- India-US Trade Policy Forum
- Lymphatic Filariasis
Focus: GS II: International Relations
Why in News?
Recently, the Union Minister of Commerce and Industry of India and the US Trade Representative Ambassador co-chaired the 13th Ministerial-level meeting of India – US Trade Policy Forum (TPF) in Washington D.C.
India-US Trade Policy Forum (TPF)
- Objectives: To activate working groups in agriculture, non-agriculture goods, services, investment, and intellectual property to address issues of mutual concern in a mutually beneficial manner.
- Purpose: To deliver tangible benefits to both countries by resolving outstanding market access issues.
Highlights of the Meeting
- Recognition of the rise in bilateral trade in goods and services (which reached ~160 billion USD in 2021), but recognition that significant potential remains unfulfilled.
- US welcomed India’s participation in the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF).
- Both countries have similar views about the efficiency of IPEF for continued growth, peace, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.
- Welcome the finalization of the Turtle Excluder Device (TED) design with the technical support of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
- TED will help minimize the impact of fishing on sea-turtle populations.
New TPF Working Group on Resilient Trade
- Launched to deepen bilateral dialogue on a range of issues.
- Focus on trade facilitation, promotion of labour rights and workforce development and circular economy; role of trade in environment protection.
- Will focus on these topics until the next TPF Ministerial meeting.
Focus: GS II: Health
Why in News?
Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare chairs National Symposium on India’s Roadmap to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (LF)
About Lymphatic Filariasis
- LF, also known as elephantiasis, is a neglected tropical disease (NTD) that is considered the second most disabling disease after mental health.
- It affects the lymphatic system, leading to abnormal enlargement of body parts, causing pain, severe disability, and social stigma.
- The lymphatic system is a network of vessels and specialized tissues essential for maintaining overall fluid balance and health of organs and limbs and is a major component of the body’s immune defense system.
- Lymphatic filariasis is a vector-borne disease caused by infection with nematode (roundworm) parasites of the family Filarioidea, with three main types of thread-like filarial worms: Wuchereria Bancrofti (90% of cases), Brugia Malayi (most of the remainder of cases), and Brugia Timori.
- To accelerate the global elimination of lymphatic filariasis, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a treatment plan known as IDA, which involves administering a combination of ivermectin, diethylcarbamazine citrate, and albendazole for two consecutive years.
- This is because the adult worm’s life span is only four years, so administering the drugs for two consecutive years will ensure that the worms die naturally without causing any harm to the person.