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1.  Diarrheal diseases among children in India: Current scenario and future perspectives 
Diarrhea is the third leading cause of childhood mortality in India, and is responsible for 13% of all deaths/year in children under 5 years of age. Information on diarrheal diseases, its determinants and preventive and control strategies need to be reviewed for better planning and organization of health services. This study reviewed literature on diarrheal disease control among under-five children in India from literature published in PubMed, Google search engine and other databases on the internet. Data were described in terms of disease burden in India, determinants, management and intervention strategies, preventive strategies, and role of public health and scope for future action. This review calls for a comprehensive diarrheal disease control strategy, through improved case management, addressing social determinants of health and research in the field of cost-effective interventions to reduce the burden of diarrhea among children in India. With < almost one year left to reach the 2015 Millennium Development Goal on reducing child mortality, progress on control of diarrheal diseases must be accelerated.
PMCID: PMC4367049  PMID: 25810630
Diarrheal disease control; diarrheal diseases; India; under-five children
2.  Socioepidemiologic Profile and Treatment-seeking Behaviour of HIV/AIDS Patients in a Tertiary-care Hospital in South India 
India has the third largest number of people living with HIV/AIDS. Provision of free antiretroviral therapy (ART) for eligible persons living with HIV (PLHA) has been scaled up significantly both in terms of facilities for treatment and number of beneficiaries. This study aimed at describing the profile of HIV/AIDS patients on ART from a tertiary-care hospital and to explore the factors associated with treatment-seeking behaviour, family support, and perceptions regarding HIV and ART. This is a descriptive study conducted at the ART centre in a tertiary-care hospital in Puducherry. Study population consisted of 130 HIV-positive patients aged more than 18 years on free firstline ART for at least 6 months. Data on sociodemographic details, clinical details, treatment-seeking behaviour, family support, and perceptions regarding HIV and ART were collected using a pretested questionnaire. Data are presented as percentages. In total, 130 patients on ART for at least 6 months were included in the study—61% were males (n=79), 39% were females (n=51); half of them belonged to the age-group of 36-50 years. Half of the participants were diagnosed to have HIV/AIDS between 1 and 3 year(s); two-thirds had one or more co-infection(s). The majority were aware of the side-effects of ART. After advice to start ART, there was a delay in starting treatment in one-fifth of the subjects due to depression, fear of stigma, disclosure to family, and side-effects. More than two-thirds of the patients travelled more than 30 km distance. Families of HIV-positive subjects were supportive in accompanying to the ART centre, collecting drugs, reminders to take medication, and motivation to complete the treatment. Alcohol (50%) and tobacco consumption (39%) was common among the subjects. Half of the respondents stated stigma, death, and pain as the main fears, and all of them stated high levels of trust and rapport with their doctors. This study reveals several positive aspects among ART beneficiaries. However, issues, like tobacco and alcohol consumption, travelling long distance for drug collection, fear of stigma and death, and concerns regarding the future, need to be addressed.
PMCID: PMC4438688  PMID: 25895191
Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome; Epidemiology; Health behaviour; Time to treatment; India
3.  Factors affecting compliance to management of diabetes in Urban Health Center of a tertiary care teaching hospital of south India 
To Study the Factors affecting compliance to diabetes management and study risk factors and complications of type II diabetes.
Settings and Design:
Primary health center, Descriptive study.
Materials and Methods:
A descriptive study of previously diagnosed diabetics (n = 135) attending the chronic disease clinic of Urban Health Center, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIUHC) was carried out during October 2011 to December 2011. Data were collected by personal interview on demographic parameters, duration of diabetes, number of doses missed in the last 15 days, co-morbidities, knowledge and practice of dietary modification, physical activity, self-care, family support, awareness about risk factors and complications of diabetes.
Statistical Analysis Used:
The findings were expressed in terms of proportions. Chi-square test was used to study the association between socio-demographic factors and compliance.
Majority of patients were in the age group of 50-59, of which 80% were females. Compliance (defined as not missing more than two doses in the last 15 days) to oral hypoglycemic agents was found in 103 (76%; 68.5-82.9). Dietary modifications was practiced by 110 (81.4%; 74.2-87.3) and 37% (29.2-45.4) practice physical activity. Annual eye check-up was carried out by 43.7%, renal function test by 46.6% and foot care by 54%. Knowledge regarding risk factors (66%; 42.7-59.4) and complications (79%; 71.8-85.4) was comparatively better than knowledge about self-care.
Three-fourth of patients were compliant to medications and diet, but less than half follows modifications in physical activity and other self-care practices. Hence, it is essential to educate and motivate people in primary health-care level about self-care and life-style modifications.
PMCID: PMC4121916  PMID: 25097416
compliance; diabetes mellitus; drugs; self-care
4.  High prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors among policemen in Puducherry, South India 
Diabetes mellitus and hypertension (HT) are common diseases in adulthood, pre-disposing to many cardiovascular complications, posing a major public health challenge. Few studies have reported increased prevalence of cardiovascular disease risk factors and type 2 diabetes in policemen. Hence, this study aims to assess the prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors such as diabetes, HT, smoking, alcohol intake, and obesity among policemen.
Materials and methods
A cross-sectional study was carried out in 2008–2009 among 256 policemen in Puducherry, South India. Policemen were selected by simple random sampling. Socio-demographic details and some of the risk factors such as alcohol intake and smoking history were obtained using a pre-tested, structured questionnaire. Presence of stress was measured using the professional life stress score questionnaire. Blood pressure, waist circumference, and hip circumference were measured by standard methods. Fasting blood sugar was estimated using a glucometer. Serum cholesterol was also measured. Lipid profile was measured for a randomly chosen subgroup of 50 participants.
Mean age of study participants was 40.9 years (SD ± 10.9). Out of the study subjects, 23% (n = 60) were known diabetic and 16.8% (n = 43) were known hypertensive. Prevalence of diabetes among study participants was 33.6% (CI: 27.8%–39.6%). Prevalence of HT among study participants was 30.5% (CI: 24.9%–36.5%). Seventy percent (n = 178) had at least moderate range of stress in their life related to their profession and 4% (n = 11) had stress as a “problem” in their life.
Burden of cardiovascular risk factors such as diabetes and HT was high among police personnel of Puducherry.
PMCID: PMC3770116  PMID: 24027367
Cardiovascular risk factors; Diabetes; Hypertension; Policemen
5.  Out of pocket expenditure among the households of a rural area in Puducherry, South India 
As a measure to reduce the out of pocket health spending in our country, the high level expert group on Universal Health Coverage recommends a National Health Package free of cost to all. Whether availability of services free of cost, will reduce out of pocket expenditure?
To assess this, we studied the out of pocket health spending among the households of a Ramanathpuram, a village in Puducherry, where surplus health services are available free of cost.
Settings and Design:
An exploratory study was conducted in by 200 purposively selected households of Ramanathpuram, during the months of March-April 2012.
Materials and Methods:
Information was sought on socio-demographic details (age, gender, and income), expenditure incurred during OPD visits, follow up for chronic diseases, and hospitalization using a pretested questionnaire. Recall periods of 1 and 3 months were considered for OPD visits and hospitalizations, respectively.
Of the total 935 individuals from the 200 households included, 51.3% (480) were men and 455 (48.7%) were women. A total of 231 visits to health care facilities were recorded from 143 (71.5%) households, of which 153 (66.2%) were for acute illness and 68 (29.4%) for follow up of chronic diseases and 10 (4.3%) for hospitalization. The mean per visit expenditure for acute illness, chronic diseases, and hospitalization were INR72.7 ± 143.6, 135.7 ± 196.2, and 1340 ± 1192.9, respectively. Government facilities were availed for 175 (75.7%) visits. Majority of those who incurred health expenditure for acute illness (80.4%) and utilized the private sector for acute illness (78.4%) were from higher socioeconomic class (P = 0.001).
Majority (58.1%) of the households did not incur health care expenditure. Public health care facilities were preferred (75.5%) for seeking care. Availability of services free of cost reduces out of pocket expenditure among non-hospitalized cases.
PMCID: PMC3961918  PMID: 24678212
Health care; out of pocket expenditure; rural households
6.  Experiences of HIV Positive Mothers From Rural South India during Intra-Natal Period 
Context: Tamil Nadu comes under group I high prevalence state, with less than 1% prevalence of HIV infection in antenatal women but above 5% prevalence in high risk group. One of the ways to control HIV/AIDS in India is through Prevention of Parent to Child Transmission (PPTCT), the success of which lies in identifying pregnant women with HIV infection. But due to the stigma against HIV/AIDS among health care providers, HIV positive patients face discrimination in the health sector.
Aims: To explore the difficulties faced by rural HIV positive mothers during the intra-natal period.
Methods: A descriptive qualitative study was conducted among HIV positive mothers, in Gingee block of Villupuram district, Tamil Nadu, India. All the mothers who tested positive between June 2006 and May 2010 were interviewed in-depth using an interview guide.
Results: There were 21 HIV positive mothers during this period, 19 of whom gave consent. Majority of the mothers were <30 years of age from families belonging to lower socio-economic class. The discriminations faced from the health staff was avoidance of physical examination, rude behaviour like throwing of records on the face, discriminatory comments, unnecessary referrals and even refusal to provide intra-partum services. The negative attitude of the staff made a few mothers to deliver in some other institution without disclosing their HIV status.
Conclusion: Stigma among health care providers towards HIV positive pregnant women acts as a barrier for improving access to PPTCT services in India and it poses high risk to the mothers, babies and also the health care providers. There is a pressing need to improve access to quality PPTCT services especially during the intranatal period.
PMCID: PMC3843428  PMID: 24298476
PPTCT; HIV/AIDS; Intranatal period; Stigma; Discrimination
7.  Effectiveness of physical activity promotion in blood pressure and blood sugar reduction: A community–based intervention study in rural south India 
Physical activity of moderate intensity for 30 minutes a day, on most days substantially reduces the risk of many chronic diseases.
To assess the effect of regular physical activity on blood pressure and blood sugar levels in a rural Indian community
Settings and Design:
This community-based study was carried out in Periakattupalayam and Rangareddipalayam in south India, with 485 subjects, aged 20 to 49 years.
Materials and Methods:
The study was done in five phases: Awareness campaign, baseline assessment of participants, intervention phase (10 weeks), interim, and final assessment. Physical activity of moderate intensity (brisk walking for 30 minutes on four days / week) was promoted by forming 30 small walking groups, in a home-based setting, with professional supervision. Village leaders and Self-Help Group members were the resource people for the promotion of physical activity.
Statistical Analysis:
Analysis was done by using paired ‘t’ test; the ‘Intention-to-Treat’ approach was utilized for the interpretation of the findings of the study.
Of the 485 subjects, 265 (54.6%) complied with walking on more than four days / week, while 156 (32.2%) walked on one to four days / week, and 64 (13.2%) dropped out during the intervention period. This study has shown that a 10-week intervention to promote physical activity was effective in significantly decreasing the population's BP by 1.56 / 0.74 mm Hg, fasting blood sugar levels by 2.82 mg%, body weight by 0.17 kg, and BMI by 0.06 kg / m2.
This study has proved the functional feasibility of enabling people to undertake physical activity in a rural Indian community, and the effectiveness of using physical activity, to significantly reduce the population's mean BP and blood sugar levels.
PMCID: PMC3410184  PMID: 22870410
Blood pressure; chronic diseases; community intervention; physical activity
8.  Role of government in public health: Current scenario in India and future scope 
The new agenda for Public Health in India includes the epidemiological transition, demographical transition, environmental changes and social determinants of health. Based on the principles outlined at Alma-Ata in 1978, there is an urgent call for revitalizing primary health care in order to meet these challenges. The role of the government in influencing population health is not limited within the health sector but also by various sectors outside the health systems. This article is a literature review of the existing government machinery for public health needs in India, its success, limitations and future scope. Health system strengthening, human resource development and capacity building and regulation in public health are important areas within the health sector. Contribution to health of a population also derives from social determinants of health like living conditions, nutrition, safe drinking water, sanitation, education, early child development and social security measures. Population stabilization, gender mainstreaming and empowerment, reducing the impact of climate change and disasters on health, improving community participation and governance issues are other important areas for action. Making public health a shared value across the various sectors is a politically challenging strategy, but such collective action is crucial.
PMCID: PMC3114612  PMID: 21694957
Health sector; intersectoral issues; public health; role of government

Results 1-8 (8)