2019 was an eventful year for India. Some important highlights included the ban e-cigarettes to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) report on global activeness.

The World Health Organization (WHO) wanted to highlight the importance of physical activity among adolescent children worldwide. A study published by the organization found that 80% of adolescent children (85% girls and 78% of boys) did not meet the recommended one hour of daily physical activity.
Indian children fared better (72% of Indian adolescent boys and 76% of Indian girls were found to inadequately active).

The statistic is still worrying insufficient physical activity weakened the present and future health of adolescents in the county.

Physical inactive increased the risk of lifestyle diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, and a higher risk of coronary heart disease.

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The trend that girls are less physically active than boys is also worrying. Socio-economic factors of adolescent girls being more involved in housework could explain the trend.

Similar studies conducted in India showed that students from government-run schools tend to be more active than children going to private schools. Obesity was also higher in private schools.

Climate change became a worldwide issue in 2019. The ill-effects of climate change and global warming cannot be ruled out. The Lancet Journal published an article in November last year that Indian children will be more susceptible to climate change – air quality may worsen, food will be more expensive due to inflation, and infectious diseases may increase.
Indian Journal of Medical Research indicated climate change may see an increase in vector-borne diseases (malaria and dengue) and water-borne diseases (cholera and diarrhea). Weather patterns influence the spread of infectious diseases.

Health issues due to extreme weather patterns are also expected to rise. Injury, death, and post-traumatic stress disorders are expected to increase from catastrophic climatic events such as floods and cyclones.

Long term drought and water scarcity are also said to increase – this will impact hygiene and sanitation, increased exposure to dust and heat, and deterioration in mental health.

A new term environmental refugee can put an increased burden on the stretched medical resources in the country.

In November last year, Indian doctors broke a world record for surgically taking out the world’s largest kidney weighing an astounding 7.4 kg from a Delhi resident. A normal kidney weighs around 120-150 grams. The patient suffered from a disease called autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD). The condition caused cysts to grow in the kidney leading to renal failure. The surgery took place at the Ganga Ram Hospital in the capital.
The parliament passed the Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes in India in 2019. The ban meant manufacture, import, export, and consumption of e-cigarettes was banned. According to the Union Health Minister, the harmful effect of e-cigarettes was well-known. There were chances it could become a bigger menace than regular tobacco products. The government wanted to proactively ban it.
E-cigarettes were first promoted as a way to help people quit tobacco. But there is no evidence that it has helped people stop smoking.

A study in 2018 found smoking e-cigarettes daily increased the risk of heart attack by 79%. E-cigarettes used nicotine solvent linked to cancers and diseases of the lungs, heart, and brains.

In December the World Economic Forum published its annual Global Gender Gap report. The report showed India’s rank slipped by 4 places to 112 ranks. The Gender Gap report is calculated on 4 parameters:- health, education, economy, and politics. It is a measure of a women’s disadvantage.
This widening gender gap affected women’s well-being, survival, and economic involvement.

Indian women’s mortality was affected by poor nutrition, inadequate primary health centers, poor reproductive health, and discrimination.

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