Current Affairs - May, 2019

Latest Current Affairs May, 2019 with Current Affairs, news summary on current events of National and International importance of May, 2019 for Banking, SSC, CLAT, UPSC, State PCS, IBPS, Railways and other Competitive Examinations.

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UNESCO: Women still under-represented in Science and Technology

According to analysis by The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), women remain considerably under-represented across STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) studies and careers.

Key Highlights

  • Statistics: According to UNESCO, globally only 29% of those in science research and development (R&D) are women, with a low 19% in south and west Asia and high 48% in central Asia.
  • Reason: Most young women do not identify with STEM studies or careers and assume that these subjects would not align with their desire to be creative and make an impact in world.
  • Consequences: As per experts this trend would further widen the gender gap in technology world and by shying away from STEM Women will also miss contributing to next generation of technologies and innovations.

Recommendations:

  • Teachers and technologists must take up responsibility to break misperception among women that STEM does not relate to world at large.
  • They must build passion for STEM subjects among women students by designing computer science curricula around societal challenges and giving young women more exposure to female role models.
  • Improving Awareness:
  • Example- Microsoft, the technology major has taken up an initiative to encourage women to pursue careers in STEM and is working to get students and young women excited about STEM subjects.
  • Such initiatives help raise awareness about issues that cause girls to drop out of or lose interest in STEM and aims to hold their excitement by showing them that if they stay engaged how they can change the world.

Steps Taken By UNESCO

  • To strengthen and focus UNESCO’s work in support of gender equality in Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) it launched STEM and Gender Advancement (SAGA) project in 2015. It is a global UNESCO project supported by Swedish Government through the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).
  • It offers governments and policymakers a variety of tools to help reduce current global gender gap existing at all levels of education and research in STI fields.

WHO: Algeria and Argentina declared Malaria-Free

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared Algeria and Argentina as ‘Malaria-Free’ countries after no cases of indigenous transmission of disease were recorded.

Key Highlights

  • Background: The Malaria parasite was first discovered in humans in Algeria by a French physician named Charles Louis Alphonse Laveran in 1880. By 1960s, Malaria became Nigeria’s primary health challenge, with reporting almost 80,000 cases each year. The country then started it steps towards responding to disease. On the other hand, Argentina began is elimination efforts in 1970s.
  • About: The indigenous transmission of disease was last reported from Algeria in 2013, while last case of Argentina was recorded in 2010.
  • Algeria became second country in Africa to be declared malaria-free, after Mauritius, which was certified in 1973.
  • Argentina became second country in South America to be certified malaria free after Paraguay, which was certified in June 2018.
  • The certificates will be presented to both countries on sidelines of the 72nd session of the World Health Assembly (WHA) which is being held in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • Steps Taken: by both nations include-
  1. Improved surveillance which helped every last case of malaria to be rapidly identified and treated.
  2. Free diagnosis and treatment of patients ensured that no one was left behind. This helped to prevent, detect and cure the disease.
  3. The trained health workers were deployed to spray homes with insecticides and to also diagnose disease through microscopy.

WHO and Malaria

As per the WHO’s World malaria report 2018:

  • Malaria remains one of world’s leading killers of decade. In 2017, Malaria accounted for about 219 million cases from 87 countries and more than 400,000 deaths. Of total count over 60% of fatalities was among children under 5 years of age and had caused 266,000 deaths worldwide.
  • In 2017, the African region recorded 92% of malaria cases and 93% of malaria deaths thus had highest share of global malaria burden.
  • Four countries in African continent accounted for nearly 50% of all malaria cases worldwide, namely Nigeria (25%), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC 11%), Mozambique (5%), and Uganda (4%)

WHO Malaria-Free Certification Criteria: The Country under consideration has to prove that it has interrupted indigenous transmission of malaria for at least 3 consecutive years. Till date a total of 36 countries have received WHO’s malaria free certification.

About Malaria

  • It is mosquito-borne infectious disease.
  • Cause: by infectious Plasmodium type parasitic protozoans (group of single-celled microorganisms).
  • Transmission: on biting of infected female Anopheles mosquito.
  • Mosquirix or (RTS,S) is World’s first vaccine against a parasitic disease.

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