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   Table of Contents - Current issue
April-June 2019
Volume 63 | Issue 2
Page Nos. 91-162

Online since Tuesday, June 18, 2019

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Silent drivers of childhood obesity in India Highly accessed article p. 91
Sanjay Chaturvedi
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Why tuberculosis patients under revised national tuberculosis control programme delay in health-care seeking? A mixed-methods research from Wardha District, Maharashtra p. 94
Anuj Mundra, Pranali Kothekar, Pradeep Ramrao Deshmukh, Amol Dongre
Background: Timely treatment of tuberculosis is imperative for its control. This can get delayed due to delay in care seeking, diagnosis or treatment initiation. Objectives: The study aims to find out the magnitude of delays in care seeking, diagnosis or treatment initiation, and understand the reasons behind these delays in Wardha district of Maharashtra, India. Methods: A mixed methods study was conducted among 275 patients selected from those enrolled under Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme in 2014. We collected information regarding the duration of delays and generated a free list of reasons for delays in care seeking and diagnosis. The free list items were then subjected to pile sorting. Two-dimensional scaling and hierarchical clustering analysis were performed to identify the various domains of reasons for delays. Results: The median delay in initial care seeking and diagnosis was 10 days each, and that for treatment initiation was 2 days. The domains identified for delay in care seeking were negligence toward health, health conditions, facility-related issues, and household and social reasons. The domains identified for delay in diagnosis were system-related reasons; and patient-related reasons, each of them further having two subdomains. Conclusions: Interventions for reducing the knowledge gap and stigma, increasing the accessibility of services, active case finding; capacity building of providers, quality assured sputum microscopy, and communication skills will help reduce these delays.
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Concordance between two versions of world health organization/international society of hypertension risk prediction chart and framingham risk score among postmenopausal women in a rural area of Bangladesh p. 101
Lingkan Barua, Mithila Faruque, Palash Chandra Banik, Liaquat Ali
Background: Prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD) among postmenopausal women with limited resource is a great challenge for a country like Bangladesh. Objectives: This study aimed to evaluate the level of agreement among different risk prediction tools to find out the cost-effective and suitable one that can be applied in a low-resource setting. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study conducted from February through December 2016 among 265 postmenopausal women of 40–70 years age. Data were collected from the outpatient department of a rural health-care center situated in the village Karamtola of Gazipur district, Bangladesh. The CVD risk was estimated using the World Health Organization/International Society of Hypertension (WHO/ISH) “with” and “without” cholesterol risk charts and the Framingham Risk Score (FRS). Concordance among the tools was evaluated using Cohen's kappa (κ), prevalence-adjusted bias-adjusted kappa (PABAK), and first-order agreement coefficient (AC1). Results: The “without” cholesterol version showed 79% concordance against the “with” cholesterol and 75.4% concordance against the FRS. In between the WHO/ISH risk charts, slight-to-substantial levels of agreement (κ = 0.14, PABAK = 0.58, and AC1 = 0.72; P = 0.023) were observed. With FRS, the “without” cholesterol version showed higher agreement (κ = 0.38, fair; PABAK = 0.50, moderate; and AC1 = 0.60, moderate; P = 0.000) compared to “with” cholesterol version (κ = 0.13, slight; PABAK = 0.30, fair; and AC1 = 0.44, moderate; P = 0.013). Predictability of CVD risk positive (≥10%) cases was similar for both the versions of WHO/ISH risk charts. Conclusion: In a low-resource setting, the “without” cholesterol version of WHO/ISH risk chart is a good option to detect and target the population with high CVD risk.
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Burden of dengue in Kerala using disability-adjusted life years from 2006 to 2016 p. 107
Zinia T Nujum, K Vijayakumar, V Meenakshy, M Saboora Beegum
Background: State-specific disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) are seldom calculated. Understanding the health and disease trends in groups of states is useful for finding the heterogeneity of disease epidemiology in the country. Objective: The objective of the study was to assess dengue burden in Kerala state, using DALY. Methods: DALY was computed using the DALY package of R. Incidence was derived using reported and estimated dengue cases for 2006–2016. Mortality was calculated using reported deaths. We computed DALYs using the mortality estimates for the South-East Asia region (SEAR) also. Sensitivity and scenario analyses were done. Results: The highest estimated relative DALY for dengue is 7.22 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 6.66–7.72) per lakh population. The DALY obtained using the mortality rates of SEAR ranged from 19.89 (95% CI: 8.44–29.45) per lakh population to 28.56 (95% CI: 17.04–38.05). We observed a cyclical pattern of increase in DALY every 2–3 years. The DALY in lower age groups is lesser. DALY in females was higher than males. Conclusions: The dengue-related DALY for the state of Kerala is lower than that of the global burden of disease due to lower mortality rates. Mortality reduction becomes the key to reducing burden, especially in areas of low incidence. The study also forms the benchmark for evaluating and implementing cost-effective measures for dengue control in the state.
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Prevalence and predictors of self-reported risk behaviors among male injecting drug users p. 114
Deepak Sharma, Naveen Krishan Goel, Dinesh Kumar Walia, Meenal Madhukar Thakare, Vanita Gupta, Sandeep Mittal
Background: Unsafe injecting drug use is a documented risk factor for the transmission of human immunodeficiency virus infection. Harm reduction strategy aims at reducing this deleterious consequence. Objectives: To study the prevalence and predictors of injecting as well as sexual risk behavior among male injecting drug users (IDUs). Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 250 male IDUs from January 2017 to March 2018. Risk behavioral data were collected after obtaining informed consent of the study participants. This included information on sharing, reusing needles/injections, and sexual behavior. Descriptive statistics and logistic regression model was run using the Epi Info software version 7.2 for Windows. Results: In the past one month, 25.3% had shared needles/syringes by either borrowing or lending or both. Inconsistent condom use during sexual intercourse with a regular, casual, and paid sex partner was practiced by 64.7% (77/119), 65.8% (48/73), and 45.0% (18/40), respectively. The binary logistic regression analysis revealed that unsafe injecting drug behavior was higher among daily users: (OR = 3.0 [1.3–6.6]) and comparatively lower among those who preferred to avail needles/syringes from Needle Syringe Exchange Program (OR = 0.4 [0.2–0.9]); as compared to their counterparts. Conclusions: The findings suggest that IDUs in the study area are engaging in risk behaviors. Behavior change communication and harm reduction strategy should be strengthened.
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Behavioral and biological risk factors of noncommunicable diseases among tribal adults of rural siliguri in Darjeeling District, West Bengal: A cross-sectional study p. 119
Ditipriya Bhar, Sharmistha Bhattacherjee, Dilip Kumar Das
Background: The increasing burden of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) urges continuous survey of risk factors in different population groups. Objectives: The study was conducted to assess the prevalence and determinants of behavioral and biological risk factors of NCDs, in rural tribal population. Methods: A community-based cross-sectional study was conducted from June 2014 to May 2015, in rural Siliguri, among 172 tribal people aged 25–64 years selected by multistage cluster random sampling using WHO-STEPS instrument. Study participants were interviewed for sociodemographic and behavioral risk factors, and biological measurements were taken. Descriptive and logistic regression analyses were performed to explore the determinants of risk factors. Results: Among the study participants, the prevalence of current tobacco use and alcohol use were 69.8% and 40.7%, respectively; 96.5% consumed unhealthy diet and 2.9% were physically inactive. The prevalence of abdominal obesity and overweight were 26.2% and 12.2%, respectively. Odds of tobacco use were significantly raised among men (adjusted odds ratio [AOR]: 47.7 [95% confidence interval (CI) 11.1, 203.9]) and increased age of the participants. Men showed higher odds of alcohol consumption (AOR: 13.4 [95% CI 4.6, 38.9]). Odds of abdominal obesity were higher among older participants, whereas lower odds were found among men (AOR: 95% CI 0.11 [0.0, 0.5]) compared to women. Conclusions: Most of the behavioral and biological risk factors of NCDs were quite high among tribal population of rural Siliguri except physical inactivity. Increasing awareness about NCDs through locally accepted and culturally appropriate strategies need to be implemented in the study area.
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Admissions to a sick new born care unit in a secondary care hospital: Profile and outcomes p. 128
Ravi Shekhar Sinha, D Sharon Cynthia, P Vinod Kumar, Lois J Armstrong, Anuradha Bose, Kuryan George
Background: To reduce neonatal mortality in North Bihar, evidence is required about the impact of sick newborn care units (SNCUs) in secondary level hospitals on mortality at the end of the neonatal period. Objectives: The objective of the study is to assess the profile of neonates admitted to an SNCU and the outcome at the completion of neonatal period. Methods: A cohort of neonates admitted from March to June 2014 to an SNCU was assessed through family interviews and hospital records. Demographic details (age, sex, and socioeconomic status) and clinical details (antenatal care, birthplace, weight, diagnosis, and family history) were documented. Follow-up was done at discharge or death or referral and the completion of neonatal period. The primary outcome was survival at the completion of neonatal period. Secondary outcomes were case fatality rate at discharge and weight gain. Results: Of 210 neonates assessed, 87.6% (95% confidence interval [CI] 82.4–91.4) survived till the end of the neonatal period. The case fatality rate at the time of discharge was 0.9% (95% CI 0.3–3.4). Majority of the diagnoses were infections, hyperbilirubinemia, and infant of diabetic mother. Mean weight gain at the end of neonatal period (n = 157) was 706 g (P = 0.00). Sex ratio at admission was 567 girls to 1000 boys (95% CI 428/1000–751/1000). No neonate from lower socioeconomic families was admitted. Conclusions: SNCUs in remote areas can bring down neonatal mortality in North Bihar. Unequal access of SNCUs services to girls and lower socioeconomic groups highlighted the existing barriers which require attention.
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Effectiveness of multi-strategic health screening cum educational intervention model in promoting health of school children in rural Coimbatore p. 133
GM Muhammad, Subhashini Ganesan, Thomas V Chacko
Background: Schools are the best setting for health promotion activities, and in India, for many, the schools are in fact the only nurturing and supportive place where they learn health information and have positive behavior consistently reinforced. Therefore, health promotion addressing the nutrition and personal hygiene habits among school children would improve health of school children and mold them into healthy productive citizens of tomorrow. Objectives: The objective of the study is to find the effectiveness of multi-strategic health screening cum educational intervention model in promoting the health of school children. Methods: A school-based intervention was designed using multi-strategic approach to promote the health of 2500 school children in 13 schools in rural Coimbatore. Logic model was used to plan the intervention, and the approach included health screening, nutrition and personal hygiene assessment and educational intervention in three phases over a period of 1 year. The multi-strategic approach comprised of approach through doctors, teachers, and through peer educators. The effectiveness of the intervention was assessed with improved nutrition and personal hygiene habits, improved body mass index status, and reduction in sickness absenteeism. Results: There was a significant improvement in nutrition and personal hygiene habits among school children. There was also significant reduction in the proportion of underweight category. Furthermore, a slight increase in sickness absenteeism was observed. Conclusion: Our study shows evidently that a multi-strategic health screening cum educational intervention model can be implemented and can be effective in bringing changes in the nutrition and personal hygiene habits thereby promoting the health of school children.
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Temperature integrity and exposure to freezing temperature during vaccine transfer under the universal immunization program in Three States of India p. 139
Manoja Kumar Das, Narendra Kumar Arora, Thomas Mathew, Bhadresh Vyas, Monica Sindhu, Abhishek Yadav
Temperature excursion and exposure to sub-zero temperatures may reduce the potency of the freeze-sensitive vaccines. This study assessed temperature during vaccine transfers at various levels under the Universal Immunization Program. This cross-sectional study undertaken in 21 districts of three states of India – Bihar (n = 8), Kerala (n = 8), and Gujarat (n = 5). We documented temperature inside the cold boxes and vaccine carriers using LogTag-Trix8 data loggers. In total, 110 vaccine transportation episodes were observed; 55 inter-facility transfers and 55 outreach sessions. Sizable proportions of inter-facility (9% to 35%) and outreach vaccine transfers (18%) were exposed to sub-zero temperature. The proportions of exposure to temperature to >8°C were in the range of 0.8%–11.3% for inter-facility transfers and 2.3% for outreach sessions. The vaccines were exposed to freezing temperatures for significant durations during transportation across the cold chain. Rigorous monitoring of temperature integrity is essential to ensure the delivery of potent vaccines and to avoid vaccine failure.
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Workplace violence against resident doctors: A multicentric study from government medical colleges of Uttar Pradesh Highly accessed article p. 143
Geetu Singh, Akash Singh, Shobha Chaturvedi, Samreen Khan
According to the World Health Organization, between 8% and 38% of health workers suffer physical violence at some point in their careers. This multicentric study was conducted to find the prevalence, perceived risk factors, and measures to prevent workplace violence among doctors. The sample consisted of all 2nd- and 3rd-year resident doctors (n = 305) from three colleges in Uttar Pradesh. An anonymous, pretested in a similar setting, self-administered questionnaire was used. 69.5% of doctors reported to have experienced violence in one or other form in the past 1 year. In most incidents, relatives and attendants (69.3%) were involved in violence. No action was taken immediately in regard to violence in 35.3% of instances; 60.3% of study participants reported that they had repeated disturbing memories, thoughts, or images of the attack. Nonavailability of medicines (38.6%) and less staff (36.7%) were cited as top reasons behind violence.
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Microorganisms isolated from mobile phones and hands of health-care workers in a tertiary care hospital of Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India p. 147
Parul Dipak Shah, Nasiruddin Moinuddin Shaikh, Komal Vallbhbhai Dholaria
The mobile phones have become an inevitable part of life for communication everywhere. Hospital-acquired infections are causing increased morbidity and mortality of hospitalized patients. After getting approval from the institutional review board, a total of 300 samples from mobile phones and dominant hands of resident doctors, nurses, and support staff working in neonatal intensive care unit, pediatric intensive care unit, intensive care unit, and emergency ward were tested according to standard guidelines for culture. Of 300 samples tested, 144 (96%) mobile phones and 145 (96.66%) dominant hands showed contamination with one or more types of microorganisms. Monomicrobial organisms were recovered from 247 samples and polymicrobial organisms were isolated from 42 samples. Mobile phones and hands of helath care workers serve as a potential reservoir for hospital acquired infections as multi-drug resistant pathogenic bacteria as well as normal flora of skin were recovered.
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Why people avoid prescribed medical treatment in India? p. 151
Shivendra Sangar, Varun Dutt, Ramna Thakur
Avoidance in seeking prescribed medical treatment can result in adverse consequences. The study was conducted to find out the reasons to avoid prescribed medical treatment and associations with various socioeconomic variables in India. Data from the National Sample Survey Organisation 71st Round on “Key Indicators of Social Consumption: Health” (January and June 2014) have been used. Variables such as place of residence, social categories, religion, and socioeconomic status have been used to study the associations with the various reasons to avoid prescribed medical treatment. Nonseriousness about the ailment was found to be the primary reason for not seeking prescribed medical treatment. Lack of availability of medical facility, long-waiting time, and financial constraints were other important reasons. Understanding the socioeconomic differentials among the reasons why people avoid prescribed medical treatment is critical in improving the effectiveness of health-care facilities in India.
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Mortality due to mass Hymenoptera attacks: A serious but underrecognized public health problem in a mountainous state of India p. 154
Sanjay Vikrant, Ajay Jaryal, Anupam Parashar
Most deaths related to Hymenoptera are a result of immediate hypersensitivity reactions causing anaphylaxis to one or few stings. However, if the patient is exposed to a large quantity of the venom due to mass/multiple stings, massive envenomation can cause death in nonallergic individuals. Thirty-nine cases of acute kidney injury (AKI) who followed mass attacks by Hymenoptera were seen over 15 years, with a reference period between 2003 and 2017. AKI was severe; most (85%) of them required dialysis and one-third died. Mass attacks by Hymenoptera have become a serious public health problem in tropics. There is no antivenom, and treatment in such cases is supportive. Early hospitalization is vital to reduce morbidity and mortality.
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The expanding role of “Stand-Alone” hemodialysis units in chronic renal replacement therapy: A descriptive study from North Kerala p. 157
Benil Hafeeq, Jyotish Chalil Gopinathan, Feroz Aziz, Sajith Narayanan, Idrees Velikkalagath, Ismail Naduvileparambil Aboobacker, NA Uvais
Renal replacement therapy in India is predominantly a private health-care-driven initiative making it an expensive treatment option due to high out-of-pocket expenditures. Moreover, with the rapid increase in the number of chronic kidney disease patients requiring dialysis, hemodialysis units (HDUs) are getting saturated. Community “stand-alone” dialysis centers could be an important alternative to HDUs in meeting the growing demand in an affordable model. The aim of this study was to find hemodialysis (HD) delivery in “stand-alone” dialysis units (SAUs) with respect to expanding coverage, patient costs, and patient safety safeguards. The total number of HD sessions was collected at three points. The information regarding patient safety safeguards at SAUs and impact of SAUs on patient costs were collected by interviews and from hospital records. There was 11.5 times increase in HD sessions from 2008 to 2017, out of which 75.3% was provided at SAUs. Following objective clinical and safety measures, high-quality dialysis was delivered at SAUs and it significantly reduced the mean patient cost of treatment per session.
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Vaccine hesitancy for childhood vaccinations in slum areas of Siliguri: A critical commentary p. 160
Vinu Cherian
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Author's Reply for article “Vaccine Hesitancy for Childhood Vaccinations in Slum Areas of Siliguri: A Critical Commentary” p. 161
Pallabi Dasgupta, Sharmistha Bhattacherjee, Abhijit Mukherjee, Samir Dasgupta
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Obituary – Prof. S. Elango p. 162

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