Religious beliefs about causes and treatment of epilepsy.
BACKGROUND: It has been acknowledged that religious and complementary therapies are commonly used among South Asian communities in the UK. However, little is known about their religious beliefs in relation to epilepsy and the type of South Asian therapies that they use to treat the condition. AIM: To explore the influences of spiritual and religious beliefs on explanation of the cause of epilepsy, and the choice of treatment in people of South Asian origin who have epilepsy. DESIGN OF STUDY: Qualitative study using interviews with patients, carers, health professionals, and focus groups of people from minority ethnic communities. SETTING: Bradford and Leeds. METHOD: Semi-structured individual interviews with 20 Muslims, six Sikhs, and four Hindus with epilepsy; 16 nominated carers (family members, friends); 10 health professionals (specialist GPs, neurologists, specialists nurses, social workers, community GPs); and two focus groups with a total of 16 South Asians without epilepsy. RESULTS: It was found that over half of responders attributed their illness to fate and the will of God, or as punishment for sins of a past life. Some patients had experienced prejudice from people who believed that their epilepsy was contagious. A strong network of traditional healers was found, providing a parallel system of health care in the UK and on the Indian subcontinent. People turned to religiospiritual treatments in desperation for a cure, often under the influence of their families after the perceived failure of Western medicine. Such treatments were viewed as complementary rather than as an alternative to Western medication. Younger people in particular expressed considerable scepticism about the effectiveness of these traditional South Asian treatments. CONCLUSIONS: In this study's South Asian sample, patients commonly turned to traditional healers in search of better health. Health professionals should be aware of the belief systems of these patients and understand the types of treatments in common use. Although these treatments might potentially compete with Western health care, they are used as an adjunct rather than a substitute. Patients have a 'healthy' scepticism about the effectiveness of such treatments, and adherence to medical therapy does not appear to be affected. (+info)
Vulnerability and access to care for South Asian Sikh and Muslim patients with life limiting illness in Scotland: prospective longitudinal qualitative study.
Clinico-etiologic correlates of onychomycosis in Sikkim.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: The etiological spectrum of any superficial mycosis is largely dependent on the flora in the immediate environment of the individual. It is influenced by the geographic, climatic and occupational factors. The study is basically to formulate baseline data for the species prevalence of various dermatophytes in patients with onychomycosis attending the Central Referral Hospital, Gangtok, Sikkim. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Thirty-four clinically suspected cases of onychomycosis were subjected to mycological studies. RESULTS: Thirty-two (94.12%) cases were positive for fungal elements by direct microscopy and 28 (82.35%) by culture. Young adults in the age group of 21-30 years were mainly affected. The male:female ratio was 1.125:1. Dermatophytes were isolated in 18 cases (64.29%). Trichophyton tonsurans (44.44%) was the most common isolate followed by T. mentagrophytes (22.22%), T. rubrum (11.11%), T. verrucosum (11.11%) and Microsporum audouinii (11.11%). Apart from dermatophytes, Aspergillus niger (21.43%) and Penicillium marneffei (14.28%) were also isolated. CONCLUSION: Dermatophytes, mainly T. tonsurans, as well as moulds other than dermatophytes were isolated from onychomycosis patients in Gangtok, Sikkim. (+info)
Nasopharyngeal carcinoma in the Northeastern states of India.
Nasopharyngeal cancer (NPC) is a rare disease in most parts of the world, except for Southeast Asia, some parts of North Africa and the Arctic. It is mostly seen in people of Chinese origin. In India, NPC is also rare, except for the Hill States of Northeast India, particularly Nagaland, Manipur, and Mizoram. The striking feature of NPC in Northeast India is that the incidence ranges over the complete spectrum from the lowest (as 0.5/100 000 to 2.0/100 000 among Caucasoid) to the highest (as about 20/100 000 among Cantonese/Zhongshan dialect Chinese). The age-adjusted rate of NPC in Kohima district of Nagaland State is 19.4/100 000, which is among the highest recorded rates. By contrast, in Assam, one of the so-called Hill States but not itself a hilly state, NPC is much less common. The Northeastern region is distinguished by a preponderance of the Tibeto-Burman languages and by variable mongoloid features among peoples of the region. The nature of the migratory populations who are presumed to be bearers of the mongoloid risk is unknown, but these NPC occurrence features provide an outstanding opportunity for NPC risk investigation, such as that of the hypothesis of Wee et al. for westward displacement of Chinese aborigines following the last glacial maximum. (+info)
A case series and review of sporotrichosis in Sikkim.
Sporotrichosis caused by the fungus Sporothrix schenckii has been widely reported from the northern Himalayan belt and the north eastern region of India. Three autochthonous cases of lymphocutaneous sporotrichosis from east and south districts of Sikkim are reported. Fluid aspirate from the nodulo-ulcerative lesions were sent for cytology and fungal culture. S. schenckii was isolated on culture and cytological examination in all three cases showed granulomatous reaction. Thermal dimorphism was demonstrated and animal pathogenicity testing was performed. Saturated solution of potassium iodide was used for treatment and the last case was treated with itraconazole and potassium iodide. Awareness of this disease and an extensive environmental study is required to understand the actual burden of this disease. (+info)
Elevational gradients in bird diversity in the Eastern Himalaya: an evaluation of distribution patterns and their underlying mechanisms.
We present five cases of paediatric Scrub typhus from Community Health Centre, Namchi, South Sikkim emphasize timely diagnosis of scrub typhus for appropriate management. Response to doxycycline was good, with fever subsiding within 48-72 hrs of starting the treatment. Four out of five cases completely recovered once appropriate medication was given. (+info)