Health Mission (NHM).
- The Strengthening of Tertiary Care Cancer Facilities scheme supports the establishment of State Cancer Institutes (SCI) and Tertiary Care Centers (TCCC).
- Affordable Medicines and Reliable Implants for Treatment (AMRIT) outlets provide discounted drugs and implants for cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
- Jan Aushadhi stores offer affordable generic medicines to the public.
- Achieving the SDG target of reducing premature deaths due to NCDs will enhance India’s resilience against future pandemics.
Strengthening health infrastructure through programs like Aatmanirbhar Swasth Bharat is crucial for addressing NCDs effectively.
Delegates from several countries, who are in the city for the G20 Digital Economy Working Group Conference, got a glimpse of the 800-year-old Warkari community’s palkhi festival.
- The Palkhi festival is an ancient tradition that originated in Maharashtra, India.
- It was started by saints and is continued by their followers called Varkaris.
- Varkaris are people who follow a fundamental ritual called “vari.”
Purpose and Location:
- The festival is an annual pilgrimage (yatra) to Pandharpur, a town in Maharashtra.
- It is held to honor the Hindu deity Vithoba, who is revered in Pandharpur.
- The Varkaris undertake the pilgrimage by walking and carrying chariots called palkhis.
- These chariots contain the sandals (paduka) of various saints, notably Dnyaneshwar and Tukaram.
- The Dnyaneshwar’s palkhi starts from Alandi, while Tukaram’s begins at Dehu, both in Pune district.
- The entire journey takes 22 days, commencing in the month of Jyeshth (June).
- On the eleventh day of the first half of the month of Ashadh, the Palkhi arrives at Pandharpur.
Rituals at Pandharpur:
- Upon reaching Pandharpur on Ashadi Ekadashi, the devotees take a holy dip in the sacred Chandrabhaga River/Bhima River.
- They then proceed to visit the Vitthal temple, considered the main shrine in Pandharpur.
- The tradition of the Palkhi has been followed by saints such as Sant Dnyaneshwar and Sant Tukaram.
- In 1685, Narayan Baba, the youngest son of Tukaram, introduced the Palkhi as a sign of social respect.
- He placed Tukaram’s silver padukas in the Palkhi and added Dnyaneshwar’s padukas during the pilgrimage.
- Initially, the tradition involved twin Palkhis, but in 1830, disputes led to separate Palkhis for Tukaram and Dnyaneshwar.
- Both Palkhis meet in Pune briefly and then diverge at Hadapsar, reuniting at Wakhri, a village near Pandharpur.
Who are Varkaris?
- Varkaris are a Hindu religious sect that worships Vithoba (or Vitthal), an incarnation of Krishna.
- They are followers of the Palkhi tradition and participate in the annual pilgrimage to Pandharpur.
According to a recently published research paper, a human clinical trial of a vaccine candidate to prevent chikungunya has returned a 99% immune response.
- Chikungunya is a viral disease that spreads to humans through mosquito bites.
- The word “chikungunya” comes from a language in Africa and means “bent over in pain.”
- It is mainly transmitted by mosquitoes called Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, which can also spread dengue and Zika viruses.
- The disease was first identified during an outbreak in southern Tanzania in 1952 and has since been found in about 40 countries worldwide.
- Symptoms usually appear within 4 to 8 days after a mosquito bite, but it can take anywhere from 2 to 12 days.
- The most common symptom is a sudden onset of fever, often accompanied by joint pain.
- Other symptoms include muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue, and rash.
- Severe complications are rare, but some cases can cause long-lasting symptoms and, in severe cases, even death, especially in older individuals.
- Currently, there is no approved vaccine or specific treatment for chikungunya virus infections.
- The primary focus of treatment is to alleviate symptoms by getting plenty of rest, staying hydrated with fluids, and taking medications for pain relief.
Global Slavery Index 2023
According to Global Slavery Index 2023, on any given day in 2021, as many as 50 million people were living in “modern slavery”.
- The Global Slavery Index 2023 is the fifth edition of this report, based on estimates from 2022.
- The index provides a comprehensive view of modern slavery on a global scale.
- It is created by Walk Free, a human rights organization, and relies on data from the Global Estimates of Modern Slavery, produced by the International Labour Organization (ILO), Walk Free, and the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
- The index reveals three key sets of findings based on different aspects of modern slavery.
- Worst offenders: Countries with high prevalence of modern slavery include North Korea, Eritrea, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Tajikistan.
- Lowest prevalence: Countries with the lowest reported prevalence of modern slavery include Switzerland, Norway, Germany, the Netherlands, and Sweden.
- Highest number of people affected: Countries with the highest estimated number of people living in modern slavery are India, China, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, and Indonesia.
Understanding Modern Slavery:
- Modern slavery refers to situations where individuals are exploited and cannot refuse or escape due to threats, violence, coercion, deception, or abuse of power.
It encompasses various forms of abuse, such as forced labor, forced marriage, debt bondage, sexual exploitation, human trafficking, slavery-like practices, forced or servile marriage, and the sale and exploitation of children.