News: Deprived of sources of livelihood during the pandemic, sex workers, transpersons, gay and bisexual men, drug users and people living with HIV/AIDS have written to the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria (GFATM) protesting against being ignored by government and multilateral agencies in COVID-19-related emergency relief efforts.
About Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria:
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (or simply the Global Fund) is an international financing and partnership organization that aims to “attract, leverage and invest additional resources to end the epidemics of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria to support attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals established by the United Nations”.
This multistakeholder international organization maintains its secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland.
The organization began operations in January 2002.
Microsoft founder Bill Gates was one of the first private foundations among many bilateral donors to provide seed money for the partnership.
The Global Fund is the world’s largest financier of AIDS, TB, and malaria prevention, treatment, and care programs.
The Global Fund is a financing mechanism rather than an implementing agency.
Programs are implemented by in-country partners such as ministries of health, while the Global Fund secretariat, whose staff only have an office in Geneva, monitor the programs. Implementation is overseen by Country Coordinating Mechanisms, country-level committees consisting of in-country stakeholders that need to include, according to Global Fund requirements, a broad spectrum of representatives from government, NGOs, faith-based organizations, the private sector, and people living with the diseases.
This system has kept the Global Fund secretariat smaller than other international bureaucracies.
2. ULTRASOUND TO DETECT DEFECTS IN LARGE STRUCTURES
News: Engineering structures including buildings, pipelines and rails require periodic testing to prevent catastrophic failures occurring due to corrosion, impact, and strain.
High-frequency sound waves that travel in the bulk are widely used for non-invasive and non-destructive testing of structural materials.
Conventional bulk ultrasonic inspection is tedious and time-consuming as it involves point-by-point assessment of structures.
Researchers in the Indian Institute of Technology Madras and the University of Nairobi have used metamaterials to improve detection of defects in large structures by guided wave ultrasound. The result of this collaborative work was published in AIP Advances, an international peer-reviewed journal.
The use of ultrasound scans in medical diagnostics is well-known and the principle remains the same for structural monitoring.
Sound waves travel at a uniform speed if the object is defect-free, but defects impede or deflect sound waves, which results in delays in reception.
In guided wave testing (GWT), the sound waves are sent along the length of the structure rather than into the structure, allowing the waves to travel longer distances.
But GWT has poorer resolution than the conventional ultrasound-based testing due to diffraction limitations. The research team used metamaterials to improve the resolution of guided ultrasound waves.
Metamaterials are artificially crafted materials with unique internal microstructures that give them properties not found in nature.
The constituent artificial units of the metamaterial can be tailored in shape, size, and interatomic interaction, to exhibit unusual properties.