Top 5 health news that kept Indians worried in 2019


New Delhi, Dec 29 (IANS): From the World Health Organisation's (WHO) global findings on physical activeness to the bill passed in Indian Parliament on banning e-cigarettes in the country, 2019 was full of unforgettable events and findings in the health sector.

In a bid to create awareness of physical activity among adolescents, a new WHO study revealed that more than 80 per cent of school-going adolescents globally did not meet current recommendations of at least one hour of physical activity per day -- including 85 per cent of girls and 78 per cent of boys.

The WHO study, which came out in November, also noted that, compared to the global average, the level of physical inactivity was found to be lower in countries like India and Bangladesh.

As health-related issues due to climate change and global warming are a major cause of worry around the globe, a study published in The Lancet journal in November found that children in India will be particularly vulnerable to the ill-effects of climate change such as worsening air quality, higher food prices and a rise in infectious diseases.

Climatic suitability for the Vibrio bacteria that cause cholera is rising three per cent a year in India since the early 1980s, said the report.

Later in life, a child born today will face increased risk from severe floods, prolonged droughts, and wildfires, it added.

In November, Indian doctors made a world record as they surgically removed a kidney weighing 7.4 kg, which was claimed to be the world's largest till date, from the abdomen of a 56-year-old Delhi resident.

Guinness World Records mention the removal of a kidney weighing 4.25 kg by doctors in 2017 from a patient who was said to be suffering from polycystic kidney disease.

The doctors from Ganga Ram Hospital also planned to apply to the Guinness World Records for this record surgery.

Paving the way for a complete ban on e-cigarettes in India, the parliament passed the Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes (Production, Manufacture, Import, Export, Transport, Sale, Distribution, Storage and Advertisement) Bill, 2019, by voice vote.

"There is evidence now that e-cigarettes are very harmful. They can become a bigger menace than tobacco one day. So, the intention of the government has been to nip the problem in the bud itself," Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan had said.

According to the New York Times, since mid-August, 2,506 lung injury cases and 54 deaths linked to vaping have been reported. Most patients were otherwise healthy and in their late teens and 20s.

But after using a vaping device to inhale nicotine, cannabis or a combination of the two, many ended up in an emergency room, gasping for breath.

In December, the World Economic Forum's 'Global Gender Gap Index 2020' annual survey showed that India has slipped four places to rank 112th globally in terms of gender gap amid widening disparity in terms of women's health and survival and economic participation.

In 2018 and 2017, India ranked 108th in the gender gap index.

Iceland continued to be the most gender-equal country, followed by Norway, Finland, Sweden and Nicaragua, according to the report.

  

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