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(Incorporating eIMA News)
3rd February 2016
Zika declared an international public health emergency by the WHO
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the mosquito-borne Zika virus infection an International public health Emergency owing to its link to thousands of birth defects in Brazil after a meeting of its Emergency Committee was convened to decide on the situation.
Margaret Chan, WHO Director General, stated that global action was required to accelerate work on improving diagnostics and developing a vaccine. However, she reiterated that trade and travel restrictions would not be necessary. The factors cited by her "First and foremost the big concern about microcephaly," and that "it is strongly suspected that Zika causes microcephaly but not yet scientifically proven."
This is the fourth global health emergency declared by the WHO since 2007, previous ones being influenza in 2007, Ebola in 2009 and polio resurgence in 2014.
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Zika Virus Update
 1. What is a public health emergency of international concern?
Formally, a PHEIC — pronounced "fake" — is defined as "an extraordinary event which is determined to constitute a public health risk to other States through the international spread of disease and to potentially require a coordinated international response." It’s a political tool used by the WHO to sound the alarm about a serious disease that has caught the world off guard and put people's health in danger. It is meant to draw countries' immediate attention to galvanize resources and stop the disease from spreading further across borders.
2. Who decides to declare a public health emergency?
The WHO convenes a panel of experts under the International Health Regulations (which are a set of laws that govern global responses to pandemics involving 196 member countries). These experts — dubbed an "emergency committee" meet and assess the risk posed by a disease outbreak and then advise the WHO Director General about whether to declare a PHEIC, who then decides whether to take action.
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Practice Updates
American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology UpdatePredicting the risk of malignancy in adnexal masses using IOTA's 'Simple Rules
Annals of Internal Medicine UpdateNew vaccines added to the 2016 adult immunization schedule 
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eIMA News Update
IMA Updates
 IMA Polio Dates
  • April 1st: tOPV would not be available after this date.
  • April 11th: bOPV would be available in private market but it is not to be opened or used before 25th April.
  • April 25: IMA Polio Switch Day, when tOPV would be completely withdrawn and replaced by bOPV in both routine immunization and polio campaigns.
  • 9th May: IMA National Validation Day when India would be declared free of tOPV. 

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Press Release
IMA supports WHO's call for rating films showing smoking scenes
New Delhi, February 2, 2016: Films have been a great influence on behavior and lifestyle, especially for the youth. The connection between smoking in films and its influence on adolescent behavior is well established. Smoking in films has lured millions of young people to smoking and once they start smoking at such an early age, they become addicted to it. And, India being the largest producer of films in the world, on-screen depiction of smoking encourages adolescents to take up smoking. In a study published in the journal PLoS One in 2014, Amy Poremba, associate professor in the Dept. of Psychology University of Iowa and corresponding author showed that tactile and visual memory is much better than auditory memory.
What we see has greater impact on the memory than what we hear. The CDC estimated in 2014 that exposure to on-screen smoking would recruit more than 6 million new, young smokers among children in the United States alone, of which 2 million would die from tobacco-induced diseases in due course of time. In 2014, smoking was found in 44% of all Hollywood films, and 36% of films rated for young people. Sixty percent of highest earning films featured tobacco imagery between 2002 and 2014.
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The Indian Medical Association (IMA) presents a series of weekly webcasts for the benefit of the Indian medical profession, engaging you with the latest in advocacy efforts for doctors, through an interactive exclusive digital webcast partnership with eMediNexus.

Next Webcast: 4th February 2016
Topic- Cancer Prevention