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1.  National AIDS Control Organisation's human resource capacity building initiatives for better response to HIV/AIDS in India 
The Australasian Medical Journal  2011;4(12):638-644.
Human resource capacity building is a key strategy in the design, delivery, sustainability and scale up HIV treatment and prevention programmes. The review aims to present human resource capacity building initiatives undertaken by the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) and to discuss the available opportunities in India.
There was minimal emphasis on human resource capacity building in National AIDS control programme (NACP)-I. The focus of capacity building in NACP-II was on strengthening the capacity of partners implementing various HIV/AIDS interventions. NACP-III (2007–2012) focussed on capacity building as a priority agenda. Other than short-term training programmes, NACP-III is strengthening the capacity of partners through the State Training and Resource Centre, Technical Support Unit, District AIDS Prevention Control Unit, Fellowship Programme and Network of Indian Institutions for HIV/AIDS Research.
Various opportunities to enhance and consolidate capacity building responses in HIV/AIDS in India may include mainstreaming of capacity building, appropriate management of knowledge and resources, effective delivery of training, measuring and documenting impact,accreditation of programmes and institutes,use of information technology, identifying and implementing innovations and working for sustainability.
Growing demand for capacity-building in HIV/AIDS needs substantial efforts to ensure that these are implemented effectively and efficiently. NACO had made significant strides in these regards, but at the same time there are arduous challenges like measuring impact, quality, documentation, operational research, and sustainability. NACO is formulating Phase-IV of NACP. This review will provide feedback to the NACO for strengthening its strategic document for human resource capacity building.
PMCID: PMC3413963  PMID: 22905039
Human resource capacity building; NACO; HIV/AIDS
2.  Generating an Evidence Base for Information, Education and Communication Needs of the Community Regarding Deafness: A Qualitative Study 
India is a significant contributor to the world’s total burden of deafness. Out of all causes, almost 50% of the causes of decreased hearing are preventable. With the launch of the National Programme for Prevention and Control of Deafness, the need for an effective information, education and communication (IEC) campaign was felt. There is negligible information available about the status of awareness levels of the community about the various aspects of hearing loss. We carried out this research with the objective of getting to know the existing awareness related to hearing loss in the community to generate an evidence base for formulating various messages to be incorporated in IEC materials for dissemination in the community. We also asked the participants about their suggestions for the various information resources so that an IEC campaign could be designed accordingly.
Materials and Methods:
We carried out 10 focus group discussions among various groups of population and analyzed the discussion.
A descriptive analysis of the observations regarding the awareness about deafness in the community and prevalent myths and suggested information resources is presented.
We highlight the lacunae in the existing awareness of various causes of deafness and the preventive measures that could be taken to prevent hearing loss. The evidence generated was used to formulate relevant messages for the various target groups, which were then incorporated in development of the IEC materials for the dissemination in the community.
PMCID: PMC2963883  PMID: 21031110
Deafness; focus group discussions; IEC resources
3.  Lifestyle change in Kerala, India: needs assessment and planning for a community-based diabetes prevention trial 
BMC Public Health  2013;13:95.
Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) has become a major public health challenge in India. Factors relevant to the development and implementation of diabetes prevention programmes in resource-constrained countries, such as India, have been under-studied. The purpose of this study is to describe the findings from research aimed at informing the development and evaluation of a Diabetes Prevention Programme in Kerala, India (K-DPP).
Data were collected from three main sources: (1) a systematic review of key research literature; (2) a review of relevant policy documents; and (3) focus groups conducted among individuals with a high risk of progressing to diabetes. The key findings were then triangulated and synthesised.
Prevalence of risk factors for diabetes is very high and increasing in Kerala. This situation is largely attributable to rapid changes in the lifestyle of people living in this state of India. The findings from the systematic review and focus groups identified many environmental and personal determinants of these unhealthy lifestyle changes, including: less than ideal accessibility to and availability of health services; cultural values and norms; optimistic bias and other misconceptions related to risk; and low expectations regarding one’s ability to make lifestyle changes in order to influence health and disease outcomes. On the other hand, there are existing intervention trials conducted in India which suggests that risk reduction is possible. These programmes utilize multi-level strategies including mass media, as well as strategies to enhance community and individual empowerment. India’s national programme for the prevention and control of major non-communicable diseases (NCD) also provide a supportive environment for further community-based efforts to prevent diabetes.
These findings provide strong support for undertaking more research into the conduct of community-based diabetes prevention in the rural areas of Kerala. We aim to develop, implement and evaluate a group-based peer support programme that will address cultural and family determinants of lifestyle risks, including family decision-making regarding adoption of healthy dietary and physical activity patterns. Furthermore, we believe that this approach will be feasible, acceptable and effective in these communities; with the potential for scale-up in other parts of India.
PMCID: PMC3576354  PMID: 23375152
Diabetes mellitus; Real world intervention; Diabetes prevention; Pre-diabetes
4.  Assessment of Implementation of Integrated Management of Neonatal and Childhood Illness in India 
At the current rate of decline in infant mortality, India is unlikely to achieve the Millennium Development Goal on child survival. Integrated Management of Neonatal and Childhood Illness (IMNCI), adapted from the global Integrated Management of Childhood Illness to enhance the focus on newborns and on community health workers, is the central strategy within the National Reproductive and Child Health Programme to address high infant mortality. This paper assessed the progress of IMNCI in India, identified the programme bottlenecks, and also assessed the effect on coverage of key newborn and childcare practices. Programme data were analyzed to ascertain the implementation status; rapid programme assessment was conducted for identifying the programme bottlenecks; and results of analysis of two rounds of district-level household surveys were used for comparing the change in the coverage of child-health interventions in IMNCI and control districts. More than 200,000 community health workers and first-level healthcare providers were trained during 2005-2009 at a variable pace across 223 districts. Of the reported births (n=1,102,573), 65.5% were visited by a trained worker within 24 hours, and 63.1% were visited three times within 10 days. Poor supervision and inadequate essential supplies affected the performance of trained workers. During 2004-2008, 12 early-implementing districts had covered most key newborn and child practice indicators compared to the control districts; however, the difference was significant only for care-seeking for acute respiratory infection (net difference: 17.8%; 95% confidence interval 2.3-33.2, p<0.026). Based on the early experience of IMNCI implementation in different states of India, measures need to be taken to improve supportive supervision, availability of essential supplies, and monitoring of the programme if the strategy has to translate into improved child survival in India.
PMCID: PMC3259726  PMID: 22283037
Child survival; Infant health; Integrated management of childhood illness; Neonatal mortality; Newborn care; Performance evaluation; India
5.  Prevalence and risk factors for self-reported diabetes among adult men and women in India: findings from a national cross-sectional survey 
Public Health Nutrition  2011;15(6):1065-1077.
We examined the distribution of diabetes and modifiable risk factors to provide data to aid diabetes prevention programmes in India.
Population-based cross-sectional survey of men and women included in India's third National Family Health Survey (NFHS-3, 2005–2006).
The sample is a multistage cluster sample with an overall response rate of 98 %. All states of India are represented in the sample (except the small Union Territories), covering more than 99 % of the country's population.
Women (n 99 574) and men (n 56 742) aged 20–49 years residing in the sample households.
Prevalence of diabetes was 1598/100 000 (95 % CI 1462, 1735) among men and 1054/100 000 (95 % CI 974, 1134) among women in India. Rural–urban and marked geographic variation were found with higher rates in south and north-eastern India. Weekly and daily fish intake contributed to a significantly higher risk of diabetes among both women and men. Risks of diabetes increased with increased BMI, age and wealth status of both women and men, but no effects of the consumption of milk/curd, vegetables, eggs, television watching, alcohol consumption or smoking were found. Daily consumption of pulse/beans or fruits was associated with a significantly reduced risk of diabetes among women, whereas non-significant inverse associations were observed in the case of men.
Prevalence was underestimated using self-reports. The wide variation in self-reported diabetes is unlikely to be due entirely to reporting biases or access to health care, and indicates that modifiable risk factors exist. Prevention of diabetes should focus on obesity and target specific socio-economic groups in India.
PMCID: PMC3458429  PMID: 22050916
Diabetes; Men; Women; India
6.  High levels of multidrug resistant tuberculosis in new and treatment-failure patients from the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme in an urban metropolis (Mumbai) in Western India 
BMC Public Health  2009;9:211.
India, China and Russia account for more than 62% of multidrug resistant tuberculosis (MDRTB) globally. Within India, locations like urban metropolitan Mumbai with its burgeoning population and high incidence of TB are suspected to be a focus for MDRTB. However apart from sporadic surveys at watched sites in the country, there has been no systematic attempt by the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP) of India to determine the extent of MDRTB in Mumbai that could feed into national estimates. Drug susceptibility testing (DST) is not routinely performed as a part of programme policy and public health laboratory infrastructure, is limited and poorly equipped to cope with large scale testing.
From April 2004 to January 2007 we determined the extent of drug resistance in 724 {493 newly diagnosed, previously untreated and 231 first line treatment failures (sputum-smear positive at the fifth month after commencement of therapy)} cases of pulmonary tuberculosis drawn from the RNTCP in four suboptimally performing municipal wards of Mumbai. The observations were obtained using a modified radiorespirometric Buddemeyer assay and validated by the Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control, Stockholm, a supranational reference laboratory. Data was analyzed utilizing SPSS 10.0 and Epi Info 2002.
This study undertaken for the first time in RNTCP outpatients in Mumbai reveals a high proportion of MDRTB strains in both previously untreated (24%) and treatment-failure cases (41%). Amongst new cases, resistance to 3 or 4 drug combinations (amplified drug resistance) including isoniazid (H) and rifampicin (R), was greater (20%) than resistance to H and R alone (4%) at any point in time during the study. The trend for monoresistance was similar in both groups remaining highest to H and lowest to R. External quality control revealed good agreement for H and R resistance (k = 0.77 and 0.76 respectively).
Levels of MDRTB are much higher in both previously untreated and first line treatment-failure cases in the selected wards in Mumbai than those projected by national estimates. The finding of amplified drug resistance suggests the presence of a well entrenched MDRTB scenario. This study suggests that a wider set of surveillance sites are needed to obtain a more realistic view of the true MDRTB rates throughout the country. This would assist in the planning of an adequate response to the diagnosis and care of MDRTB.
PMCID: PMC2714510  PMID: 19563647
7.  Community perceptions on malaria and care-seeking practices in endemic Indian settings: policy implications for the malaria control programme 
Malaria Journal  2013;12:39.
The focus of India’s National Malaria Programme witnessed a paradigm shift recently from health facility to community-based approaches. The current thrust is on diagnosing and treating malaria by community health workers and prevention through free provision of long-lasting insecticidal nets. However, appropriate community awareness and practice are inevitable for the effectiveness of such efforts. In this context, the study assessed community perceptions and practice on malaria and similar febrile illnesses. This evidence base is intended to direct the roll-out of the new strategies and improve community acceptance and utilization of services.
A qualitative study involving 26 focus group discussions and 40 key informant interviews was conducted in two districts of Odisha State in India. The key points of discussion were centred on community perceptions and practice regarding malaria prevention and treatment. Thematic analysis of data was performed.
The 272 respondents consisted of 50% females, three-quarter scheduled tribe community and 30% students. A half of them were literates. Malaria was reported to be the most common disease in their settings with multiple modes of transmission by the FGD participants. Adoption of prevention methods was seasonal with perceived mosquito density. The reported use of bed nets was low and the utilization was determined by seasonality, affordability, intoxication and alternate uses of nets. Although respondents were aware of malaria-related symptoms, care-seeking from traditional healers and unqualified providers was prevalent. The respondents expressed lack of trust in the community health workers due to frequent drug stock-outs. The major determinants of health care seeking were socio-cultural beliefs, age, gender, faith in the service provider, proximity, poverty, and perceived effectiveness of available services.
Apart from the socio-cultural and behavioural factors, the availability of acceptable care can modulate the community perceptions and practices on malaria management. The current community awareness on symptoms of malaria and prevention is fair, yet the prevention and treatment practices are not optimal. Promoting active community involvement and ownership in malaria control and management through strengthening community based organizations would be relevant. Further, timely availability of drugs and commodities at the community level can improve their confidence in the public health system.
PMCID: PMC3570348  PMID: 23360508
Malaria; Prevention; Treatment; Sociocultural belief; Community response; India
8.  A qualitative study on the acceptability and preference of three types of long-lasting insecticide-treated bed nets in Solomon Islands: implications for malaria elimination 
Malaria Journal  2009;8:119.
In March 2008, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu governments raised the goal of their National Malaria Programmes from control to elimination. Vector control measures, such as indoor residual spraying (IRS) and long-lasting insecticidal bed nets (LLINs) are key integral components of this programme. Compliance with these interventions is dependent on their acceptability and on the socio-cultural context of the local population. These factors need to be investigated locally prior to programme implementation.
Twelve focus group discussions (FGDs) were carried out in Malaita and Temotu Provinces, Solomon Islands in 2008. These discussions explored user perceptions of acceptability and preference for three brands of long-lasting insecticide-treated bed nets (LLINs) and identified a number of barriers to their proper and consistent use.
Mosquito nuisance and perceived threat of malaria were the main determinants of bed net use. Knowledge of malaria and the means to prevent it were not sufficient to guarantee compliance with LLIN use. Factors such as climate, work and evening social activities impact on the use of bed nets, particularly in men. LLIN acceptability plays a varying role in compliance with their use in villages involved in this study. Participants in areas of reported high and year round mosquito nuisance and perceived threat of malaria reported LLIN use regardless of any reported unfavourable characteristics. Those in areas of low or seasonal mosquito nuisance were more likely to describe the unfavourable characteristics of LLINs as reasons for their intermittent or non-compliance. The main criterion for LLIN brand acceptability was effectiveness in preventing mosquito bites and malaria. Discussions highlighted considerable confusion around LLIN care and washing which may be impacting on their effectiveness and reducing their acceptability in Solomon Islands.
Providing LLINs that are acceptable will be more important for improving compliance in areas of low or seasonal mosquito nuisance and malaria transmission. The implications of these findings on malaria elimination in Solomon Islands are discussed.
PMCID: PMC2699345  PMID: 19497127
9.  How to Effectively Monitor and Evaluate NCD Programmes in India 
Program monitoring and evaluation (M and E) are important components of any program and are critical to sound strategic planning. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, launched the National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardio-vascular diseases and Stroke (NPCDCS) with the objectives to prevent and control common noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) through behaviour and lifestyle changes, and to provide early diagnosis and management of common NCDs. M and E of program requires identification of indicators that measure inputs, process, outputs, and outcomes. The frequency of collecting information for these indicators will vary depending on the level of use and type of indicator as well as time interval over which we expect to see a change in that parameter. A group of indicators for different domains in the three major strategies has been proposed. For effective monitoring and evaluation of NPCDCS, the way forward is to finalize the list of indicators; evolve sustainable systems for surveillance; collect baseline assessment of the indicators at district level; fix targets for each indicator for different time frames; periodic review at state and national level for monitoring progress; and establish external review mechanisms. Monitoring and evaluation require complex set of co-ordinated action, responsibility for which has to be taken up by the NCD Cell within the Ministries of Health at state and national level. However, the routine data collection and compilation could be the responsibility of Central Bureau of Health Intelligence. Integrated population-based surveys with existing disease and behaviour surveillance could be undertaken by National Centre for Disease Control. The national NCD cell should compile all these information into a meaningful policy brief so that appropriate programmatic interventions can be identified. The launch of a national program to tackle the burden of NCDs is just the beginning, and the final success of the program will depend on how effectively we monitor and evaluate it.
PMCID: PMC3354904  PMID: 22628913
Health planning; program evaluation; health services research; chronic disease; cardiovascular diseases; equity; risk factor; India
10.  National programme for prevention of burn injuries 
The estimated annual burn incidence in India is approximately 6-7 million per year. The high incidence is attributed to illiteracy, poverty and low level safety consciousness in the population. The situation becomes further grim due to the absence of organized burn care at primary and secondary health care level. But the silver lining is that 90% of burn injuries are preventable. An initiative at national level is need of the hour to reduce incidence so as to galvanize the available resources for more effective and standardized treatment delivery. The National Programme for Prevention of Burn Injuries is the endeavor in this line. The goal of National programme for prevention of burn injuries (NPPBI) would be to ensure prevention and capacity building of infrastructure and manpower at all levels of health care delivery system in order to reduce incidence, provide timely and adequate treatment to burn patients to reduce mortality, complications and provide effective rehabilitation to the survivors. Another objective of the programme will be to establish a central burn registry. The programme will be launched in the current Five Year Plan in Medical colleges and their adjoining district hospitals in few states. Subsequently, in the next five year plan it will be rolled out in all the medical colleges and districts hospitals of the country so that burn care is provided as close to the site of accident as possible and patients need not to travel to big cities for burn care. The programme would essentially have three components i.e. Preventive programme, Burn injury management programme and Burn injury rehabilitation programme.
PMCID: PMC3038407  PMID: 21321659
National programme for prevention of burn injuries; organized burn care
11.  Bidirectional Screening of Tuberculosis Patients for Diabetes Mellitus and Diabetes Patients for Tuberculosis 
Diabetes & Metabolism Journal  2013;37(4):291-295.
To assess the feasibility and results of screening diabetes mellitus (DM) patients for tuberculosis (TB) and TB patients for DM within the routine health care setting. Prospective observational study carried out within the Diabetes Centre and Pulmonary Medicine Department from February 2012 to September 2012. The screening for active TB in DM and DM in TB patients is followed as per the guidelines of the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme and national programmes in India. Total of 307 patients diagnosed with TB during the study period. Among the TB patients 9.77% were smokers, 19.54% were known cases diabetes, and 15.96% were newly diagnosed cases of diabetes. Total of 4,118 diabetes patients were screened for TB in which 111 patients found to have TB. The strengths of this study are that we implemented screening within the routine health system. It is feasible to screen DM patients for TB resulting in high rates of TB detection.
PMCID: PMC3753495  PMID: 23991408
Diabetes mellitus; India; Prevalence; Tuberculosis
12.  Translating evidence into policy for cardiovascular disease control in India 
Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are leading causes of premature mortality in India. Evidence from developed countries shows that mortality from these can be substantially prevented using population-wide and individual-based strategies. Policy initiatives for control of CVD in India have been suggested but evidence of efficacy has emerged only recently. These initiatives can have immediate impact in reducing morbidity and mortality. Of the prevention strategies, primordial involve improvement in socioeconomic status and literacy, adequate healthcare financing and public health insurance, effective national CVD control programme, smoking control policies, legislative control of saturated fats, trans fats, salt and alcohol, and development of facilities for increasing physical activity through better urban planning and school-based and worksite interventions. Primary prevention entails change in medical educational curriculum and improved healthcare delivery for control of CVD risk factors-smoking, hypertension, dyslipidemia and diabetes. Secondary prevention involves creation of facilities and human resources for optimum acute CVD care and secondary prevention. There is need to integrate various policy makers, develop effective policies and modify healthcare systems for effective delivery of CVD preventive care.
PMCID: PMC3045991  PMID: 21306620
13.  Fostering disability-inclusive HIV/AIDS programs in northeast India: a participatory study 
BMC Public Health  2007;7:125.
Manipur and Nagaland in northeast India are among the Indian states with the highest prevalence of HIV. Most prevention and care programs focus on identified "high risk" groups, but recent data suggest the epidemic is increasing among the general population, primarily through heterosexual sex. People with disability (PWD) in India are more likely than the general population to be illiterate, unemployed and impoverished, but little is known of their HIV risk.
This project aimed to enable HIV programs in Manipur and Nagaland to be more disability-inclusive. The objectives were to: explore HIV risk and risk perception in relation to PWD among HIV and disability programmers, and PWD themselves; identify HIV-related education and service needs and preferences of PWD; and utilise findings and stakeholder consultation to draft practical guidelines for inclusion of disability into HIV programming. Data were collected through a survey and several qualitative tools.
The findings revealed that participants believe PWD in these states are potentially vulnerable to HIV transmission due to social exclusion and poverty, lack of knowledge, gender norms and obstacles to accessing HIV programs. Neither HIV nor disability organisations currently address the risks, needs and preferences of PWD.
The Guidelines produced in the project and disseminated to stakeholders emphasise opportunities for taking action with minimal cost and resources, such as using the networks and expertise of both HIV and disability sectors, producing HIV material in a variety of formats, and promoting accessibility to mainstream HIV education and services. The human rights obligations and public health benefits of modifying national and state policies and programs to assist this highly disadvantaged population are also highlighted.
PMCID: PMC1924853  PMID: 17594502
14.  An overview of the tobacco problem in India 
This is a review paper comprehensively encompassing the different aspects of tobacco control with particular reference to the Indian scenario. The information on prevalent tobacco habits in India, health hazards and environmental hazards due to tobacco use, passive smoking and its impact, economics of tobacco, legislation to control tobacco in India, the tobacco cessation services and the way ahead for effective tobacco control are discussed. Tobacco is a leading preventable cause of death, killing nearly six million people worldwide each year. Reversing this entirely preventable manmade epidemic should be our top priority. This global tobacco epidemic kills more people than tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and malaria combined. This epidemic can be resolved by becoming aware of the devastating effects of tobacco, learning about the proven effective tobacco control measures, national programmes and legislation prevailing in the home country and then engaging completely to halt the epidemic to move toward a tobacco-free world. India is the second largest consumer of tobacco globally, and accounts for approximately one-sixth of the world's tobacco-related deaths. The tobacco problem in India is peculiar, with consumption of variety of smokeless and smoking forms. Understanding the tobacco problem in India, focusing more efforts on what works and investigating the impact of sociocultural diversity and cost-effectiveness of various modalities of tobacco control should be our priority.
PMCID: PMC3523470  PMID: 23248419
Cigarettes and other tobacco products act; framework convention on tobacco control; hazards of tobacco; tobacco control; national tobacco control program
15.  Integration of Leprosy Elimination into Primary Health Care in Orissa, India 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(12):e8351.
Leprosy was eliminated as a public health problem (<1 case per 10,000) in India by December 2005. With this target in sight the need for a separate vertical programme was diminished. The second phase of the National Leprosy Eradication Programme was therefore initiated: decentralisation of the vertical programme, integration of leprosy services into the primary health care (PHC) system and development of a surveillance system to monitor programme performance.
Methodology/Principal Findings
To study the process of integration a qualitative analysis of issues and perceptions of patients and providers, and a review of leprosy records and registers to evaluate programme performance was carried out in the state of Orissa, India. Program performance indicators such as a low mean defaulter rate of 3.83% and a low-misdiagnosis rate of 4.45% demonstrated no detrimental effect of integration on program success. PHC staff were generally found to be highly knowledgeable of diagnosis and management of leprosy cases due to frequent training and a support network of leprosy experts. However in urban hospitals district-level leprosy experts had assumed leprosy activities. The aim was to aid busy PHC staff but it also compromised their leprosy knowledge and management capacity. Inadequate monitoring of a policy of ‘new case validation,’ in which MDT was not initiated until primary diagnosis had been verified by a leprosy expert, may have led to approximately 26% of suspect cases awaiting confirmation of diagnosis 1–8 months after their initial PHC visit.
This study highlights the need for effective monitoring and evaluation of the integration process. Inadequate monitoring could lead to a reduction in early diagnosis, a delay in initiation of MDT and an increase in disability rates. This in turn could reverse some of the programme's achievements. These findings may help Andhra Pradesh and other states in India to improve their integration process and may also have implications for other disease elimination programmes such as polio and guinea worm (dracunculiasis) as they move closer to their elimination goals.
PMCID: PMC2791232  PMID: 20020051
16.  Integration and co-location of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and drug treatment services 
Injection drug use (IDU) plays a critical role in the HIV epidemic in several countries throughout the world. In these countries, injection drug users are at significant risk for both HIV and tuberculosis, and active IDU negatively impacts treatment access, adherence and retention. Comprehensive strategies are therefore needed to effectively deliver preventive, diagnostic and curative services to these complex patient populations. We propose that developing co-located integrated care delivery systems should become the focus of national programmes as they continue to scale-up access to antiretroviral medications for drug users. Existing data suggest that such a programme will expand services for each of these diseases; increase detection of tuberculosis (TB) and HIV; improve medication adherence; increase entry into substance use treatment; decrease the likelihood of adverse drug events; and improve the effectiveness of prevention interventions. Key aspects of integration programmes include: co-location of services convenient to the patient; provision of effective substance use treatment, including pharmacotherapies; cross-training of generalist and specialist care providers; and provision of enhanced monitoring of drug-drug interactions and adverse side effects. Central to implementing this agenda will be fostering the political will to fund infrastructure and service delivery, expanding street-level outreach to IDUs, and training community health workers capable of cost effectively delivering these services.
PMCID: PMC2696234  PMID: 17689379
HIV; AIDS; Injection drug use; Substance use; Tuberculosis; Health care integration; Health services; Prevention
Indian Journal of Psychiatry  2000;42(4):370-377.
Drug abuse has become a growing issue of concern to humanity. India has a large consumer base of drug and alcohol abusers. This has serious repercussions in terms of morbidity & mortality. Hence the need for a national policy. In India, the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act. 1985 (NDPS) provides the framework for drug abuse control in the country. A large number of measures have been undertaken as part of demand reduction activities. These include framing policies and programmes, setting up of centres, developing pilot projects, etc. However, the implementation still needs a lot to be desired. The efforts have not yet been streamlined and no revision of policies has taken place based on experience. This paper critically reviews the initiatives taken thus far to control drug abuse in our country.
PMCID: PMC2962737  PMID: 21407973
Substance abuse; control; programmes; policies
18.  Vaccines Against Human Papilloma Virus and Cervical Cancer: An Overview 
The paradigm of preventing human papilloma virus (HPV) infection through currently approved vaccines, namely, Gardasil, manufactured by Merck and Co., Inc. (Whitehouse Station, NJ) and Cervarix, manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK, Philadelphia) holds tremendous promise for the developing countries in decreasing the burden of HPV infection and its sequelae, such as cervical cancer, genital warts and anogenital cancers. Effective screening programs that have reduced the burden of this killer disease in the developed countries are still lacking in India, despite the high incidence of cervical cancer and the implementation of the National Cancer Control Programme since 1975. The recent breakthrough in the global war against cervical cancer will provide new insight for meeting the future challenge of the prevention of cervical cancer in India.
PMCID: PMC2763677  PMID: 19876472
Human papilloma virus; vaccine
19.  International Health and the Limits of its Global Influence: Bhutan and the Worldwide Smallpox Eradication Programme 
Medical History  2013;57(4):461-486.
Histories of the global smallpox eradication programme have tended to concentrate on the larger national formations in Africa and Asia. This focus is generally justified by chroniclers by the fact that these locations contributed a major share of the world’s annual tally of variola, which meant that international agencies paid a lot of attention to working with officials in national and local government on anti-smallpox campaigns in these territories. Such historiographical trends have led to the marginalisation of the histories of smallpox eradication programmes in smaller nations, which are presented either in heroic, institutional tropes as peripheral or as being largely shorn of sustained campaigns against the disease. Using a case study of Bhutan, a small Himalayan kingdom sandwiched between India and China, an effort is made to reclaim the historical experiences in small national entities in the worldwide smallpox eradication programme. Bhutan’s experience in the 1960s and 1970s allows much more in addition. It provides us with a better understanding of the limited powers of international agencies in areas considered politically sensitive by the governments of powerful nations such as India. The resulting methodological suggestions are of wider historical and historiographical relevance.
PMCID: PMC3865968  PMID: 24069913
Bhutan; World Health Organization; Smallpox eradication; Vaccination; International health; India
20.  Burden of NCDs, Policies and Programme for Prevention and Control of NCDs in India 
Noncommunicable diseases and injuries account for 52% of deaths in India. Burden of noncommunicable diseases and resultant mortality is expected to increase unless massive efforts are made to prevent and control NCDs and their risk factors. Based on available evidence, cancer, diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic kidney disease, mental disorders and trauma are the leading causes of morbidity, disability and mortality in India. Government of India had supported the States in prevention and control of NCDs through several vertical programs since 1980s. However, during the 11th plan, there was considerable upsurge to prevent and control NCDs. New programs were started on a low scale in limited number of districts. However, there has not been any considerable change in the burden of NCDs. Based on experiences in the past, there is need to emphasize on health promotion and preventive measures to reduce exposure to risk factors. Facilities and capacity for screening, early diagnosis and effective management are required within the public health care system. Public awareness program, integrated management and strong monitoring system would be required for successful implementation of the program and making services universally accessible in the country.
PMCID: PMC3354897  PMID: 22628916
Disease burden; life style diseases; NCD policy and programs; noncommunicable diseases; risk factors
21.  A strategic assessment of cervical cancer prevention and treatment services in 3 districts of Uttar Pradesh, India 
Reproductive Health  2005;2:11.
Despite being a preventable disease, cervical cancer claims the lives of almost half a million women worldwide each year. India bears one-fifth of the global burden of the disease, with approximately 130,000 new cases a year. In an effort to assess the need and potential for improving the quality of cervical cancer prevention and treatment services in Uttar Pradesh, a strategic assessment was conducted in three of the state's districts: Agra, Lucknow, and Saharanpur.
Using an adaptation of stage one of the World Health Organization's Strategic Approach to Improving Reproductive Health Policies and Programmes, an assessment of the quality of cervical cancer services was carried out by a multidisciplinary team of stakeholders. The assessment included a review of the available literature, observations of services, collection of hospital statistics and the conduct of qualitative research (in-depth interviews and focus group discussions) to assess the perspectives of women, providers, policy makers and community members.
There were gaps in provider knowledge and practices, potentially attributable to limited provider training and professional development opportunities. In the absence of a state policy on cervical cancer, screening of asymptomatic women was practically absent, except in the military sector. Cytology-based cancer screening tests (i.e. pap smears) were often used to help diagnose women with symptoms of reproductive tract infections but not routinely screen asymptomatic women. Access to appropriate treatment of precancerous lesions was limited and often inappropriately managed by hysterectomy in many urban centers. Cancer treatment facilities were well equipped but mostly inaccessible for women in need. Finally, policy makers, community members and clients were mostly unaware about cervical cancer and its preventable nature, although with information, expressed a strong interest in having services available to women in their communities.
To address gaps in services and unmet needs, state policies and integrated interventions have the potential to improve the quality of services for prevention of cervical cancer in Uttar Pradesh.
PMCID: PMC1327684  PMID: 16336668
22.  Cluster randomised controlled trial of a peer-led lifestyle intervention program: study protocol for the Kerala diabetes prevention program 
BMC Public Health  2013;13:1035.
India currently has more than 60 million people with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) and this is predicted to increase by nearly two-thirds by 2030. While management of those with T2DM is important, preventing or delaying the onset of the disease, especially in those individuals at ‘high risk’ of developing T2DM, is urgently needed, particularly in resource-constrained settings. This paper describes the protocol for a cluster randomised controlled trial of a peer-led lifestyle intervention program to prevent diabetes in Kerala, India.
A total of 60 polling booths are randomised to the intervention arm or control arm in rural Kerala, India. Data collection is conducted in two steps. Step 1 (Home screening): Participants aged 30–60 years are administered a screening questionnaire. Those having no history of T2DM and other chronic illnesses with an Indian Diabetes Risk Score value of ≥60 are invited to attend a mobile clinic (Step 2). At the mobile clinic, participants complete questionnaires, undergo physical measurements, and provide blood samples for biochemical analysis. Participants identified with T2DM at Step 2 are excluded from further study participation. Participants in the control arm are provided with a health education booklet containing information on symptoms, complications, and risk factors of T2DM with the recommended levels for primary prevention. Participants in the intervention arm receive: (1) eleven peer-led small group sessions to motivate, guide and support in planning, initiation and maintenance of lifestyle changes; (2) two diabetes prevention education sessions led by experts to raise awareness on T2DM risk factors, prevention and management; (3) a participant handbook containing information primarily on peer support and its role in assisting with lifestyle modification; (4) a participant workbook to guide self-monitoring of lifestyle behaviours, goal setting and goal review; (5) the health education booklet that is given to the control arm. Follow-up assessments are conducted at 12 and 24 months. The primary outcome is incidence of T2DM. Secondary outcomes include behavioural, psychosocial, clinical, and biochemical measures. An economic evaluation is planned.
Results from this trial will contribute to improved policy and practice regarding lifestyle intervention programs to prevent diabetes in India and other resource-constrained settings.
Trial registration
Australia and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry: ACTRN12611000262909.
PMCID: PMC3937241  PMID: 24180316
Diabetes; Incidence; India; Kerala; Peer support; Randomised controlled trial; Prevention; Resource-constrained settings; Rural; Intervention
23.  Drug-resistant tuberculosis in Mumbai, India: An agenda for operations research 
Operations research (OR) is well established in India and is also a prominent feature of the global and local agendas for tuberculosis (TB) control. India accounts for a quarter of the global burden of TB and of new cases. Multidrug-resistant TB is a significant problem in Mumbai, India’s most populous city, and there have been recent reports of totally resistant TB. Much thought has been given to the role of OR in addressing programmatic challenges, by both international partnerships and India’s Revised National TB Control Programme. We attempt to summarize the major challenges to TB control in Mumbai, with an emphasis on drug resistance. Specific challenges include diagnosis of TB and defining cure, detecting drug resistant TB, multiple sources of health care in the private, public and informal sectors, co-infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and a concurrent epidemic of non-communicable diseases, suboptimal prescribing practices, and infection control. We propose a local agenda for OR: modeling the effects of newer technologies, active case detection, and changes in timing of activities, and mapping hotspots and contact networks; modeling the effects of drug control, changing the balance of ambulatory and inpatient care, and adverse drug reactions; modeling the effects of integration of TB and HIV diagnosis and management, and preventive drug therapy; and modeling the effects of initiatives to improve infection control.
PMCID: PMC3909940
Tuberculosis; Public health; Global health
24.  Drug-resistant tuberculosis in Mumbai, India: An agenda for operations research 
Operations research (OR) is well established in India and is also a prominent feature of the global and local agendas for tuberculosis (TB) control. India accounts for a quarter of the global burden of TB and of new cases. Multidrug-resistant TB is a significant problem in Mumbai, India’s most populous city, and there have been recent reports of totally resistant TB. Much thought has been given to the role of OR in addressing programmatic challenges, by both international partnerships and India’s Revised National TB Control Programme. We attempt to summarize the major challenges to TB control in Mumbai, with an emphasis on drug resistance. Specific challenges include diagnosis of TB and defining cure, detecting drug resistant TB, multiple sources of health care in the private, public and informal sectors, co-infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and a concurrent epidemic of non-communicable diseases, suboptimal prescribing practices, and infection control. We propose a local agenda for OR: modeling the effects of newer technologies, active case detection, and changes in timing of activities, and mapping hotspots and contact networks; modeling the effects of drug control, changing the balance of ambulatory and inpatient care, and adverse drug reactions; modeling the effects of integration of TB and HIV diagnosis and management, and preventive drug therapy; and modeling the effects of initiatives to improve infection control.
PMCID: PMC3836418  PMID: 24501697
Tuberculosis; Public health; Global health
25.  Drug-resistant tuberculosis in Mumbai, India: An agenda for operations research 
Operations research (OR) is well established in India and is also a prominent feature of the global and local agendas for tuberculosis (TB) control. India accounts for a quarter of the global burden of TB and of new cases. Multidrug-resistant TB is a significant problem in Mumbai, India’s most populous city, and there have been recent reports of totally resistant TB. Much thought has been given to the role of OR in addressing programmatic challenges, by both international partnerships and India’s Revised National TB Control Programme. We attempt to summarize the major challenges to TB control in Mumbai, with an emphasis on drug resistance. Specific challenges include diagnosis of TB and defining cure, detecting drug resistant TB, multiple sources of health care in the private, public and informal sectors, co-infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and a concurrent epidemic of non-communicable diseases, suboptimal prescribing practices, and infection control. We propose a local agenda for OR: modeling the effects of newer technologies, active case detection, and changes in timing of activities, and mapping hotspots and contact networks; modeling the effects of drug control, changing the balance of ambulatory and inpatient care, and adverse drug reactions; modeling the effects of integration of TB and HIV diagnosis and management, and preventive drug therapy; and modeling the effects of initiatives to improve infection control.
PMCID: PMC3836418  PMID: 24501697
Tuberculosis; Public health; Global health

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