ResearchPad - sri-lanka https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[A descriptive cross sectional study comparing barriers and determinants of physical activity of Sri Lankan middle aged and older adults]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7830 Benefits of physical activities are numerous. Barriers for physical exercise may differ among middle aged and older adults. Therefore, identifying and comparing the barriers for participating in regular physical exercises among middle aged and older adults will be useful in designing age specific physical exercise programmes.MethodsThis descriptive cross sectional study was carried out among 206 Sri Lankan adults in the age range of 40–84 years in the Colombo North region of Sri Lanka using culturally validated questionnaires to determine and compare the barriers and factors associated with regular physical activity participation. Majority were males (56%) and 54% were < 60 years. People in the age range of 40–59 years were considered as middle age and ≥ 60 years as older adults. Bivariate analysis and multivariate analysis was carried out to determine the significant factors that are associated with regular physical activity participation.ResultsLack of free time (52%), feeling too lazy (26%) and bad weather (29%) were the main barriers for the participants. In < 60 years, high level of income (p = 0.008) and in ≥ 60 years, being a male (p = 0.016), having a high level of education (P = 0.002) and a high BMI (p = 0.002) had a significant negative association with the level of physical activities.ConclusionsContrary to findings from surveys in several developed countries, this study showed that having a high level of education and being a male were strongly related with lack of physical activity participation. ]]> <![CDATA[Severe Dengue Epidemic, Sri Lanka, 2017]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nfa97942f-7a82-4890-8590-e4166505e31c

In 2017, a dengue epidemic of unexpected magnitude occurred in Sri Lanka. A total of 186,101 suspected cases and 440 dengue-related deaths occurred. We conducted a comprehensive analysis of this epidemic by comparing national surveillance data for 2017 with data from the preceding 5 years. In all Sri Lanka districts, dengue incidence in 2017 increased significantly over incidence during the previous 5 years. Older schoolchildren and young adults were more clinically symptomatic than those at extremes of age. Limited virologic surveillance showed the dominant circulating variant was dengue virus type 2 cosmopolitan genotype in the most affected district. One quarter of total annual cases were reported 5 weeks after the southwest monsoon started. Changes in vector abundance were not predictive of the increased incidence. Direct government expenditures on dengue control activities in 2017 were US $12.7 million. The lessons learned from this outbreak are useful for other tropical nations facing increasing dengue incidence.

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<![CDATA[The Cost of War on Public Health: An Exploratory Method for Understanding the Impact of Conflict on Public Health in Sri Lanka]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da75ab0ee8fa60b96361

Purpose

The direct impact of protracted conflict on population health and development is well understood. However, the extent of a war's impact on long-term health, and the opportunity costs, are less well understood. This research sought to overcome this gap by asking whether or not health outcomes in Sri Lanka would have been better in the absence of a 26-year war than they were in the presence of war.

Methods

A counterfactual model of national and district-level health outcomes was created for Sri Lanka for the period 1982 to 2002. At the national level, the model examined life expectancy, infant mortality rate (IMR), and maternal mortality ratios (MMR). At the district level, it looked at IMR and MMR. The model compared outcomes generated by the counterfactual model to actual obtained health outcomes. It looked at the rate of change and absolute values.

Results

The analysis demonstrated that war altered both rate of change and absolute health outcomes for the worse. The impact was most clearly evident at the district level. IMR was poorer than predicted in 10 districts; of these 8 were outside of the conflict zone. The MMR was worse than expected in 11 districts of which 9 were not in the conflict zone. Additionally, the rate of improvement in IMR slowed as a result of war in 16 districts whereas the rate of improvement in MMR slowed in 9.

Conclusion

This project showed that protracted conflict degraded the trajectory of public health in Sri Lanka and hurt population health outside of the conflict zone. It further provided a novel methodology with which to better understand the indirect impact of conflict on population health by comparing what is to what could have been achieved in the absence of war. In so doing, this research responded to two public health challenges by providing a tool through which to better understand the human and opportunity costs of war and by answering a call for new methodologies.

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<![CDATA[Gestational diabetes mellitus and risk of type 2 diabetes 10 years after the index pregnancy in Sri Lankan women—A community based retrospective cohort study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5fab0ee8fa60be1208

Background

Women with a history of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) have an increased risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) later in life compared to women with no GDM. This study was aimed to determine the risk of developing T2DM 10 years after GDM in Sri Lankan women.

Methods

A retrospective cohort study was conducted in the Colombo district, Sri Lanka. 7205 women who delivered a child in 2005 were identified through Public Health Midwives in the field. Women with antenatal records were interviewed and relevant data were extracted from medical records to identify potential participants. One hundred and nineteen women who had GDM and 240 women who did not have GDM were recruited. Current diagnosis of diabetes was based on history, relevant medical records and blood reports within the past 1 year.

Results

The mean duration of follow up was 10.9 (SD = 0.35) years in the GDM group and 10.8 (SD = 0.31) years in the non-GDM group. The incidence density of diabetes in the GDM group was 56.3 per 1000 person years compared to 5.4 per 1000 person years in non GDM group giving a rate ratio of 10.42 (95% CI: 6.01–19.12). A woman having GDM in the index pregnancy was 10.6 times more likely to develop diabetes within 10 years compared to women with no GDM after controlling for other confounding variables. Delivering a child after 30 years, being treated with insulin during the pregnancy and delivering a baby weighing more than 3.5 Kg were significant predictors of development of T2DM after controlling for family history of diabetes mellitus (DM), GDM in previous pregnancies, parity and gestational age at delivery.

Conclusions

Women with GDM had a 10-fold higher risk of developing T2DM during a 10-year follow up period as compared to women with no GDM after controlling for other confounding variables.

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<![CDATA[Prevalence of G6PD deficiency in selected populations from two previously high malaria endemic areas of Sri Lanka]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db51ab0ee8fa60bdc46e

Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase (G6PD) enzyme deficiency is known to offer protection against malaria and an increased selection of mutant genes in malaria endemic regions is expected. However, anti-malarial drugs such as primaquine can cause haemolytic anaemia in persons with G6PD deficiency. We studied the extent of G6PD deficiency in selected persons attending Teaching Hospitals of Anuradhapura and Kurunegala, two previously high malaria endemic districts in Sri Lanka. A total of 2059 filter-paper blood spots collected between November 2013 and June 2014 were analysed for phenotypic G6PD deficiency using the modified WST-8/1-methoxy PMS method. Each assay was conducted with a set of controls and the colour development assessed visually as well as with a microplate reader at OD450-630nm. Overall, 142/1018 (13.95%) and 83/1041 (7.97%) were G6PD deficient in Anuradhapura and Kurunegala districts respectively. The G6PD prevalence was significantly greater in Anuradhapura when compared to Kurunegala (P<0.0001). Surprisingly, females were equally affected as males in each district: 35/313 (11.18%) males and 107/705 (15.18%) females were affected in Anuradhapura (P = 0.089); 25/313 (7.99%) males and 58/728 (7.97%) females were affected in Kurunegala (P = 0.991). Prevalence was greater among females in Anuradhapura than in Kurunegala (P<0.05), while no such difference was observed between the males (P>0.05). Severe deficiency (<10% normal) was seen among 28/1018 (2.75%) in Anuradhapura (7 males; 21 females) and 17/1041 (1.63%) in Kurunegala (7 males; 10 females). Enzyme activity between 10–30% was observed among 114/1018 (11.20%; 28 males; 86 females) in Anuradhapura while it was 66/1041 (6.34%; 18 males; 48 females) in Kurunegala. Screening and educational programmes for G6PD deficiency are warranted in these high risk areas irrespective of gender for the prevention of disease states related to this condition.

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<![CDATA[Emergence of Epidemic Dengue-1 Virus in the Southern Province of Sri Lanka]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dad1ab0ee8fa60bb664a

Background

Dengue is a frequent cause of acute febrile illness with an expanding global distribution. Since the 1960s, dengue in Sri Lanka has been documented primarily along the heavily urbanized western coast with periodic shifting of serotypes. Outbreaks from 2005–2008 were attributed to a new clade of DENV-3 and more recently to a newly introduced genotype of DENV-1. In 2007, we conducted etiologic surveillance of acute febrile illness in the Southern Province and confirmed dengue in only 6.3% of febrile patients, with no cases of DENV-1 identified. To re-evaluate the importance of dengue as an etiology of acute febrile illness in this region, we renewed fever surveillance in the Southern Province to newly identify and characterize dengue.

Methodology/Principal Findings

A cross-sectional surveillance study was conducted at the largest tertiary care hospital in the Southern Province from 2012–2013. A total of 976 patients hospitalized with acute undifferentiated fever were enrolled, with 64.3% male and 31.4% children. Convalescent blood samples were collected from 877 (89.6%). Dengue virus isolation, dengue RT-PCR, and paired IgG ELISA were performed. Acute dengue was confirmed as the etiology for 388 (39.8%) of 976 hospitalizations, with most cases (291, 75.0%) confirmed virologically and by multiple methods. Among 351 cases of virologically confirmed dengue, 320 (91.2%) were due to DENV-1. Acute dengue was associated with self-reported rural residence, travel, and months having greatest rainfall. Sequencing of selected dengue viruses revealed that sequences were most closely related to those described from China and Southeast Asia, not nearby India.

Conclusions/Significance

We describe the first epidemic of DENV-1 in the Southern Province of Sri Lanka in a population known to be susceptible to this serotype because of prior study. Dengue accounted for 40% of acute febrile illnesses in the current study. The emergence of DENV-1 as the foremost serotype in this densely populated but agrarian population highlights the changing epidemiology of dengue and the need for continued surveillance and prevention.

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<![CDATA[Clinical and Pharmacological Investigation of Myotoxicity in Sri Lankan Russell’s Viper (Daboia russelii) Envenoming]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da9fab0ee8fa60ba5340

Background

Sri Lankan Russell’s viper (Daboia russelii) envenoming is reported to cause myotoxicity and neurotoxicity, which are different to the effects of envenoming by most other populations of Russell’s vipers. This study aimed to investigate evidence of myotoxicity in Russell’s viper envenoming, response to antivenom and the toxins responsible for myotoxicity.

Methodology and Findings

Clinical features of myotoxicity were assessed in authenticated Russell’s viper bite patients admitted to a Sri Lankan teaching hospital. Toxins were isolated using high-performance liquid chromatography. In-vitro myotoxicity of the venom and toxins was investigated in chick biventer nerve-muscle preparations. Of 245 enrolled patients, 177 (72.2%) had local myalgia and 173 (70.6%) had local muscle tenderness. Generalized myalgia and muscle tenderness were present in 35 (14.2%) and 29 (11.8%) patients, respectively. Thirty-seven patients had high (>300 U/l) serum creatine kinase (CK) concentrations in samples 24h post-bite (median: 666 U/l; maximum: 1066 U/l). Peak venom and 24h CK concentrations were not associated (Spearman’s correlation; p = 0.48). The 24h CK concentrations differed in patients without myotoxicity (median 58 U/l), compared to those with local (137 U/l) and generalised signs/symptoms of myotoxicity (107 U/l; p = 0.049). Venom caused concentration-dependent inhibition of direct twitches in the chick biventer cervicis nerve-muscle preparation, without completely abolishing direct twitches after 3 h even at 80 μg/ml. Indian polyvalent antivenom did not prevent in-vitro myotoxicity at recommended concentrations. Two phospholipase A2 toxins with molecular weights of 13kDa, U1-viperitoxin-Dr1a (19.2% of venom) and U1-viperitoxin-Dr1b (22.7% of venom), concentration dependently inhibited direct twitches in the chick biventer cervicis nerve-muscle preparation. At 3 μM, U1-viperitoxin-Dr1a abolished twitches, while U1-viperitoxin-Dr1b caused 70% inhibition of twitch force after 3h. Removal of both toxins from whole venom resulted in no in-vitro myotoxicity.

Conclusion

The study shows that myotoxicity in Sri Lankan Russell’s viper envenoming is mild and non-life threatening, and due to two PLA2 toxins with weak myotoxic properties.

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<![CDATA[Intimate partner violence in the post-war context: Women’s experiences and community leaders’ perceptions in the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db51ab0ee8fa60bdc23c

Background

Exposure to armed conflict and/or war have been linked to an increase in intimate partner violence (IPV) against women. A substantial body of work has focused on non-partner rape and sexual violence in war and post-war contexts, but research about IPV is limited, particularly in Asian settings. This paper presents the finding of a study conducted in the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka. The study explored women’s experiences of and responses to IPV as well as how health and social service providers perceive the problem. It also explored the IPV-related services and supports available after the end of a 30-year civil war.

Method

We conducted in-depth, qualitative interviews with 15 women who had experienced IPV and 15 service providers who were knowledgeable about IPV in the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka. Interviews were translated into English, coded and organized using NVivo8, and analyzed using inductive thematic analysis.

Results

Participants described IPV as a widespread but hidden problem. Women had experienced various forms of abusive and controlling behaviours, some of which reflect the reality of living in the post-war context. The psychological effects of IPV were common, but were often attributed to war-related trauma. Some men used violence to control women and to reinstate power when their gender roles were reversed or challenged due to war and post-war changes in livelihoods. While some service providers perceived an increase in awareness about IPV and more services to address it, this was discordant with women’s fears, feelings of oppression, and perception of a lack of redress from IPV within a highly militarized and ethnically-polarized society. Most women did not consider leaving an abusive relationship to be an option, due to realistic fears about their vulnerability to community violence, the widespread social norms that would cast them as outsiders, and the limited availability of related services and supports.

Implications

These findings revealed the need for more research about IPV in post-war contexts. Women’s experiences in such contexts are influenced and may be masked by a complex set of factors that intersect to produce IPV and entrap women in violence. A more nuanced understanding of the context-specific issues that shape women’s experiences of IPV- and community responses to it—is needed to develop more comprehensive solutions that are relevant to the local context.

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<![CDATA[Programmatic Use of Molecular Xenomonitoring at the Level of Evaluation Units to Assess Persistence of Lymphatic Filariasis in Sri Lanka]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daf8ab0ee8fa60bc38eb

Background

Sri Lanka’s Anti Filariasis Campaign distributed 5 rounds of mass drug administration (MDA with DEC plus albendazole) to all endemic regions in the country from 2002–2006. Post-MDA surveillance results have generally been encouraging. However, recent studies have documented low level persistence of Wuchereria bancrofti in Galle district based on comprehensive surveys that include molecular xenomonitoring (MX, detection of filarial DNA in mosquitoes) results. The purposes of this study were to demonstrate the use of MX in large evaluation units (EUs) and to field test different mosquito sampling schemes.

Methodology/Principal Findings

Galle district (population 1.1 million) was divided into two EUs. These included a coastal EU with known persistent LF and an inland EU with little persistent LF. Mosquitoes were systematically sampled from ~300 trap locations in 30 randomly selected clusters (health administrative units) per EU. Approximately 28,000 Culex quinquefasciatus were collected with gravid traps and tested for filarial DNA by qPCR. 92/625 pools (14.7%) from the coastal EU and 8/583 pools (1.4%) from the inland EU were positive for filarial DNA. Maximum likelihood estimates (MLE) for filarial DNA rates were essentially the same when the same number of mosquito pools were collected and tested from 75, 150, or 300 trap sites (range 0.61–0.78% for the coastal EU and 0.04–0.07% for the inland EU). The ability to use a smaller number of trap sites reduces the cost and time required for mosquito sampling.

Conclusions/Significance

These results suggest there is widespread persistence of W. bancrofti infection in the coastal Galle EU 8 years after the last round of MDA in 2006, and this is consistent with other data from the district. This study has shown that MX can be used by national programs to assess and map the persistence of W. bancrofti at the level of large EUs in areas with Culex transmission.

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<![CDATA[Laboratory-Enhanced Dengue Sentinel Surveillance in Colombo District, Sri Lanka: 2012-2014]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da85ab0ee8fa60b9c141

Introduction

Dengue has emerged as a significant public health problem in Sri Lanka. Historically surveillance was passive, with mandatory dengue notifications based on clinical diagnosis with only limited laboratory confirmation. To obtain more accurate data on the disease burden of dengue, we set up a laboratory-based enhanced sentinel surveillance system in Colombo District. Here we describe the study design and report our findings of enhanced surveillance in the years 2012–2014.

Methods

Three outpatient clinics and three government hospitals in Colombo District that covered most of the Colombo metropolitan area were selected for the sentinel surveillance system. Up to 60 patients per week presenting with an undifferentiated fever were enrolled. Acute blood samples from each patient were tested by dengue specific PCR, NS1 ELISA and IgM ELISA. A sub-set of samples was sent to Duke-NUS Singapore for quality assurance, virus isolation and serotyping. Trained medical research assistants used a standardized case report form to record clinical and epidemiological data. Clinical diagnoses by the clinicians-in-charge were recorded for hospitalized cases.

Results

Of 3,127 febrile cases, 43.6% were PCR and/or NS1 positive for dengue. A high proportion of lab confirmed dengue was observed from inpatients (IPD) (53.9%) compared to outpatient (clinics in hospitals and general practice) (7.6%). Dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) was diagnosed in 11% of patients at the time of first contact, and the median day of illness at time of presentation to the sentinel sites was 4. Dengue serotype 1 was responsible for 85% of the cases and serotype 4 for 15%. The sensitivity and specificity of the clinicians’ presumptive diagnosis of dengue was 84% and 34%, respectively.

Conclusion

DENV-1, and to a lesser degree DENV-4, infection were responsible for a high proportion of febrile illnesses in Colombo in the years 2012 to 2014. Clinicians’ diagnoses were associated with high sensitivity, but laboratory confirmation is required to enhance specificity.

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<![CDATA[Mapping the Risk of Snakebite in Sri Lanka - A National Survey with Geospatial Analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daf9ab0ee8fa60bc3ddf

Background

There is a paucity of robust epidemiological data on snakebite, and data available from hospitals and localized or time-limited surveys have major limitations. No study has investigated the incidence of snakebite across a whole country. We undertook a community-based national survey and model based geostatistics to determine incidence, envenoming, mortality and geographical pattern of snakebite in Sri Lanka.

Methodology/Principal Findings

The survey was designed to sample a population distributed equally among the nine provinces of the country. The number of data collection clusters was divided among districts in proportion to their population. Within districts clusters were randomly selected. Population based incidence of snakebite and significant envenoming were estimated. Model-based geostatistics was used to develop snakebite risk maps for Sri Lanka. 1118 of the total of 14022 GN divisions with a population of 165665 (0.8%of the country’s population) were surveyed. The crude overall community incidence of snakebite, envenoming and mortality were 398 (95% CI: 356–441), 151 (130–173) and 2.3 (0.2–4.4) per 100000 population, respectively. Risk maps showed wide variation in incidence within the country, and snakebite hotspots and cold spots were determined by considering the probability of exceeding the national incidence.

Conclusions/Significance

This study provides community based incidence rates of snakebite and envenoming for Sri Lanka. The within-country spatial variation of bites can inform healthcare decision making and highlights the limitations associated with estimates of incidence from hospital data or localized surveys. Our methods are replicable, and these models can be adapted to other geographic regions after re-estimating spatial covariance parameters for the particular region.

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<![CDATA[A Diagnostic Scoring Model for Leptospirosis in Resource Limited Settings]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dacfab0ee8fa60bb5c23

Background

Leptospirosis is a zoonotic infection with significant morbidity and mortality. The clinical presentation of leptospirosis is known to mimic the clinical profile of other prevalent tropical fevers. Laboratory confirmation of leptospirosis is based on the reference standard microscopic agglutination test (MAT), direct demonstration of the organism, and isolation by culture and DNA detection by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification. However these methods of confirmation are not widely available in resource limited settings where the infection is prevalent, and reliance is placed on clinical features for provisional diagnosis. In this prospective study, we attempted to develop a model for diagnosis of leptospirosis, based on clinical features and standard laboratory test results.

Methods

The diagnostic score was developed based on data from a prospective multicentre study in two hospitals in the Western Province of Sri Lanka. All patients presenting to these hospitals with a suspected diagnosis of leptospirosis, based on the WHO surveillance criteria, were recruited. Confirmed disease was defined as positive genus specific MAT (Leptospira biflexa). A derivation cohort and a validation cohort were randomly selected from available data. Clinical and laboratory manifestations associated with confirmed leptospirosis in the derivation cohort were selected for construction of a multivariate regression model with correlation matrices, and adjusted odds ratios were extracted for significant variables. The odds ratios thus derived were subsequently utilized in the criteria model, and sensitivity and specificity examined with ROC curves.

Results

A total of 592 patients were included in the final analysis with 450 (180 confirmed leptospirosis) in the derivation cohort and 142 (52 confirmed leptospirosis) in the validation cohort. The variables in the final model were: history of exposure to a possible source of leptospirosis (adjusted OR = 2.827; 95% CI = 1.517–5.435; p = 0.001) serum creatinine > 150 micromol/l (adjusted OR = 2.735; 95% CI = 1.374–4.901; p = 0.001), neutrophil differential percentage > 80.0% of total white blood cell count (adjusted OR 2.163; 95% CI = 1.309–3.847; p = 0.032), serum bilirubin > 30 micromol/l (adjusted OR = 1.717; 95% CI 0.938–3.456; p = 0.049) and platelet count < 85,000/mm3 (adjusted OR = 2.350; 95% CI = 1.481–4.513; p = 0.006). Hosmer-Lemeshow test for goodness of fit was 0.931. The Nagelkerke R2 was 0.622. The area under the curve (AUC) was noted as 0.762. A score value of 14 reflected a sensitivity of 0.803, specificity of 0.602, a PPV of 0.54, NPV of 0.84, a positive LR of 2.01 and a negative LR of 0.32.

Conclusions

The above diagnostic model for diagnosis of leptospirosis is suggested for use in clinical settings. It should be further validated in clinical practice.

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<![CDATA[Effect of Climatic Factors and Population Density on the Distribution of Dengue in Sri Lanka: A GIS Based Evaluation for Prediction of Outbreaks]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db4dab0ee8fa60bdad3b

Dengue is one of the major hurdles to the public health in Sri Lanka, causing high morbidity and mortality. The present study focuses on the use of geographical information systems (GIS) to map and evaluate the spatial and temporal distribution of dengue in Sri Lanka from 2009 to 2014 and to elucidate the association of climatic factors with dengue incidence. Epidemiological, population and meteorological data were collected from the Epidemiology Unit, Department of Census and Statistics and the Department of Meteorology of Sri Lanka. Data were analyzed using SPSS (Version 20, 2011) and R studio (2012) and the maps were generated using Arc GIS 10.2. The dengue incidence showed a significant positive correlation with rainfall (p<0.0001). No positive correlation was observed between dengue incidence and temperature (p = 0.107) or humidity (p = 0.084). Rainfall prior to 2 and 5 months and a rise in the temperature prior to 9 months positively correlated with dengue incidence as based on the auto-correlation values. A rise in humidity prior to 1 month had a mild positive correlation with dengue incidence. However, a rise in humidity prior to 9 months had a significant negative correlation with dengue incidence based on the auto-correlation values. Remote sensing and GIS technologies give near real time utility of climatic data together with the past dengue incidence for the prediction of dengue outbreaks. In that regard, GIS will be applicable in outbreak predictions including prompt identification of locations with dengue incidence and forecasting future risks and thus direct control measures to minimize major outbreaks.

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<![CDATA[Health seeking behavior following snakebites in Sri Lanka: Results of an island wide community based survey]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5ab1848f463d7e5ca175d91e

Introduction

Sri Lanka has a population of 21 million and about 80,000 snakebites occur annually. However, there are limited data on health seeking behavior following bites. We investigated the effects of snakebite and envenoming on health seeking behavior in Sri Lanka.

Methods

In a community-based island-wide survey conducted in Sri Lanka 44,136 households were sampled using a multistage cluster sampling method. An individual who reported experiencing a snakebite within the preceding 12 months was considered a case. An interviewer-administered questionnaire was used to obtain details of the bite and health seeking behavior among cases.

Results

Among 165,665 individuals surveyed, there were 695 snakebite victims. 682 (98.1%) had sought health care after the bite; 381 (54.8%) sought allopathic treatment and 301 (43.3%) sought traditional treatment. 323 (46.5%) had evidence of probable envenoming, among them 227 (70.3%) sought allopathic treatment, 94 (29.1%) sought traditional treatment and 2 did not seek treatment. There was wide geographic variation in the proportion of seeking allopathic treatment from <20% in the Western province to > 90% in the Northern province. Multiple logistic regression analysis showed that seeking allopathic treatment was independently associated with being systemically envenomed (Odds Ratio = 1.99, 95% CI: 1.36–2.90, P < 0.001), distance to the healthcare facility (OR = 1.13 per kilometer, 95% CI: 1.09 to 1.17, P < 0.001), time duration from the bite (OR = 0.49 per day, 95% CI: 0.29–0.74, P = 0.002), and the local incidence of envenoming (OR = 1.31 for each 50 per 100,000, 95% CI: 1.19–1.46, P < 0.001) and snakebite (OR = 0.90 for each 50 per 100,000, 95% CI: 0.85–0.94, P < 0.001) in the relevant geographic area.

Conclusions

In Sri Lanka, both allopathic and traditional treatments are sought following snakebite. The presence of probable envenoming was a major contribution to seeking allopathic treatment.

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<![CDATA[Costs of Dengue Control Activities and Hospitalizations in the Public Health Sector during an Epidemic Year in Urban Sri Lanka]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db28ab0ee8fa60bd0b5b

Background

Reported as a public health problem since the 1960s in Sri Lanka, dengue has become a high priority disease for public health authorities. The Ministry of Health is responsible for controlling dengue and other disease outbreaks and associated health care. The involvement of large numbers of public health staff in dengue control activities year-round and the provision of free medical care to dengue patients at secondary care hospitals place a formidable financial burden on the public health sector.

Methods

We estimated the public sector costs of dengue control activities and the direct costs of hospitalizations in Colombo, the most heavily urbanized district in Sri Lanka, during the epidemic year of 2012 from the Ministry of Health’s perspective. The financial costs borne by public health agencies and hospitals are collected using cost extraction tools designed specifically for the study and analysed retrospectively using a combination of activity-based and gross costing approaches.

Results

The total cost of dengue control and reported hospitalizations was estimated at US$3.45 million (US$1.50 per capita) in Colombo district in 2012. Personnel costs accounted for the largest shares of the total costs of dengue control activities (79%) and hospitalizations (46%). The results indicated a per capita cost of US$0.42 for dengue control activities. The average costs per hospitalization ranged between US$216–609 for pediatric cases and between US$196–866 for adult cases according to disease severity and treatment setting.

Conclusions

This analysis is a first attempt to assess the economic burden of dengue response in the public health sector in Sri Lanka. Country-specific evidence is needed for setting public health priorities and deciding about the deployment of existing or new technologies. Our results suggest that dengue poses a major economic burden on the public health sector in Sri Lanka.

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<![CDATA[Urinary Biomarkers KIM-1 and NGAL for Detection of Chronic Kidney Disease of Uncertain Etiology (CKDu) among Agricultural Communities in Sri Lanka]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db1cab0ee8fa60bce4f8

Chronic Kidney Disease of uncertain etiology (CKDu) is an emerging epidemic among farming communities in rural Sri Lanka. Victims do not exhibit common causative factors, however, histopathological studies revealed that CKDu is a tubulointerstitial disease. Urine albumin or albumin-creatinine ratio is still being used as a traditional diagnostic tool to identify CKDu, but accuracy and prevalence data generated are questionable. Urinary biomarkers have been used in similar nephropathy and are widely recognised for their sensitivity, specificity and accuracy in determining CKDu and early renal injury. However, these biomarkers have never been used in diagnosing CKDu in Sri Lanka. Male farmers (n = 1734) were recruited from 4 regions in Sri Lanka i.e. Matara and Nuwara Eliya (farming locations with no CKDu prevalence) and two CKDu emerging locations from Hambantota District in Southern Sri Lanka; Angunakolapelessa (EL1) and Bandagiriya (EL2). Albuminuria (ACR ≥ 30mg/g); serum creatinine based estimation of glomerular filtration rate (eGFR); creatinine normalized urinary kidney injury molecule (KIM-1) and neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL) were measured. Fourteen new CKDu cases (18%) from EL1 and nine CKDu cases (9%) from EL2 were recognized for the first time from EL1, EL2 locations, which were previously considered as non-endemic of the disease and associated with persistent albuminuria (ACR ≥ 30mg/g Cr). No CKDu cases were identified in non-endemic study locations in Matara (CM) and Nuwara Eliya (CN). Analysis of urinary biomarkers showed urinary KIM-1 and NGAL were significantly higher in new CKDu cases in EL1 and EL2. However, we also reported significantly higher KIM-1 and NGAL in apparently healthy farmers in EL 1 and EL 2 with comparison to both control groups. These observations may indicate possible early renal damage in absence of persistent albuminuria and potential capabilities of urinary KIM-1 and NGAL in early detection of renal injury among farming communities in Southern Sri Lanka.

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<![CDATA[A comparative study regarding antibiotic consumption and knowledge of antimicrobial resistance among pharmacy students in Australia and Sri Lanka]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c92b377d5eed0c4843a40f7

Introduction

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a major global health challenge. Pharmacists play a key role in the health care setting to support the quality use of medicines. The education and training of pharmacy students have the potential to impact on patterns of antibiotic use in community and hospital settings. The aim of this study was to investigate and compare antibiotic use and knowledge of antibiotics and AMR among undergraduate pharmacy students in Australian and Sri Lankan universities.

Methods

A cross-sectional survey was conducted in Australian and Sri Lankan universities that offer a pharmacy degree. A paper-based survey was utilised in Sri Lanka and an identical survey distributed online among pharmacy students in Australia. Descriptive and comparative data analyses were performed.

Results

476 pharmacy students from 14 universities in Australia and 466 students from 6 universities in SL completed the survey. Participants commonly reported previous antibiotic use [Australia (88%) and Sri Lanka (86%)]. The majority of students [Australia (89%) and Sri Lanka (77%)] reported they obtained antibiotics with a prescription. Australian pharmacy students correctly reported regarding optimal antibiotic use for certain disease conditions when compared to Sri Lankan students (P<0.05). A greater antibiotic knowledge level regarding AMR was found among Australian students compared to Sri Lankan students (p<0.05).

Conclusion

This study provides an understanding about antibiotic consumption and knowledge on AMR among pharmacy students in a developed country, Australia and a developing country, Sri Lanka. These findings identify possible misconceptions about antibiotics and a lower level of knowledge of AMR amongst Sri Lankan undergraduate pharmacy students. Future research should focus on implementation of a strategic education plan for undergraduate pharmacy students in Sri Lankan universities. The curricula of pharmacy courses in Australian universities may inform such a plan.

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<![CDATA[Suicide prevention through means restriction: Impact of the 2008-2011 pesticide restrictions on suicide in Sri Lanka]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db50ab0ee8fa60bdbdab

Objective

To investigate the effect of 3-year phased bans of the pesticides dimethoate and fenthion in 2008–2010, and paraquat in 2009–2011, on suicide mortality in Sri Lanka.

Methods

Age-standardised overall, sex-specific, and method-specific suicide rates were calculated using Sri Lankan police data (1989–2015). Using negative binomial regression models, we estimated the change in the rate and number of suicide deaths in post-ban years (2011–15) compared to those expected based on pre-ban trends (2001–10).

Findings

Overall suicide mortality dropped by 21% between 2011 and 2015, from 18.3 to 14.3 per 100,000. The decline in pesticide suicides during this same period was larger than for overall suicides: from 8.5 to 4.2 per 100,000, a 50% reduction. This was accompanied by a smaller concurrent rise in non-pesticide suicide mortality with a 2% increase (9.9 to 10.1 per 100,000). In 2015, the ratio between the observed and expected pesticide suicide rates was 0.49 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.40, 0.62), corresponding to an estimated 937 (95% CI 574, 1389) fewer pesticide suicides than expected from pre-ban suicide rates. Findings were similar in sensitivity analyses using 2008 or 2012 as commencement of the post intervention period.

Conclusion

Bans of paraquat, dimethoate and fenthion in Sri Lanka were associated with a reduction in pesticide suicide mortality and in overall suicide mortality despite a small rise in other methods. This study provides further evidence for the effectiveness of pesticide regulation in limiting the availability of highly hazardous pesticides and thereby reducing the number of global suicides.

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