ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Epidemics and Infectious DiseasesSubscribe to Epidemics and Infectious Diseases

Barriers to Antiretroviral Therapy Adherence

Strict adherence to treatment is critical for the effective management of HIV. Research suggests that adherence to treatment should be greater than 95% for maximum benefit from antiretroviral therapy. However, observation at one of India’s 355 ART centres identified several barriers to adherence, including shortage of drugs and CD4 test kits.

At the Brunt of Tuberculosis

Why is India firefighting tuberculosis without adequate data surveillance?

Politics of the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme

There is documentary evidence of the degeneration of the scientific basis of dealing with tubercul0sis as a public health problem in India. The outstanding research on TB in the past must not be forgotten by the authors of "Resource Optimisation for Tuberculosis Elimination in India" (EPW, 7 May 2016).

Information on Polio Cases

The National Polio Surveillance Project (NPSP) is currently the only agency or organisation which collects information regarding any child up to the age of 15 years who develops paralysis, is labelled as acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) case and is investigated to establish the cause of paralysis...

Resource Optimisation for Tuberculosis Elimination in India

The World Health Organization's "End TB Strategy," envisages a tuberculosis free world, with a target to end the TB epidemic by 2035. For this, its member states, including India, have to secure sufficient resources. Despite India's high economic growth in an otherwise gloomy global economy, it struggles with a resource crunch to support its national strategic plan for effective TB control.

Vector Control Operations to Deal with Malaria

Although India had some successes in controlling malaria from the time of independence, it still faces a substantial socio-economic burden from this disease. This paper presents a case study of a highly endemic primary health centre with an annual parasite incidence of 30.9 in the tribal regions of Andhra Pradesh. It reviews the various operations involved in vector control methods like bed nets, insecticide spraying and anti-larval operations. Based on the data available with the health functionaries and household level surveys, it makes operational suggestions to improve the efficacy of control measures. It finds that the current focus is heavily skewed towards surveillance for malaria-affected patients with inadequate attention for vector control methods of malaria prevention. Ensuring the adoption of vector control methods by the community will yield rich dividends in curtailing the malarial transmission process.

Emerging Diseases and Socio-spatial Disparities

In less than two decades, new viruses that were thought to have been controlled have re-emerged worldwide. Socially disadvantaged individuals and urban health inequities may help spread such diseases. Just as social sciences originally used diseases as a powerful prism to study inequalities in urban areas, there is now a case for using social sciences to analyse and solve global health issues.

Diphtheria Deaths in Kerala

The diphtheria deaths in Kerala have shown the signs of a public health crisis. If it is not tackled through action and awareness then it may have far-reaching consequences and demean the much-acclaimed Kerala model of health.

Fish in the Time of Malaria

A visit to the District Malaria Officer’s premises reveals that the National Malaria Control Programme could well be upset by urchins stealing larvae-eating fish to make pakoras.

Politics of Immunisation

The health ministry's move on HPV vaccine feasibility is ill-advised.

Ebola Virus Disease

The Ebola virus disease, which spread in four West African countries, brought to light the feeble health governance system not only in these countries but also at the global level. Weak health infrastructure, resource crunch, non-viability of preventive and curative medication, and distrust of foreign interventions among people not only aggravated the crisis but also led to a schizophrenic portrayal of the disease across the world. A lack of any preventive medication for Ebola--despite a history of recurrence over the last four decades--is a big question confronting health research communities, pharmaceutical companies and global health governing agencies. The recent outbreak of Ebola and a global security threat perception associated with the disease have given rise to many debates, one of them being the debate on medical ethics in a public health emergency. All the ethical issues related with the unavailability of medication, launch of untested medicine in affected areas and also the delay in decision-making and response are the core arguments which this article tries to analyse.

Bat Hunts and Disease Outbreaks

Natural hosts of some of the most deadly emerging viruses such as Ebola, bats are harvested in an annual ritual by a Naga Tribe in Nagaland. This practice, endangering both public health and biodiversity, can lead to the emergence of novel infectious diseases. A concerted and multipronged effort will have to made by governments, especially in developing countries, where the contact between wildlife and humans is more intense, to prevent, contain and respond to the emerging zoonotic diseases.

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