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   2016| October-December  | Volume 60 | Issue 4  
    Online since December 15, 2016

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Sustainable development goals: Challenges and opportunities
Zile Singh
October-December 2016, 60(4):247-250
DOI:10.4103/0019-557X.195862  PMID:27976644
  2,381 584 2
Assessment of newborn care corners in selected public health facilities in Bihar
Monika Chauhan, Jyoti Sharma, Preeti Negandhi, Siddharth Reddy, Ghanashyam Sethy, Sutapa B Neogi
October-December 2016, 60(4):341-346
DOI:10.4103/0019-557X.195863  PMID:27976660
Background: A functional newborn care corner (NBCC) is critical to provide immediate care to newborns including resuscitation, warmth, and initial care to sick newborns. NBCC provides an acceptable environment for all infants at birth, and it is mandatory for all delivery points at all levels in the health system including operation theaters. Objective: The objective of this study was to find the status of availability of NBCCs and service provision in selected public health facilities of Bihar. Methods: A total of 57 NBCCs, having high delivery load (>100 deliveries/month), across 25 high-priority districts in Bihar, were selected purposively in consultation with the State Health Society, Bihar, for the assessment. These facilities were assessed for the availability and/or functioning of infrastructure, equipment maintenance, human resource, supply of drugs and consumables, adherence to protocols, and record keeping. Results: Only 22.8% of the NBCCs were found to be fully functional, majority (68.4%) were partially functional, and 9% were nonfunctional. Thirty-seven (64.9%) NBCCs were located inside the labor room premises. Approximately, one-third of the neonates delivered were kept in NBCCs. Equipment though available lacked the provision of annual maintenance contract. Essential drugs such as adrenaline (24.6%) and Vitamin K injection (42.1%) were not available in many facilities. Only 6.2% of the newborns had low birth weight, indicating underreporting. Majority of the health-care staff available were trained but possessed poor skills. Data recording and reporting was also suboptimal. Conclusion: The network of NBCCs needs to be strengthened across the state and linked with higher facilities to achieve the desired reduction in neonatal morbidity and mortality.
  2,337 344 4
Potential of probiotics in hypercholesterolemia: A meta-analysis
Smriti Sharma, Anura Vishwanathan Kurpad, Seema Puri
October-December 2016, 60(4):280-286
DOI:10.4103/0019-557X.195859  PMID:27976649
Human studies on the effects of probiotics on lowering blood cholesterol levels have not yielded conclusive results. A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials evaluating the effect of probiotics on lipid profile was conducted. Articles were reviewed systematically from web search bases; PubMed, Cochrane Clinical Trial Registry. Those studies which were meeting the inclusion criteria-providing matching placebo, at least single blind for probiotics and placebo, providing mean and standard deviations and not involving the use of probiotics were selected. 14 studies from 12 randomized controlled trials were analyzed providing information of 606 normo/hypercholesterolemic patients using Review Manager 5.3 (The Cochrane Collaboration, Oxford, UK). The pooled mean net change for total cholesterol (TC) is −8.40 mg/dl (−13.63, −3.61), for low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is −6.63 mg/dl (−10.63, −2.63), for high-density-lipoprotein-cholesterol is 0.59 mg/dl (−0.92, 2.09), and for triglycerides is −1.32 mg/dl (−6.49, 3.85). The findings of the analysis conclude that probiotics supplementation does lower serum TC and LDL-cholesterol levels significantly and hence a reduction in the risk factor of developing coronary heart disease.
  2,137 537 4
Plight of street children: An explorative study from Varanasi, India
Mona Srivastava, Nasra Shareef
October-December 2016, 60(4):290-293
DOI:10.4103/0019-557X.195856  PMID:27976651
Rapid pace of unplanned urbanization in the developing countries has resulted in a large proportion of children becoming homeless, leading to multiple children living on the streets. These children are highly vulnerable to exploitation and abuse. Against this background, studies on the situational analysis of street children across India are needed; therefore, a study to assess the condition of street children in the city of Varanasi was planned. Street children registered with a nongovernmental organization were contacted. Four hundred and fifteen children were selected by random sampling, and this group was administered a semi-structured interview containing 35 items. It was found that all forms of abuse were common, but physical abuse (74%) was highest and the police (25.5%) was an important perpetrator. Younger children were much more vulnerable. The sample commonly had boys and between the ages of 10 and 15 years. It was concluded that these children need policies to be incorporated into the mainstream.
  1,780 213 1
Descriptive evaluation of cigarettes and other tobacco products act in a North Indian city
Sonu Goel, Mohini Sardana, Nisha Jain, Deepak Bakshi
October-December 2016, 60(4):273-279
DOI:10.4103/0019-557X.195858  PMID:27976648
Background: India is a signatory to Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and also enacted cigarettes and other tobacco products Act (COTPA) in 2003. Objectives: To undertake a comprehensive assessment (Section 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 under COTPA) of legislation against tobacco products in a North Indian city. Methods: An observational, cross-sectional study was conducted at 108 public places which included educational institutions, offices, health institutes, transit sites, and hotels/restaurants. Structured checklists with compliance indicators for various sections under COTPA were used. Different brands of tobacco products were observed for pictorial warnings. Results: No active smoking was observed at 80.5% public places, while 54.6% places had displayed “No smoking” signage. About 68.5% public places were found free of evidence of smell/ashes of recent smoking, and 86.1% places had no smoking aids. Merely, one-third public places (36.1%) were complying with all Section 4 indicators. Around 42.3% point of sale had advertisements of tobacco products, and 73.1% had a display of tobacco products visible to minors. Around 60% educational institutions displayed signages as per Section 6b of COTPA, and 32.5% had tobacco shops being run within 100 yards of institution's radius. There was minimal smoking activity within the campus. Health warnings were present in 80.8% of tobacco products, more with Indian brands as compared to foreign brands. Conclusion: The city of Chandigarh, which was declared the first smoke-free city of India, showed poor compliance with COTPA.
  1,546 331 -
Using nonpneumatic anti-shock garment for postpartum hemorrhage management and referral at the public health facilities: A pilot study in two districts of Bihar
Jyoti Sharma, Preeti Negandhi, Ankan Mukherjee Das, Ghanashyam Sethy, Sutapa B Neogi
October-December 2016, 60(4):316-322
DOI:10.4103/0019-557X.195866  PMID:27976656
Background: Nonpneumatic anti-shock garment (NASG) is a first-aid device that can save lives of women experiencing postpartum hemorrhage (PPH). Objective: The aim was to explore the feasibility of implementation of NASG intervention at select public health primary care facilities in two high priority districts of Bihar. Methods: Qualitative design was used to document the NASG implementation process. In-depth interviews were conducted with health-care providers in November-December 2015. These healthcare providers were chosen purposively based on their involvement in the use of NASG. The implementation process of NASG, process of training for its use, challenges faced during the rollout of implementation and the recommendations for improving the implementation were explored. Results: Initially, a baseline study was conducted to assess the knowledge and skills of health-care providers regarding diagnosis and management of PPH. Implementation consisted of orientation and training of service providers on the identification of PPH cases and usage of the NASG garment during referrals. The interviews with stakeholders reflected that even after training and appropriate introduction of the practice of using the NASG bag, the initiative did not make a difference in ameliorating the situation of PPH management in the health facilities over 6 months. Conclusion: This study provides lessons for implementation and scaling up of NASG in public health systems, not only in Bihar but also other similar settings. It also calls for robust implementation research studies to generate evidence on the use of NASG at the primary health-care facilities as an intervention in program settings.
  1,632 227 -
Risk factors of suicide among patients admitted with suicide attempt in Tata main hospital, Jamshedpur
Manoj Kumar Sahoo, Harshita Biswas, Sanjay Kumar Agarwal
October-December 2016, 60(4):260-267
DOI:10.4103/0019-557X.195853  PMID:27976646
Background: More than one lakh lives are lost every year due to suicide in India. In the last three decades (from 1975 to 2005), the suicide rate has increased by 43%. Jamshedpur is an Industrial town, which is rapidly growing and having population with mixed cultural background. Recently, there has been increasing trend in a number of suicide attempt across various age groups; there are around 300 cases of suicide attempt admitted to Tata Main Hospital each year. Objective: To study the risk factors associated with suicide attempts. Methods: The study was carried out in the Tata Main Hospital, Jamshedpur. Over a period of 6 months, we gathered data of 101 suicide attempters referred from medical, surgical departments and casualties and taken up for the study. Data were collected on specific pro forma was prepared to collect various others risk factors. Results: More number of female patients compared to male, younger age, lower-middle income group, urban background, school educated, and unemployed were more represented in this study. In 70% of patients, psychiatric disorder was found, but few among them had prior treatment. Increased family conflicts, marital problems, financial difficulties, and perceived humiliations are some of the risk factors. Conclusion: The early identification and treatment of vulnerable populations with risk factors for suicide across the lifespan will help in planning and implementing strategies for prevention.
  1,185 339 1
Rolling out of kangaroo mother care in secondary level facilities in Bihar-Some experiences
Sutapa B Neogi, Monika Chauhan, Jyoti Sharma, Preeti Negandhi, Ghanshyam Sethy
October-December 2016, 60(4):302-308
DOI:10.4103/0019-557X.195864  PMID:27976654
Background: Preterm birth is one of the leading causes of under-five child deaths worldwide and in India. Kangaroo mother care (KMC) is a powerful and easy-to-use method to promote health and well-being and reduce morbidity and mortality in preterm/low birth weight (LBW) babies. Objective: As the part of the roll-out of India Newborn Action Plan interventions, we implemented KMC in select facilities with an objective to assess the responsiveness of public health system to roll out KMC. Methods: KMC intervention was implemented in two select high priority districts, Gaya and Purnea in Bihar over the duration of 8 months from August 2015 to March 2016. The implementation of intervention was phased out into; situation analysis, implementation of intervention, and interim assessment. KMC model, as envisaged keeping in mind the building blocks of health system, was established in 6 identified health-care facilities. A pretested simple checklist was used to assess the awareness, knowledge, skills, and practice of KMC during baseline situational analysis and interim assessment phases for comparison. Results: The intervention clearly seemed to improve the awareness among auxiliary nurse midwives/nurses about KMC. Improvements were also observed in the availability of infrastructure required for KMC and support logistics like facility for manual expression of breast milk, cups/suitable devices such as paladi cups for feeding small babies and digital weighing scale. Although the recording of information regarding LBW babies and KMC practice improved, still there is scope for much improvement. Conclusion: There is a commitment at the national level to promote KMC in every facility. The present experience shows the possibility of rolling out KMC in secondary level facilities with support from government functionaries.
  1,187 331 -
Changes in sexual behavior and contraceptive use after HIV acquisition and factors associated with risky sexual practices among people living with HIV in selected Indian cities
Beena Joshi, Sanjay Chauhan, Hiranya Das, Rosangluaia Luaia, Nitya Sunil
October-December 2016, 60(4):251-259
DOI:10.4103/0019-557X.195854  PMID:27976645
Background: Sexual behavior and contraceptive use among HIV-infected persons are a neglected issue in public health programs. Objectives: To understand sexual practices and contraceptive use of people living with HIV (PLHIV) before and after being diagnosed with the infection and assess the providers' perspectives on provision of contraceptives to PLHIV, the quality of services provided and linkages between reproductive health and HIV services. Methods: A mix method design study using a purposive sampling was undertaken enrolling PLHIV from ART centers and PLHIV networks across three cities in India. Doctors and counselors providing HIV services at public hospitals were also interviewed. Results: Use of condoms increased from 35% to 81% after being diagnosed with HIV. Consistent condom use was 69% compared to only 8.7% before being diagnosed with HIV. Nearly 41% (297) of participants indulged in one or more forms of risky sexual behaviors. Significant correlates of risky sexual practices were: participants who were middle-aged (25–33 years), formerly married, currently not on antiretroviral therapy, and received negligible information on contraception from service providers leading to poor knowledge on safe sex and dual protection. Information from service providers reveals a lack of specific program guidelines to comprehensively address family planning (FP) issues through HIV programs. Conclusion: The study throws light on missed opportunities to address contraceptive needs of PLHIV and recommends training service providers and operationalizing a strategy to link HIV and FP services.
  1,152 361 1
Case profile, volume analysis, and dropout rate of antirabies vaccination regimens among animal bite victims in Gujarat
Kishor M Dhaduk, Sumit V Unadkat, Pooja R Katharotiya, Ankit R Mer, Monika C Chaudhary, Mrudul M Prajapati
October-December 2016, 60(4):268-272
DOI:10.4103/0019-557X.195855  PMID:27976647
Background: Rabies is a preventable neglected public health problem and associated with multiple cultural, religious, and social practices, myths in our country. There is a lack of organized surveillance system to measure the incidence of animal bite and human rabies as well as to evaluate cost-saving of different routes, regimen, and types of antirabies vaccines (ARV)/immunoglobulin available in India. Objectives: The objective of this study is to know dropout rate in intradermal (i.d.) ARV regimen among animal bite and to analyze the utilized volume of ARV by a different route of vaccine administration. Methods: A total of 250 animal bite victims were followed up at ARV Clinic (ARVC). Volume utilization of i.d. route over intramuscular (i.m.) route was analyzed among the patients who attended ARVC during the past 2 years. Total dropout and delayed compliance rates of ARV regimen among different group were compared by Chi-square test. Results: The i.d. route was about five times more volume and cost-saving than i.m. route. The majority of victims belonged to 15–30 years (27.60%) and children <15 years (26.40%) and had wound at their lower limbs (85%) mainly bitten by dogs (98%). Thirty-four percent total dropout and 31.5% delayed compliance observed particularly during the last dose of i.d. regimen. There was no significant difference in dropout rates among different demographic groups. Half of the victims practiced wound toilet on the same day of bite. Only 68% received the first dose of ARV within 24 h of the exposure. Conclusion: Children and young adults are at higher risk of having dog bite. I.d. ARV regimen is more volume and cost-saving than i.m. one and proper counseling and follow-up should be arranged to complete the vaccination schedule.
  1,142 287 1
Premarital health counseling: A must
Sonia Puri, Anupama Dhiman, Sagar Bansal
October-December 2016, 60(4):287-289
DOI:10.4103/0019-557X.195860  PMID:27976650
Premarital Health Counseling (PMHC) is emerging as a growing trend worldwide. The couples are provided with accurate and unbiased information and assistance, who are planning to get marry with the aim of screening, educating, and counseling about nutritional disorders, communicable diseases, medical conditions, hereditary/genetic disorders, and guiding for a healthy pregnancy. Premarital screening and adequate counseling are essential for changing attitudes toward consanguineous marriage particularly in places where consanguineous and “tribal” marriages are common, resulting in a high incidence of genetic disorders. Although making PMHC obligatory in India may appear to be a very exciting and promising proposal, its implementation still has various ethical issues and other barriers that need to be addressed.
  1,098 326 -
Mobile-based effective vaccine management tool: An m-health initiative implemented by UNICEF in Bihar
Preeti Negandhi, Monika Chauhan, Ankan Mukherjee Das, Sutapa B Neogi, Jyoti Sharma, Ghanashyam Sethy
October-December 2016, 60(4):334-340
DOI:10.4103/0019-557X.195869  PMID:27976659
Background: UNICEF launched the mobile-based Effective Vaccine Management (EVM) system in Bihar in 2014 along with the state government to electronically capture information and identify gaps in the existing vaccine management system for appropriate action. Objective: This study accessed the implementation process of this initiative. Methods: Quantitative data related to vaccine supply chain management indicators were collected in November–December 2015 using factsheets and dashboards, representing the situation of the vaccine supply and cold chain management system at regular intervals since the launch. In-depth interviews were conducted with the program specialists to understand the initiative's genesis, its challenges and strengths. Results: This initiative resulted in an increased cold chain space from 49% (July 2014) to 87% (September 2015), deployment of sufficient human resource; 38 cold chain technicians for regular maintenance of the machines and equipment, installation of necessary equipment, and upgradation of state and regional vaccine stores. In health facilities, district vaccine stores, and regional vaccine stores, marked improvements were observed in the overall EVM criteria indicators (82%, 84%, and 80% in September 2015, respectively, as against 51%, 46%, and 43% in July 2014, respectively) as well as EVM category indicators (83%, 84%, and 76% in September 2015, respectively, as compared to 54%, 53%, and 54% in July 2014, respectively). Conclusion: The EVM mobile initiative was successfully implemented and it complies with its objective of providing experienced guidance to the human resource responsible for vaccine cold chain management. The initiative is scalable and its sustainability depends on its thoughtful merger with the existing immunization ecosystem.
  1,073 288 1
Rollout of quality assurance interventions in labor room in two districts of Bihar, India
Jyoti Sharma, Sutapa B Neogi, Preeti Negandhi, Monika Chauhan, Siddharth Reddy, Ghanshyam Sethy
October-December 2016, 60(4):323-328
DOI:10.4103/0019-557X.195867  PMID:27976657
Background: Quality of care at the facilities during childbirth remains a major concern. Improved quality could have the greatest dividend in saving maternal and newborn lives. Objective: The objective of this study was to implement quality assurance measures in the labor rooms of select public health facilities in two districts of Bihar. Methods: The labor room quality assurance intervention was implemented in two districts, Gaya and Purnea in Bihar. Health facilities having >200 deliveries/month were assessed using labor room quality assurance checklist developed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The critical gaps affecting service delivery were identified, and a list of priority actions for quality improvement was developed. An intervention model was rolled out in consultation with the district authorities focusing on the building blocks of the health system. The interventions were implemented from August 2014 to March 2016 in selected facilities after which an assessment was conducted. Results: Initial assessment of labor room was conducted in 24 facilities. After 2 years of intervention, there was a definite improvement in quality assurance scores in most facilities. The infection control scores increased by 20 points in Gaya (from 40 to 59.9) and 10 points in Purnea (from 57.6 to 67.1). The highest gain in scores was observed in quality management component in Gaya (from 6.2 to 58.2). The model attempted to incorporate all the elements of the health system to ensure scalability and sustainability. Conclusion: It is possible to have an implementable quality assurance mechanism within public health system with sustained efforts and commitment.
  1,060 207 -
Hypertension treatment and control in a rural cohort in Thiruvallur, Tamil Nadu, India
Prabhdeep Kaur, Sudha Ramachandra Rao, Ramachandran Venkatachalam, Kanagasabai Kaliaperumal
October-December 2016, 60(4):298-301
DOI:10.4103/0019-557X.195861  PMID:27976653
Hypertension is a public health problem with low detection and treatment rates in India. We resurveyed 1284 patients with hypertension already identified in baseline survey of the cohort in Thiruvallur district, Tamil Nadu, India. The objective was to estimate the proportion of patients with drug treatment, hypertension control and lifestyle modification at follow-up (median follow-up 27 months). Overall, only 19.9% of the patients took drugs and 45.3% had blood pressure under control. Among 256 patients on drugs, 179 (69.9%) were on a single drug, 71 (27.7%) on two drugs, and six (2.3%) on three drugs. Commonly prescribed drugs based on the prescription review were beta blockers (50.4%), calcium channel blockers (36.7%), angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitor (18.4%), and diuretics (11.7%). Salt reduction was reported by 49.7% of the patients. There is a need for strengthening the health systems for effective management of hypertension and patient education to ensure active involvement in the long-term care.
  930 246 -
Decline and disparity in maternal mortality in pre- and post-national health mission period in India
Prakash Prabhakarrao Doke
October-December 2016, 60(4):294-297
DOI:10.4103/0019-557X.195857  PMID:27976652
Country- and state-wise maternal mortality shows the highest disparity among health statistics. The erstwhile National Rural Health Mission. (NRHM) in India aimed reduction in maternal mortality ratio. (MMR) to <100 per lakh live births. Accordingly, many new initiatives were planned and started. This analysis was carried out using data from the Sample Registration System. The data from 1997 to 1998 are available which dates 8 years prior to the launching of NRHM. Hence, comparison period was considered as 8 years of implementation of NRHM. The overall decline in MMR prior to NRHM was 36% and after NRHM implementation 30%. The difference is not significant. The best states and lowest states had changed, but the disparity also has remained almost at the ratio of 1:5. The pace of decline has not increased after NRHM. As well disparity ratio has not reduced indicating the differentially better treatment to the vulnerable states was not adequate.
  861 237 1
Computer tablet-based health technology for strengthening maternal and child tracking in Bihar
Preeti Negandhi, Monika Chauhan, Ankan Mukherjee Das, Jyoti Sharma, Sutapa Neogi, Ghanashyam Sethy
October-December 2016, 60(4):329-333
DOI:10.4103/0019-557X.195868  PMID:27976658
Background: UNICEF along with the State Government of Bihar launched a computer tablet-based Mother and Child Tracking System (MCTS) in 2014, to capture real-time data online and to minimize the challenges faced with the conventional MCTS. Objective: The article reports the process of implementation of tablet-based MCTS in Bihar. Methods: In-depth interviews with medical officers, program managers, data managers, auxiliary nurse midwives (ANMs), and a monitoring and evaluation specialist were conducted in October 2015 to understand the process of implementation, challenges and possibility for sustainability, and scale-up of the innovation. Results: MCTS innovation was introduced initially in one Primary Health Centre each in Gaya and Purnia districts. The device, supported with Android MCTS software and connected to a dummy server, was given to ANMs. ANMs were trained in its application. The innovation allows real-time data entry, instant uploading, and generation of day-to-day work plans for easy tracking of beneficiaries for providing in-time health-care services. The nonlinking of the dummy server to the national MCTS portal has not lessened the burden of data entry operators, who continue to enter data into the national portal as before. Conclusion: The innovation has been successfully implemented to meet its objective of tracking the beneficiaries. The national database should be linked to the dummy server or visible impact. The model is sustainable if the challenges can be met. Mobile technology offers a tremendous opportunity to strengthen the capacity of frontline workers and clinicians and increase the quality, completeness, and timeliness of delivery of critical health services.
  862 221 1
An assessment of bicycle intervention to improve service delivery by accredited social health activists in selected blocks of West Champaran district of Bihar
Jyoti Sharma, Preeti Negandhi, Monika Chauhan, Ghanashyam Sethy, Siddharth Reddy, Sutapa B Neogi
October-December 2016, 60(4):309-315
DOI:10.4103/0019-557X.195865  PMID:27976655
Background: Several programmatic and logistic issues affect the overall performance of Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs). Bihar Government provided bicycles to ASHAs in West Champaran district for increasing coverage of services by improving their mobility. Objective: To assess the use of bicycles by ASHAs and it's effect on service delivery. It also captures the perspectives of ASHAs in terms of its utilization for performing tasks. Methods: A community-based quasi-experimental study was undertaken during March-May 2016. Proportion of newborn babies visited within 24 h of birth was the primary outcome. Data were collected from two intervention blocks (West Champaran district) and a control block from the neighboring East Champaran district. A total of 323 (177 from intervention blocks and 146 from control block) mothers having children <3 years of age and who had delivered at home were interviewed. Besides, 88 ASHAs working in intervention blocks were also interviewed. Results: Significantly higher proportion of mothers and newborn babies (44%) received postnatal care within 24 h of delivery in intervention blocks as compared to the control block (16%, P < 0.001). Nearly 73.1% of ASHAs were using the bicycle themselves. ASHAs were twice more likely to visit a newborn on the day of delivery if she was provided with mobility support. However, the likelihood of continuing visits after the 1st day was not statistically significant. Conclusion: The intervention demonstrated the potential of ASHAs to improve their functioning at the grass-root level. The scale-up of bicycle intervention should be supplemented with reforms in financial incentives disbursement and better system support.
  595 136 -