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   2012| January-June  | Volume 1 | Issue 1  
    Online since March 30, 2012

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Disability and rehabilitation services in India: Issues and challenges
S Ganesh Kumar, Gautam Roy, Sitanshu Sekhar Kar
January-June 2012, 1(1):69-73
DOI:10.4103/2249-4863.94458  PMID:24479007
Disability is an important public health problem especially in developing countries like India. The problem will increase in future because of increase in trend of non-communicable diseases and change in age structure with an increase in life expectancy. The issues are different in developed and developing countries, and rehabilitation measures should be targeted according the needs of the disabled with community participation. In India, a majority of the disabled resides in rural areas where accessibility, availability, and utilization of rehabilitation services and its cost-effectiveness are the major issues to be considered. Research on disability burden, appropriate intervention strategies and their implementation to the present context in India is a big challenge. Recent data was collected from Medline and various other sources and analyzed. The paper discusses various issues and challenges related to disability and rehabilitation services in India and emphasize to strengthen health care and service delivery to disabled in the community.
  17,918 1,949 14
Socio demographic determinants and knowledge, attitude, practice: Survey of family planning
Vasundhara Sharma, Uday Mohan, Vinita Das, Shally Awasthi
January-June 2012, 1(1):43-47
DOI:10.4103/2249-4863.94451  PMID:24479000
Background: Understanding of family planning scenario among different societies and communities, which by and large reside in urban slum and rural areas, might prove useful in increasing family planning acceptance by them and decreasing population growth. Objective: To assess the sociodemographic determinants and KAP of family planning among urban slum and rural areas of Lucknow. Study Design: Cross sectional. Setting: Bal Mahila Chikitsalaya, Aliganj, in urban and Primary Health Centre, Bakshi Ka Talaab, in rural area of Lucknow. Study Period: October 2008 to April 2009. Materials and Methods: Six hundred and eightytwo postpartum women (within 42 days of delivery) who came to these health facilities for their child's vaccination were interviewed, by a preformed and pretested schedule. Results: Maximum utilization of family methods were seen among Hindu women, women of age group 30 or more, parity four and more, educational level upto high school and above and those of higher socioeconomic class. Although overall residential area (urban or rural) of women had no influence on the practice of family planning by them and all of them were willing to adopt family planning methods in future, urban women were found to have a higher level of knowledge and attitude toward modern methods of family planning. Only 2.8% were unsure of preferred method for future use. Conclusion: Family planning programs which effectively promotes the use of family planning methods, so that the trend toward increase in population could be arrested is the need of hour.
  8,479 1,027 10
A crusade against scorpion sting: Life and works of Dr. Himmatrao Bawaskar
Ajinkya A Kale
January-June 2012, 1(1):52-55
DOI:10.4103/2249-4863.94453  PMID:24479002
In the times of rapid advancement of science and technology, advance medical equipment and hi tech hospitals represent the face of medical science. The aspirations and ambitions of medical professionals are also shifting, with growing concerns of deterioration of doctor patient relationship as well as disconnect between services and the community needs. The life of Dr Himmatrao Bawaskar defies several conventions of today's medical practice. His outstanding dedication towards patients and commitment to provide high quality care in resource poor setting makes him an ideal role model for younger generation of physicians in India.
  8,817 668 -
Access to health services among slum dwellers in an industrial township and surrounding rural areas: A rapid epidemiological assessment
Amitav Banerjee, JS Bhawalkar, SL Jadhav, Hetal Rathod, DT Khedkar
January-June 2012, 1(1):20-26
DOI:10.4103/2249-4863.94444  PMID:24478995
Context: The biggest challenge in implementing the primary health care principles is of equitable distribution of health care to all. The rural masses and urban slum dwellers are most vulnerable to lack of access to health care. Aim: To study access to health services among slum dwellers and rural population. Setting and Design: A cross-sectional survey in an urban slum and surrounding rural areas in field practice area of a medical college. Materials and Methods: Structured instrument along with qualitative techniques such as focus group discussions, were used to collect information on access and utilization of health services from 865 individuals of both sexes and all ages selected from urban slums, villages, and indoor and outdoor patients. Access to basic determinants of good health such as housing, water, and sanitation was also elicited. Besides, health needs based on self-reported disease conditions were compiled. Results: More than 50% of respondents were living in poor housing and insanitary conditions. Besides the burden of communicable diseases and malnutrition (especially in children), risk of lifestyle diseases as evidenced by high Body mass index in 25% of adults surveyed was found. Private medical practitioners were more accessible than government facilities. More than 60% sought treatment from private medical facilities for their own ailments (for sickness in children this proportion was 74%). People who visited government facilities were more dissatisfied with the services (30.88%) than those who visited private facilities (18.31%). This difference was significant (OR=1.99, 95% confidence interval 1.40 to 2.88; χ2 =15.95, df=1, P=0.007). The main barriers to health care identified were waiting time long, affordability, poor quality of care, distance, and attitude of health workers. Conclusion: The underprivileged in India continue to have poor access to basic determinants of good health as well as to curative services from government sources during illness.
  8,042 921 9
Seroprevalence of transfusion transmissible infections among voluntary blood donors at a tertiary care teaching hospital in rural area of India
Purushottam A Giri, Jayant D Deshpande, Deepak B Phalke, Laximan B Karle
January-June 2012, 1(1):48-51
DOI:10.4103/2249-4863.94452  PMID:24479001
Background: Blood transfusion is a life-saving measure in various medical and surgical emergencies. Transfusion medicine, apart from being important for the medical treatment of each patient, also has great public health importance. Objectives: The present study was conducted to estimate the prevalence of transfusion transmitted infections in voluntary blood donors at a rural tertiary care teaching hospital in western Maharashtra, India. Materials and Methods : All voluntary donors reporting to the blood bank were screened for HBsAg, Hepatitis C Virus (HCV), HIV and Syphilis by using the appropriate enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. HIV infection was confirmed using a standard immunoblotting technique. Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) was tested for surface antigen (HBsAg) and HCV by the immunechromatographic method. The Venereal Disease Reference Laboratory (VDRL) test was used for estimation of syphilis infection. The study was designed for a duration of two years between January 2009 to December 2010. Medical reports of the donors were accessed from the hospital records and analyzed. Results: A total of 5661 voluntary blood donors were screened, of which 5394 (95.28%) were males and 267 (4.72%) were females. The overall seroprevalence of HBV and HCV were 1.09% and 0.74% respectively; for HIV and syphilis the seroprevalence was estimated to be 0.07% for each. Conclusion: Blood is still one of the main sources of transmission of infections. HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C viruses and syphilis are prevalent among voluntary donors in rural India.
  7,160 1,489 11
Academic institutionalization of community health services: Way ahead in medical education reforms
Raman Kumar
January-June 2012, 1(1):10-19
DOI:10.4103/2249-4863.94442  PMID:24478994
Policy on medical education has a major bearing on the outcome of health care delivery system. Countries plan and execute development of human resource in health, based on the realistic assessments of health system needs. A closer observation of medical education and its impact on the delivery system in India reveals disturbing trends. Primary care forms backbone of any system for health care delivery. One of the major challenges in India has been chronic deficiency of trained human resource eager to work in primary care setting. Attracting talent and employing skilled workforce seems a distant dream. Talking specifically of the medical education, there are large regional variations, urban - rural divide and issues with financing of the infrastructure. The existing design of medical education is not compatible with the health care delivery system of India. Impact is visible at both qualitative as well as quantitative levels. Medical education and the delivery system are working independent of each other, leading outcomes which are inequitable and unjust. Decades of negligence of medical education regulatory mechanism has allowed cropping of multiple monopolies governed by complex set of conflict of interest. Primary care physicians, supposed to be the community based team leaders stand disfranchised academically and professionally. To undo the distorted trajectory, a paradigm shift is required. In this paper, we propose expansion of ownership in medical education with academic institutionalization of community health services.
  6,925 722 2
Family medicine: A resident's perspective
Bipin Kumar
January-June 2012, 1(1):59-61
DOI:10.4103/2249-4863.94455  PMID:24479004
Though family medicine has existed as a qualification for more than a decade in India, structured residency based training is a recent phenomenon. A growing number of young physicians are opting for this challenging and exciting new speciality as post graduate qualification through NBE (National Board of Examination) affiliated three year DNB (Diplomate of National Board) training program. MD family medicine is also in offing as Medical Council of India (MCI) has recently notified curriculum for this post graduate program. In this article, a resident shares his experience and excitement through the less travelled journey of family medicine residency training in India.
  4,984 547 -
"The refer less resolve more" initiative: A five-year experience from CMC Vellore, India
Jachin Velavan
January-June 2012, 1(1):3-6
DOI:10.4103/2249-4863.94439  PMID:24478992
India's one billion plus strong population presents huge health care needs. Presently, approximately 250,000 general practitioners and 30,000 Government doctors are a part of the Indian healthcare workforce, but 80% of them are based in urban India. Problems which plague healthcare delivery and attributed to physician practice may be enumerated as - physicians (1) lack competencies, (2) lack updating, (3) prescribe irrationally (pressures from pharmaceutical companies and patients), (4) practice unethically, (5) refer excessively to specialists and other clinical professionals, and (6) investigate for diseases without justification. A multi-competent Family Physician who could provide a single-window, ethical, and holistic healthcare to patients and families is the need of the hour. Therefore, training, equipping, and empowering these 250,000 doctors to become such physicians will reduce health costs considerably. Distance medical education using all the andragogic methods can be used to train large number of individuals without displacing them from their work-places. Distance learning provides a useful interface for rapidly developing a specialized pool of doctors practicing and advocating family medicine as most-needed discipline. This motivated CMC Vellore, a premier institution for medical education in India, to start a the "refer less resolve more initiative" by offering "two year family medicine diploma course" by distance mode. This is an innovatively-written program consisting of problem-based self-learning modules, video-lectures, video-conferencing, and face-to-face contact programs. Ten secondary level hospitals, across the country, under the supervision of national and international family medicine faculty form the pillars of this program. This distance learning program offered by CMC Vellore has become the platform for change as there is special focus is on ethics, rational prescribing, consultation skills, application of family medicine principles; and practical demonstration of compassionate, cost-effective and high-quality care. The change in attitude has resulted in transformation in three major aspects of practice: professional, ethical, and patient care. So far, 942 private practitioners and 177 government doctors have been enrolled.
  4,539 741 1
Empowering primary care physicians in India
Raman Kumar
January-June 2012, 1(1):1-2
DOI:10.4103/2249-4863.94438  PMID:24478991
  4,109 744 1
Knowledge and practices of paracetamol administration among caregivers of pediatric age group patients
R.P.J.C. Ramanayake, LR Jayasinghe, A.H.W. De Silva, W.A.T.A. Wijesinghe, N Kanaganayagam
January-June 2012, 1(1):30-33
DOI:10.4103/2249-4863.94448  PMID:24478997
Introduction: Paracetamol is a widely used over the counter drug for pyrexia and mild to moderate pain in all age groups. Objective: To assess the knowledge and practices of paracetamol administration among caregivers of the pediatric age group patients attending the university family practice. Materials and Methods: A clinic-based descriptive cross-sectional survey was carried out among clients attending the family practice of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka using pretested interviewer administrated questionnaire. Results: Ninety eight caregivers Participated. Majority were females (97%) with a mean age of 32 years. Age of the patients ranged from 1 to 132 (mean: 48 months). The commonest indication for paracetamol was fever (98%) and in 99% of the patients, mother was the administrator. Forty three percent of the children received a supra-therapeutic dose (>15 mg/kg/dose). None exceeded 20 mg/kg/dose. 16% exceeded the recommended dosing frequency. Children above 3 years were at an increased risk of receiving incorrect paracetamol dose (χ2 =19.55, df=1, P>0.001) A majority (75%) said they followed doctors' advice on paracetamol dose. There was no association between level of education of care giver, deciding dose as directed by doctor and product information leaflet and dosing accuracy. Only one caregiver was able to calculate the paracetamol dose according to weight. A majority (85%) knew about paracetamol poisoning but it was not associated with dosing accuracy. Conclusion and Recommendations: Administration of supratheraputic doses of paracetamol is common and risk increased with child's age. Knowledge on calculating the weight appropriate paracetamol dose is poor. Physicians should educate care givers on judicious use of paracetamol.
  3,863 596 2
Osteoporosis - an emerging disease of the 21 st century, part 1: An overview
KH Sunil Kumar, P Bhaskar
January-June 2012, 1(1):66-68
DOI:10.4103/2249-4863.94457  PMID:24479006
Osteoporosis is a condition where bones are fragile with a poor bone mineral density. This increases the risk of fracture especially of the hip, vertebrae, and wrist. These fractures are usually termed "fragility fractures." In this article, we aim to provide a broad overview of osteoporosis-investigation, management, and prevention.
  3,594 659 3
The management of sickle cell disease in a primary care setting
Josť V.A. Humphreys
January-June 2012, 1(1):56-58
DOI:10.4103/2249-4863.94454  PMID:24479003
With increasing burdens placed on Primary Care Physicians in the prevention and management of Sickle Cell Disease (SCD), it is imperative that there is some basic understanding of the same. Needless to say, its management is a multifocal, multidisciplinary approach which includes a collaborative effort between patients, family members and the healthcare team.Primary Care Physicians must be familiar with the pathophysiological processes, diagnostic evaluation, and current standard of care, new treatment options, clinical research advances and medical management of sickle hemoglobinopathies and their complications.The guidelines should include new born screening and assessment, accessible medical records for those diagnosed with SCD, system support and prevention, management of complication and crisis periods and home management (dietary and lifestyle modifications).
  3,415 653 3
The delivery of sexuality-related patient education to adolescent patients: A preliminary study of family practice resident physicians
Jeffrey K Clark, Rebecca A Brey, Amy E Banter, Jagdish Khubchandani
January-June 2012, 1(1):34-38
DOI:10.4103/2249-4863.94449  PMID:24478998
Background: Risky sexual behavior among adolescents is one of the leading health behaviors most associated with mortality, morbidity, and social problems. Adolescents need reliable sources of information to help them promote healthy sexual behaviors. Physicians in the United States are often seen by adolescents as a reliable and trustworthy source of accurate sexual information. However, many physicians feel uncomfortable or ill-prepared to deal with sexuality issues among their adolescent patients. Purpose: This study examined the impact of family resident physicians' sexual attitudes, knowledge, and comfort, on the delivery of sexuality-related patient education to their adolescent patients. Materials and Methods: Pre-post-test scales were administered to 21 physicians. Data were also collected for patient (n=644) charts. Factors that determined the delivery of sexuality-related patient education were analyzed. Results: Results indicate that sexuality-related patient education was rarely provided to adolescent patients. Conclusions: Adolescent sexuality education is not a high priority for physicians. Professional medical organizations should play a leadership role in training physicians on delivering sexuality education to adolescent patients.
  3,616 450 6
The rise of E-learning and opportunities for Indian family physicians
Chayan Datta
January-June 2012, 1(1):7-9
DOI:10.4103/2249-4863.94441  PMID:24478993
The IT (information technology) revolution is sweeping across the globe. Distance, location and costs have become irrelevant. With availability of newer communication tools, medical education and practice are bound to be transformed. Rapid advancement of science requires medical professionals to update their knowledge constantly. Online interface for CME (Continued Medical Education) presents an exciting opportunity as an E learning tool.
  3,391 566 -
Determinants of prelacteal feeding among infants of RS Pura block of Jammu and Kashmir, India
Sunil K Raina, Vijay Mengi, Gurdeep Singh
January-June 2012, 1(1):27-29
DOI:10.4103/2249-4863.94446  PMID:24478996
Objective: To assess the role of various factors in determining prelacteal feeding in block R.S. Pura of district Jammu. Materials and Methods: A stratified two-stage design with villages as the primary sampling unit and lactating mothers as the secondary sampling unit. Villages were divided into different clusters on the basis of population and sampling units were selected by a simple random technique. Results: Giving prelacteal feed is almost universal with 88% of mothers feeding their children with prelacteal feeds. Income seemed to have significant effect on the preference of prelacteal feeds with low income groups showing lower preference for giving prelacteal feeds. Conclusion: The study showed, interalia, that a poor knowledge regarding infant feeding practice was prevalent among mothers.
  3,178 519 6
Recent developments in cardiovascular diseases control and prevention in India
Harshal T Pandve, PS Chawla, Kevin Fernandez
January-June 2012, 1(1):79-80
DOI:10.4103/2249-4863.94461  PMID:24479010
  3,135 551 -
Spice route movement: Forum for young and future family physicians / primary care physicians of South Asia
Sonia Jane Anne Mehra
January-June 2012, 1(1):62-65
DOI:10.4103/2249-4863.94456  PMID:24479005
The past 6 years have seen the worldwide emergence of movements lead by New and Future Family/General Practitioners. The main aim of these movements is the promotion of excellence in the field of family medicine/general practice to respond the challenges pertaining to Global Health. This article will discuss some of the work being done worldwide, and in particularly in South Asia, in the context of The Spice Route movement. At the end of the article, details of the next steps to be taken and of ways in which interested parties can get involved are given.
  2,728 301 -
Revisiting endosulfan
Dilip Gude, Dharam Pal Bansal
January-June 2012, 1(1):76-78
DOI:10.4103/2249-4863.94460  PMID:24479009
Endosulfan toxicity could precipitate gargantuan jeopardy and may result in irreversible and fatal damage. The spectrum of involvement may range from mild nausea, vomiting, and anxiety to intractable seizures and multiorgan damage resulting in death. We report a case of endosulfan poisoning complicated by multi-organ dysfunction, cardiac arrest, and death.
  2,599 336 3
Urinary estrogen levels in women on contraceptives in Enugu, South-East Nigeria
Ignatius C Maduka, Francis E Ezeonu, Emeka E Neboh, Elvis N Shu, Ebele J Ikekpeazu
January-June 2012, 1(1):39-42
DOI:10.4103/2249-4863.94450  PMID:24478999
Background: Substantial evidence supports a causal relationship between the risk of human breast cancer and levels of endogenous estrogens. Aim: To evaluate the urinary estrogen of women on contraceptives and also compare the levels in two different classes of contraceptives; hence, the possible predisposition of such women to the risk of breast cancer. Setting and Design: Urinary estrogen level was evaluated in 84 women attending family planning clinic in University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital Enugu, Nigeria, who have been on contraceptive device for 10 years or less (≤10 years). They were aged between 21 and 50 years and were divide into three groups (21-30 years, 31-40 years, and >40 years). The control group consisted of 30 age-matched apparently-healthy women who were not on any contraceptive device. Materials and Methods: Estrogen was analyzed using Ecologenia; Estrogen (E1/E2/E3) microplate enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kit, Batch No. T2GR4, from Japan Envirochemicals Ltd, Japan. Statistical Analysis Used: Significant differences between means were determined by two-tailed Student's t-test using graph pad prism computer software program. Result: There was a statistically significant increase (P=0.0462), in the mean urinary estrogen level of women on contraceptives when compared with the control. The highest amount of estrogen was excreted by the women in the 21-30 years age group. When the contraceptive devices were divided into two classes of intra-uterine device and oral/injectables, there was no statistical difference (P=0.8112) in the mean urinary estrogen output of the women. Conclusion: The synthetic estrogen content of contraceptive device most probably contributed to the level excreted in the urine. The increased estrogen output observed in women on contraceptive device was not dependent on the class of contraceptive device used.
  2,431 336 -
Hyperglycemia: An unusual cause for hemichorea
S Harsha, AN Aparna
January-June 2012, 1(1):74-75
DOI:10.4103/2249-4863.94459  PMID:24479008
Hemichoreais a rare neurologic disorder due to oxidative stress leading to neurodegenerationof the dentate nuclei and striata. It is rarely observed in diabetes. One such case occurring in an adult female diabetic is described here.
  2,160 405 2