1. Universal Immunization program (UIP)
  2. Vector control
  3. Blindness control
  4. Leprosy
  5. Iodine
  6. AIDS control
  7. TB control
  8. Swine Flu, Avian Flu
  9. Tamiflu, Relenza
  10. Non Communicable diseases
  11. Heart related
  12. Cancer related
  13. Kinesio tape
  14. VitaVallis
  15. Instruments
  16. Surgeries
  17. Nobel Prizes
  18. Misc.

Universal Immunization program (UIP)

  • Started in mid-80s.
  • Under UIP, govt. gives children vaccine for seven diseases
  1. Polio
  2. Measels
  3. Childhood TB
  4. Hepatitis B
  5. Tetanus
  6. Diphtheria
  7. Pertussis (whooping cough)
  • Govt. also declared year 2012-13, as Year of Intensification of Routine Immunization.

India Declared Polio-Free

  • 2010: Government introduced Bivalent Oral Polio Vaccine (bOPV).
  • In Feb 2012, World Health organization (WHO) removed India the list of Contries facing active wild polio virus.
  • They removed us from the list because India had completed two years without single case of Polio. (last case was reported in Howrah, West Bengal).
  • Only PAN (Pakistan, Afghan, Nigeria) remain

Diseases eradicated from India

Disease Caused by Eradication year (India)
Smallpox Virus 70s
Guinea worm Parasite 2000s
Yaws Bacteria
Polio Virus 2012
Kala Azar Parasite Target:2015
Leprosy Bacteria

Acute flaccid paralysis (AFP)

  • Polio is a disease caused by a virus. But AFP can also arise for other reasons, including infection by non-polio pathogens.
  • No child in India has been diagnosed with polio for nearly two years now and all the indications are that the virus responsible for it is no longer circulating here.
  • However, the country’s polio surveillance system has indicated a sharp increase during recent years in the number of non-polio AFP cases.
  • most of the country’s non-polio AFP cases occur in just two States — Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. cases of children with non-polio AFP were not being monitored by either the polio eradication programme or the larger state health care system.
  • As a result, there is no clear picture of what was causing the AFP, the kind of diseases these children displayed, or how many of them were seriously affected

Polio Virologist dead

  • Jonas Salk had developed the known as the inactivated polio-virus vaccine (IPV) in the 50s.
  • But before that, Hilary Koprowski had invented the live-virus oral vaccine.
  • Hilary Koprowski is in news, because he died in April 2013.


  • Name of public sector undertaking (PSU)
  • It manufactures Oral polio vaccine for Universal immunization program.

Integrated Vaccine Complex

  • Govt. is setting this under Universal immunization program.
  • Location: Kanchipuram Distrct, TN
  • It’ll provide vaccines at affordable prices.
  • It’ll also manufacture Penta Valent Vaccine.

Penta-valent Vaccine

Penta=five. So penta-valent vaccine=five vaccines in one.

  1. Diphtheria
  2. Pertussis
  3. Tetanus,
  4. Hepatitis-B
  5. Hib. (Hib Haemophilus Influenzae Type B). It is Responsible For Pneumonia, Meningitis And Epiglottitis)
  • This is an “injection” (and not oral drops like polio vaccine.)
  • In India, pentavalent vaccine was introduced in Tamil Nadu and Kerala in December 2011, under the Universal immunization program.
  • Recently Delhi and Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana, Puducherry, Goa and Gujarat also started using it.


  • Pentavalent vaccine helps in reducing the number of shots a child receives from nine to three.
  • Convenient in storage space and transport because five vaccines are combined in a single vial.


  • India’s first vaccine for Japanese Encephalitis.
  • Company: Biological E Ltd. (BEL)

Vector control

  • National Vector borne diseases control program (NVBDCP)
  • This is under National rural health mission.
  • Directorate @Delhi gives cash and commodity to state Governments for implementing this.
  • Government plans to eliminate kala-azar and filariasis by 2015.

–           Comprehensive program against vector borne diseases such as

Disease By Notes
Malaria Protozoa (parasite)
  • Via female Anopheles mosquitoes.
  • 3 stages 1) cold 2) hot 3) sweating.
  • World Malaria day = 25th April
  • 12th FYP wants Annual Malaria Incidence of <1/1000.


  • Piperaquine (trade name Synriam): this was launched on World Malaria day in 2012
  • Synriam =First “Indian” anti-malarial drug. Ranbaxy produced it, with help of Dept. of Science and Technology + ICMR.


  • New anti-malarial drug.
  • Undergoing trials.

Humanized Mice

–           It is engrafted with human liver cells. It’ll help research liver-to-blood stage infection of Malaria.

Kala Azar
  • Via female sand fly
  • Leads to skin darkening, therefore called “kala Azar”= black sickness.
  • Target is to eliminate Kala Azar by 2015
Japanese Encephalitis Virus
  • Via Culex mosquitos
  • Pigs to mosquito to man.
  • More details given in old article click me
  • 12th FYP wants to reduce JE deaths by 30%
  • Via Mosquito: aedes Aegypti
  • Real time PCR essay: this will help detect dengue on first day.
  • In the recent past Dengue has been reported from almost all the states and UTs except Lakshadweep.
  • Via Mosquito: aedes Aegypti
  • ELISA blood test needed for diagnosis
  • symptoms similar to dengue fever
  • Swahili word: “that which bends up”, because it leads to severe pain in joints.
  • 12th FYP wants to Containment of outbreaks of Chikungunya.
Filariasis Parasitic worms
  • Via black flies and mosquitoes.
  • target is to eliminate this by 2015.
  • Via mosquitos
  • It makes the skin and tissues around leg very thick- makes it look like elephant’s legs.

Continuing to more programs under NRHM

Blindness control

  • National program for control of blindness (NPCB)
  • 100% centrally sponsored
  • Goal: reduce blindness to 0.3% by year 2020
  • Free eye checkup and spectacles to school kids


  • This disease is caused by bacteria
  • 100% centrally sponsored (the scheme, not the disease hahaha)
  • It uses Multi-drug therapy (MDT).
  • 12th FYP wants to reduce new cases to 0 for all districts.


  • Iodine Deficiency => goiter, retardation (mental, physical), cretinism, squint etc.

AIDS control


  • National AIDS Control Organization
  • It is a division of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
  • NACO implements the national aids control program (NACP)

NACP phases

Phase Year What?


  • 1986: first AIDS case in India detected, in Chennai, TN.
  • First phase to control the spread of HIV infection.
  • Treatment of sexually transmitted diseases in district hospitals and medical colleges
  • Establishing AIDS surveillance system


  • condom promotion.
  • The School AIDS Education Programme
  • National AIDS Prevention and Control Policy
  • National Blood Policy
  • NGOs involvement
  • focus on High Risk Groups (HRGs)
  1. prostitutes
  2. gays
  3. drug addicts
  4. bridge populations (truckers and single male migrants)


  • halt and reverse the epidemic in India over the next five years.
  • promote district-level network of people living with HIV/AIDS
  • income generation and other welfare activities for HIV positive people.


2012- 2017
  • reach zero infection, zero stigma and zero deaths.
  • Prevent new infections
  • Prevent Parent-to-Child Transmission
  • Reduce stigma and discrimination of AIDS
  • Increase partnership with NGO and civil society.
  • Social protection and insurance mechanism for HIV positive people.
  • Provide comprehensive care, support and treatment to all.

Bridge Population

  • HIV first appears among most vulnerable (e.g.  prostitutes and drug addicts) and.
  • Bridge population means those people who acts as “Bridge” for transferring HIV virus from
  1. high risk group (prostitutes, drug addicts, gays) to low risk groups/general population (housewives, future kids)
  2. Urban to rural areas.
  • Example of bridge  population = single male migrant, truck drivers, bisexual men.

Mother to Child

  • If a pregnant woman is HIV positive, there are now drugs that can reduce the risk of her passing HIV virus on to her baby in the womb or at birth.
  • Caesarean Delivery also reduces the risk of a baby becoming infected.
  • if a mother is HIV positive, beast-feeding will increase the risk of her baby becoming infected. (because some HIV transmission can occur through breast milk.)

AIDS: 12th FYP Goal

12th Five Year plan wants to

  1. reduce new infections to zero and
  2. provide comprehensive care and support to all HIV positive


  • World’s first Oral pill  to prevent HIV
  • Developed by: Gilead Sciences.
  • Made of two anti-reteroviral drugs:  1) Tenofovir and 2) Emtricitabine
  • Given approval by US FDA.

Truvada: Issues/concerns

  • This drug only lowers the amount of HIV virus in blood. It doesn’t make a person totally immune to HIV virus.
  • But Some idiots will think they have become totally immune against HIV, and then indulge in unprotected sex- further spreading AIDS.
  • Experts also believe that same idiots (described above), will not take the medicine regularly, and HIV virus will become resistant to Truvada.
  • Then another billion dollars and 10-12 years will be required to design a new drug.
  • In one clinical study, some prostitutes were given Truvada, yet it did not prevent the spread of HIV. Hence critiques are not entirely convinced about the efficiency of this drug.

OraQuick Home

  • It’s the first Do It Yourself testkit for detecting HIV—the same one that health professionals use but without the trip to a doctor’s office or the need to wait days for results.
  • Oral kit for HIV Test can detect antibodies developed within 1-3 months after getting infected.
  • It cannot pick up acute or recent infection.

Red Ribbon Express (RRE)

  • A special train to spread awareness about HIV AIDS.
  • Started in 2007.
  • 1st December = AIDS day.

Anti-retro viral drugs

  • e.g. AZT, DDL and DDC,
  • but their effect last only for a limited duration.
  • These drugs are very expensive and have severe adverse reactions
  • HIV quickly develop resistance with single-drug therapy.
  • The emphasis is now on giving a combination of drugs including newer drugs called protease inhibitors; but this makes treatment even more expensive.
  • WHO’s present policy does not recommend antiviral drugs but instead advocates strengthening of clinical management for HIV- associated infections such as TB, pneumonia and diarrhoea.

Two types of HIV

  • Both are transmitted through blood/sex/mother to child.
  • Both cause AIDS.
  • But there is difference:
Quickly transmitted Less easily transmitted
Less period between initial infection and illness is longer.

TB control

  • TB shortens the survival of patients with HIV infection.
  • Revised TB control program, Under National Rural Health Mission (NRHM)
  • Provide DOTS therapy.
  • DOTS= directly observed treatment short course. It could drastically reduce the TB treatment duration.
  • More on details, given in earlier article click me
  • 12th FYP wants to reduce annual TB cases and deaths by 50%

Let’s look at the current affairs associated with TB


CSIR is developing this new Anti-TB drug.

GeneXpert/ CBNAAT?

  • Problem with MDR-TB= it takes almost 8 weeks, for doctor to diagnose this disease.
  • GeneXpert/ CBNAAT is the latest device that can diagnose this MDR-TB in just two hours.
  • Fastest detection of TB. can be installed at any place and can be used by paramedical staff.
  • In India, it’ll be provided at subsidized rate (less than Rs.2000)

Crystal TB Confirm

  • Another TB detection test. Based on chromatography.
  • Designed by Scientists @Delhi university.
  • Provides result within twenty minutes.

(given in Indian yearbook, hence listed.)

Misc TB tests

  1. MGIT Liquid Culture
  2. Hain Genotype

(there may be five dozen more TB tests in the world, but these two were given in Hindu’s S&T edition hence listed hahaha)

Project Axshya/ Mr.Sputum

  • Xshya= Sanskrit word for TB. Axshya=TB free.
  • Project Axshya is a civil society initiative to make India TB-free. Bulgum Bhai (Mr.Sputum) is their mascot.
  • He appears on TV, Radio ads, street plays, to spread the message, “If you have been coughing for more than two weeks, better get your sputum tested”
  • Union World Conference on Lung Health was held in Kuala Lumpur. This Mr.Sputum project was featured in that conference.

Swine Flu, Avian Flu

Avian flu Swine Flu
Bird Pigs
H5N1 H1N1

Tamiflu, Relenza

  • Antiviral drug.
  • Tamiflu=trade name for the drug
  • Oseltamivir=generic name for the drug.
  • Used for swine and bird flu.
  • Another drug is: Relenza (Zanamivir)
  • Concern: report suggest that the swine flu virus (H1N1) is becoming resistant to this drug.
  • Antiflu= this is the cheaper version of Tamiflu, produced by Cipla.
  • Vaxiflu-S= India’s first indigenously manufactured vaccine to combat swine flu (Cadila).

Non Communicable diseases

  • are not passed from person to person.
  • long duration and generally slow progression.
  • examples
  1. cardiovascular diseases (like heart attacks and stroke),
  2. cancers,
  3. Asthama
  4. Diabetes.
  • These diseases reduce productive years of human lives= economic loss to country.
  • Government launched National program for prevention and control of cancer, diabetes, Cardiovascular diseases and stroke (NPCDCS). It involves
  • Awareness via Mass-media, ads, promoting healthy life style.
  • Settings up clinics, training personnel etc.
  • INDIAB study=India Diabetes study. ICMR (Indian council for medical research) conducted it.

Heart related


  • myocardial infarction= when heart tissue is destroyed, it blocks the oxygen supply to heart muscles.
  • When cells of heart do not receive oxygen= they get permanently damaged.
  • Such damaged heart cells cannot regenerate, thus a thick scar develops in heart. This is where Hydrogel can help.
  • Hydrogel is derived from a pig’s heart. The basic function of the gel is to provide a scaffold (platform) for new heart cells to form.
  • Thus hydrogel can the damaged heart recover and function like a healthy one.


  • They’re drugs used for cholesterol control.
  • But new research indicates these Statins pose heath risks.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

  • Decrease the risk of heart disease, arthritis etc.
  •  improve bone strength
  • Human body cannot synthesize them.
  • Found in some fishes


High Density low-density lipoprotein
Good cholesterol Bad
Decreases heart risk Increases

Lupifio, Klotbuster

  • CSIR developed it
  • It can dissolve the blood clots and save heart attack patient.

Cancer related

No Touch BreastScan (NTBS)

  • Imaging device, based on thermography, to detect brast cancer.
  • Increased metabolism in cancer cells leads to increase in temperature.
  • The NTBS device looks for temperature hot spots at the surface of breast and detects breast cancer.
  • However, US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) has found no evidence to support the claim that thermography is a replacement for mammography.


  • Melanoma=Skin cancer. To Detect Melanoma, earlier dermatologists had to put incision (cut) on the skin, take sample, and observe It under microscope.
  • Dermoscope is a new handheld device for skin-cancer (Melanoma) detection.
  • The device uses imaging technology that, in less than one minute, visualizes the micro-vessel structure of just below the skin’s surface.
  • So Cancer can be detected without incision.

Magic Shotgun

  • US researchers are using this approach for developing more effective anti-cancer drugs.

Glivec, Novartis Patent

  • Novartis=swiss pharma company.
  • Glivec/ Gleevec=their blockbuster drug for blood cancer and gastrointestinal cancers.


  • As long as a company has patent for xyz drug, others cannot manufacture it. (for 20 years).
  • But when the patent is about to expire, the company just slightly modifies the original drug formula to create a new drug and seeks patent for that new drug.
  • This practice is known as “everygreening”
  • Indian patent act prohibits Evergreening. (under Section 3(d)).
  • In case of Norvatis, when their Glivec patent was about to expire, they had sought patent for similar new anti-cancer drug (Imatinib Mesylate), but lost patent case. They approached Supreme
  • Now Indian companies can produce generic version of this anti cancer drug, and patient will get it at cheaper price.
  • one-month dose of Glivec costs around Rs 1.2 lakh, while generic Indian drugs can do it at Rs 8,000.

Zimmerman / Imatinib

  • Imatinib Mesylate= a drug molecule to fight cancer.
  • It was patented under Zimmarman patent.
  • Now, this Glivec contains a beta crystalline form of a drug molecule “imatinib mesylate”. (therefore, Glivec is not really a new drug but a typical case of Evergreening, where company merely made some chances in the old drug molecule to file new patent.)

Glivec case timeline

1970 Indian Patents Act
2006 Patent Office rejected Novartis’s Glivec application, saying “Imatinib Mesylate” not a new anti-cancer drug molecule.
2007 Patent Appellate board rejected Norvartis claim
2013 Supreme court also rejected Novartis claim

Novartis’s side of story

  1. Glivec already patented in more than 30 countries. So this is not a case of evergreening.
  2. We provide free medicine to needy patients.
  3. If drug inventions are not protected, then pharma companies will lose the incentive to invest more time and money in research and Development of new drug molecules = in long term it’ll have negative consequences when the virus/bacteria will become resistant to existing drugs.
  4. After the defeat in supreme court, Novartis said they will not invest in drug research in India anymore.

Gardasil and Cervarix

  • names of the new HPV vaccines made by GlaxoSmithKline.
  • The Health activists say it is not properly tested, they’ve filled PIL in supreme court.
  • their arguments
  • 1) Though both vaccines are claimed to prevent cervical cancer, the truth is cervical cancer takes twenty or more years to develop.
  • 2) The vaccines have just not been around that long to prove their efficacy! neither of these vaccines had been studied to determine their potential to cause cancer


Kinesio tape

  • a strong elasticated tape, was developed more than 30 years ago by a Japanese chiropractor. Popular among atheltes.
  • Kinesio tape can stretch and contract, inhibiting damaging movements but allowing the right kind.
  • Runners can continue to train even when they have a problem.


  • It is a nano-dressing for applying on wounds.
  • Created by Russian scientists It helps clean up wounds of all known types of toxic bacteria.
  • It does not get stuck to the wound and heals burns, cuts and any septic and infected wounds two to three times faster than traditional methods do.
  • The dressing stops bleeding, ends inflammation, eliminates swellings and stimulates skin regeneration. It also helps kill pain and remove foul wound odour.
  • it contains no antibiotics and is therefore effective against drug-resistant bacteria



  • New therapy for Migraine (type of Headache). Migraine is a chronic disease (long-term disease, unlike Common fever.)
  • It is placed in the upper gum of patients mouth, through a small surgical incision. When a patient feels a headache or Migraine coming, the device delivers stimulation to block the headache pain.


  • It is a new Mass-Spectroscopy technique to detect Bacterial infection in blood, sputum, tissue etc. MALDI=Matrix assisted laser desorption/ionization.
  • MALDI can accurately identify bacteria in minutes, which allows doctors to more quickly and appropriately treat infections.

Emmident Toothbrush

  • World’s first no-brushing toothbrush.
  • There is no need to actually “brush” your teeth abrasively, because It uses ultrasound waves to clean the teeth.
  • Launched in UK.

Vomiting Larry

  • Larry is a “humanoid simulated vomiting system” designed by British scientists. It is being use to how norovirus spreads.

Handheld Dental X-ray

  • Genuine Handheld X-ray sets are very expensive.
  • Now Chinamade Cheaper products are in the market. But they do not have adequate shielding in the X-ray tube. And leads to accidental leakage radiation.
  • In India, use of such medical X-ray instruments need approval from Atomic Energy Regulatory Board. (AERB)
  • Use of radiation generating equipment not approved by AERB is a violation of the legal provisions and will attract action under the appropriate provisions of the Atomic Energy Act 1962


  • specific and absorption rate it is a measure of the amount of radio frequency energy absorbed by the human body while using a mobile phone) so that radiation does not affect human health.
  • Presently, India’s SAR limit is 2 watt per kg The Inter-ministerial Committee wants SAR to be 1.6 watts per kg.


  • Autopsy=examination and dissection of a dead body to determine cause of death. Previously, doctors would use scalpel, cut the chest open and examine tissues. Often, relatives of the dead donot agree for autopsies because of the disfigurement caused by such cutting and incisions.
  • Now scientists have come up with a non-invasive technique for conducting autopsy. This is called “Virtopsy”(=virtual autopsy). Here, doctor examines the corpse in 3-D via computer screens.
  • Virtopsy combine the images from high-powered magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT) and surface scans of dead bodies. Combined, the devices are referred to as a “virtobot”.
  • The technique allows the detection of injuries such as lesions and blows often undetectable during a traditional autopsy, as well as air pockets, heart attacks and even cancer. The method has already allowed the discovery of haemorrhages and fractures that were not picked up during conventional autopsies.

Electronic nose

  • Prototype electronic instrument. It can detect small quantities of harmful airborne substances. can be used for Batch to batch consistency during production. (perfumes, food)
  • Detection of contamination, spoilage, adulteration


  • The implants are said to be capable of completely restoring sight to blind patients, but only if their blindness was caused by a faulty retina

OraQuick Home

  • It’s the first Do It Yourself testkit for detecting HIV—the same one that health professionals use but without the trip to a doctor’s office or the need to wait days for results.
  • Oral kit for HIV Test can detect antibodies developed within 1-3 months after getting infected.
  • It cannot pick up acute or recent infection.


Femtosecond Cataract Surgery

  • Femtosecond=one quadrillionth of a second.
  • This is the latest surgical for Cataract, using a computer Laser system, now the the surgeon can soften and break up the cataract within Femtoseconds.
  • This surgery is more precise and causes less inflammation after surgery.

Ex-Vivo Lung Perfusion

  • Lung transplant surgery is required in patients with diseases such as Chronic pulmonary disease, cystic fibrosis etc. (usually associated with heavy smokers.)
  • Problem: 80 percent of donated lungs, can’t be used, either because they’re too full of fluid, infected with bacteria, or otherwise damaged.
  • Ex-Vivo lung perfusion =A new way of treating these lungs and make them donor friendly. In this technique, a special chemical solution is injected into dead-person’s lungs and then he is kept on a ventilator for 4-6 hours.
  • This can reverse lung injury and dry out excess fluid. Then lungs can be removed and transplanted to the patient.

Nobel Prizes

G-protein–coupled receptors (GPCRs)

  • Human cells have these receptors It enables them to sense chemical substances — hormones, poisons and drugs — in their environment.
  • 2012 Noble Prize in Chemistry is given for this topic.
  • Winners: Lefkowitz, Kobilka

Blank Slate Cells / Reprograming Cells / Disease in Dish

  • Terms associated with stem cell research done by Gurdon and Yamanaka (they got Noble-2012 for it).
  • Once created, these “blank slate” cells can be used for developing into other cell types.
  • For example, Skin cells can ultimately be transformed into brain cells. This Reprogramming allows scientists to create particular kinds of tissue they want to study, like lung tissue for studying cystic fibrosis, or brain tissue for Huntington’s disease.
  • By reprogramming cells from patients with a particular disease, they can create new tissue with the same genetic background, and study it in the lab.
  • That can give new insights into the roots of the problem. In addition, that approach allows them to screen drugs in the lab for possible new medicines.


ENCODE project

  • ENCyclopedia Of DNA Elements, which was started in 2003. The goal is to find all functional elements in the human genome.
  • Until recently, the majority view has been that much of the DNA is “junk”—DNA that is never transcribed and has no biological function and only 1% of the DNA is actually responsible for everything.
  • But ENCODE project has found that not one per cent but more than 80 per cent of the genome has an active role or function.


  • They are situated at the ends of chromosomes and  protect the DNA from damage.
  • Longer the size of telomer, means person will have longer life expectancy.

Memory Enhancer/ BESEB

  • CSIR developed this drug
  • From Brahmi plants
  • To improve brain memory.

Radioimmunoassay (RIA)

  • technique to measure hormones, vitamins, drugs etc. in vitro (outside body).


  • Immuno radiometry Assay. same application like RIA.


  • Bhabhatron, the indigenous telecobalt machine
  • for cancer treatment.
  • developed by Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai


  • Program of action for cancer therapy.
  • Launched by IAEA.
  • Under this PACT program, we donated one Bhabhatron machine to Vietnam


  • These plant located in Trombay, Delhi, Banglore etc.
  • provides radiation sterilization for medical and surgical instruments.
  • In rural areas, midwifery kits and delivery packs are given after doing radiation sterilization here. It reduces chances of infection during delivery.

Linear No Threshold (LNT) concept

  • means that harmful effects of radiation increase with radiation dose and even small radiation doses can cause some finite harm. Some scientists challenge the validity of LNT concept.
  • They say, in low dose radiation we would be fine, and would not have any cellular damage.

Drugs from Sea

  • Program to harness the bioactive compounds from marine organisms for therapeutic uses e.g. anti HIV, cancer, malaria etc.

In the third and last part, we’ll see the mock questions from part 1 and 2. click me to see the third part

For more science-tech, public health, space tech and defense related current affairs, visit Mrunal.org/snt