Study of an epidemic of venoocclusive disease in India.
Twenty-five cases of rapidly developing ascites occurring in an epidemic form were observed in a tribal district in Central India during August 1972-May 1973. Eleven of the patients died. Six patients were brought to hospital and studied for periods of two to 17 months. Necropsy was performed on one patient who died. The clinical features suggested an outflow tract obstruction such as a Budd-Chiari-like syndrome or venoocclusive disease. Radiographic and haemodynamic studies demonstrated a combination of post and perisinusoidal blocks. Liver dysfunction was indicated by the presence of a marked bromsulphthalein retention and mild to moderate hypoalbuminaemia. Histological examination of the liver biopsies showed changes that ranged from centrizonal haemorrhagic necrosis to an extensive centrilobular fibrosis associated with central vein occlusion. The disease was apparently caused by a food toxin, and the possible nature of this is discussed. (+info)
Post-traumatic epilepsy: its complications and impact on occupational rehabilitation--an epidemiological study from India.
The objective of this study was to assess the prevalence of seizure disorder, neuropsychiatric disorders and reproductive outcome of employees with post-traumatic epilepsy (PTE) and their effect on occupational rehabilitation. A case-comparison group study design was used to compare 30 subjects with PTE with (1) 129 non-PTE and (2) 55 non-PTE matched control employees. The 55 non-PTE matched controls were selected from the 129 non-PTE employees on the basis of age, age at onset of seizure, age at marriage and length of employment. The PTE group had a lower fertility rate than the controls and more neuropsychiatric disorders and seizure disability. PTE employees were more occupationally rehabilitated than non-PTE employees (p = 0.033). Of the 30 PTE subjects, thirteen who were rehabilitated by placement had more seizure disability (p = 0.007) and a higher fertility rate (p = 0.018). High prevalence of seizure disability and increased fertility rate among the placed PTE employees suggested that there might be some association between severity of seizures and increased production of live offspring and work placement. Work suitability or placement should not be judged on clinical assessment only but psychosocial seizure assessment, disability evaluation and other psychometric tests which are of equal importance. (+info)
Immunoglobulin subclass distribution and diagnostic value of Leishmania donovani antigen-specific immunoglobulin G3 in Indian kala-azar patients.
Visceral leishmaniasis, or kala-azar, a fatal tropical disease, remains problematic, as early diagnosis is difficult and treatment often results in drug resistance and relapse. We have developed a sensitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), using leishmanial membrane antigenic extracts (LAg) to detect specific antibody responses in 25 untreated Indian visceral leishmaniasis patients. To investigate the pathogenetic significance of isotype markers in kala-azar, relative levels of specific immunoglobulin G (IgG), IgM, IgA, IgE, and IgG subclasses were analyzed under clinically established diseased conditions. Since LAg showed higher sensitivity for specific IgG than lysate, the immunoglobulin isotype responses were evaluated, with LAg as antigen. Compared to 60 controls, which included patients with malaria, tuberculosis, leprosy, and typhoid and healthy subjects, visceral leishmaniasis patients showed significantly higher IgG (100% sensitivity, 85% specificity), IgM (48% sensitivity, 100% specificity), and IgE (44% sensitivity, 98.3% specificity) responses. Low levels of IgA in visceral leishmaniasis patients contrasted with a 13-fold-higher reactivity in sera from patients with leprosy. Among IgG subclasses, IgG1, -3, and -4 responses were significantly higher in visceral leishmaniasis patients than in the controls. IgG2 response, however, was significantly higher (twofold) in leprosy than even visceral leishmaniasis patients. The rank orders for sensitivity (IgG = IgG1 = IgG3 = IgG4 > IgG2 > IgM > IgE > IgA) and specificity (IgM = IgG3 > IgE > IgG4 > IgG2 > IgG > IgG1 > IgA) for LAg-specific antibody responses suggest the potentiality of IgG3 as a diagnostic marker for visceral leishmaniasis. (+info)
Changing trends in barriers to cataract surgery in India.
Cataract is a major cause of blindness in Asia. Efforts in India to provide cataract surgical services have had limited success in reaching the cataract-blind population. Earlier studies identified the major barriers to cataract surgery as poverty, lack of transportation or felt need, or sex related; and the critical barriers in rural areas as lack of awareness, difficult access, and cost. Compared with these earlier data, the results of the present study in Karnataka State indicate a shift in the character of the barriers. They now appear to be more related to case selection and service provision. These shifts are analysed and alternative strategies to increase the uptake to cataract surgery are recommended. (+info)
The efforts of WHO and Pugwash to eliminate chemical and biological weapons--a memoir.
The World Health Organization and the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs (Nobel Peace Prize 1995) have been involved in questions concerning chemical and biological arms since the early 1950s. This memoir reviews a number of milestones in the efforts of these organizations to achieve the elimination of these weapons through international treaties effectively monitored and enforced for adherence to their provisions. It also highlights a number of outstanding personalities who were involved in the efforts to establish and implement the two major treaties now in effect, the Biological Weapons Convention of 1972 and the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993. (+info)
Causes of corneal graft failure in India.
The success of corneal grafting in visual rehabilitation of the corneal blind in India depends on survival of the grafts. Understanding the causes of graft failure may help reduce the risk of failure. We studied these causes in a series of 638 graft failures at our institution. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to evaluate the association of particular causes of graft failure with indications for grafting, socioeconomic status, age, sex, host corneal vascularization, donor corneal quality, and experience of surgeon. The major causes of graft failure were allograft rejection (29.2%), increased intraocular pressure (16.9%), infection excluding endophthalmitis (15.4%), and surface problems (12.7%). The odds of infection causing graft failure were significantly higher in patients of lower socioeconomic status (odds ratio 2.45, 95% CI 1.45-4.15). Surface problems as a cause of graft failure was significantly associated with grafts done for corneal scarring or for regrafts (odds ratio 3.36, 95% CI 1.80-6.30). Increased intraocular pressure as a cause of graft failure had significant association with grafts done for aphakic or pseudophakic bullous keratopathy, congenital conditions or glaucoma, or regrafts (odds ratio 2.19, 95% CI 1.25-3.84). Corneal dystrophy was the indication for grafting in 12 of the 13 cases of graft failure due to recurrence of host disease. Surface problems, increased intraocular pressure, and infection are modifiable risk factors that are more likely to cause graft failure in certain categories of patients in India. Knowledge about these associations can be helpful in looking for and aggressively treating these modifiable risk factors in the at-risk categories of corneal graft patients. This can possibly reduce the chance of graft failure. (+info)
Economic burden of blindness in India.
Economic analysis is one way to determine the allocation of scarce resources for health-care programs. The initial step in this process is to estimate in economic terms the burden of diseases and the benefit from interventions for prevention and treatment of these diseases. In this paper, the direct and indirect economic loss due to blindness in India is calculated on the basis of certain assumptions. The cost of treating cataract blindness in India is estimated at current prices. The economic burden of blindness in India for the year 1997 based on our assumptions is Rs. 159 billion (US$ 4.4 billion), and the cumulative loss over lifetime of the blind is Rs. 2,787 billion (US$ 77.4 billion). Childhood blindness accounts for 28.7% of this lifetime loss. The cost of treating all cases of cataract blindness in India is Rs. 5.3 billion (US$ 0.15 billion). Similar estimates for causes of blindness other than cataract have to be made in order to develop a comprehensive approach to deal with blindness in India. (+info)
Micro-level planning using rapid assessment for primary health care services.
This paper describes the use of a rapid assessment technique in micro-level planning for primary health care services which has been developed in India. This methodology involves collecting household-level data through a quick sample survey to estimate client needs, coverage of services and unmet need, and using this data to formulate micro-level plans aimed at improving service coverage and quality for a primary health centre area. Analysis of the data helps to identify village level variations in unmet need and develop village profiles from which general interventions for overall improvement of service coverage and targeted interventions for selected villages are identified. A PHC area plan is developed based on such interventions. This system was tried out in 113 villages of three PHC centres of a district in Gujarat state of India. It demonstrated the feasibility and utility of this approach. However, it also revealed the barriers in the institutionalization of the system on a wider scale. The proposed micro-level planning methodology using rapid assessment would improve client-responsiveness of the health care system and provide a basis for increased decentralization. By focusing attention on under-served areas, it would promote equity in the use of health services. It would also help improve efficiency by making it possible to focus efforts on a small group of villages which account for most of the unmet need for services in an area. Thus the proposed methodology seems to be a feasible and an attractive alternative to the current top-down, target-based health planning in India. (+info)