Year : 2007 | Volume : 32 | Issue : 2 | Page : 144-145
Kannan C, Athmaraman TN, Nayeem Abdul, Sangeetha S, Sudha R, Ponsuganthi K, Murugan K
Department of Community Medicine, VMKV Medical College, Salem, India
Date of Submission 08-Sep-2004
Department of Community Medicine, VMKV Medical College, Seeragapadi, Salem - 636 308
|Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None|
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Kannan C, Athmaraman TN, Nayeem A, Sangeetha S, Sudha R, Ponsuganthi K, Murugan K. Prevalence of reproductive tract infections among recently married women in Veerapandi Panchayat union of Salem district, Tamil Nadu. Indian J Community Med 2007;32:144-5
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Kannan C, Athmaraman TN, Nayeem A, Sangeetha S, Sudha R, Ponsuganthi K, Murugan K. Prevalence of reproductive tract infections among recently married women in Veerapandi Panchayat union of Salem district, Tamil Nadu. Indian J Community Med [serial online] 2007 [cited 2007 Nov 30];32:144-5. Available from: http://www.ijcm.org.in/text.asp?2007/32/2/144/35658
After the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) held at Cairo during September 1994, the reproductive child health (RCH) program has gained importance all over the world. Positive reproductive health is the main area of this program. An all-India survey on reproductive tract infections (RTI) covering 252 districts showed a prevalence of 28.8%. The state AIDS Control Society of Chennai has documented that the prevalence of the sexually transmitted diseases (STD) such as HIV/AIDS in Salem district ranges from 2.5%-3.5%. The cultural factors and the stigma associated with RTI influence its prevalence. The problem is compounded by poor genital and menstrual hygiene.
The present study was conducted to gain data about the treatment pattern for the reproductive tract complaints viz. white discharge, lower abdominal pain, ulcers in genital organs, and burning micturition among women.
The Veerapandi Panchayat union comprises 25 villages with a population of 1,09,183 as per 2001 census. Out of these villages, 20 villages were involved in the study one after the other, and a study sample size of 1,000 was achieved. Hence, the remaining five villages were not involved in the study.
As per the survey conducted by the Government of India during 1999 involving 252 districts, the prevalence rate of RTI in India was 28.8%. Rounding off this estimate to 30%, the sample size was calculated, with an allowable error of 10%, to be 934. The study subjects comprised of women in the age group of 15-45 years from all 20 villages.
The data was collected by house visits and direct face-to-face interviews using a pretested structured questionnaire. Well-thought over pertinent questions were included in the questionnaire on approval of the experts from community Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology, and STD departments.
Properly instructed compulsory rotatory resident female interns were deputed for data collection; female interns were selected to facilitate the respondents to answer unhesitatingly. The face-to-face interviews created a cordial and participative environment. Based on the feedback from the interviewers, the non-response rate was below 10%.
In this study, the commonest symptom observed was white discharge, followed by other symptoms shown in [Table - 1]. It was observed that 24% of the participants showed only one symptom, while 20.6% showed more than one symptom. It was found that 446 women had one or more than one symptom related to RTI. Consequently, the overall prevalence of RTI was calculated to be 44.6%. Of all the participants, 12 had undergone native treatments, such as indigenous treatments, traditional ayurvedic treatments or siddha medicine [Figure - 1]. A total of 166 women had undergone treatment from private allopathic doctors, primary health centers, and other hospitals. Abraham Joseph et al have reported 53% of RTI in married women belonging to the age group of 16-22 years. In our study, the overall prevalence of RTI was calculated to be 44.6% in married women belonging to the age group of 15-45 years.
Of the 300 participants visiting a primary health center, the prevalence of RTI based on a syndromic approach recommended by WHO, clinical examination, and laboratory diagnosis was 37%, 57%, and 36.7%, respectively.  Our study, based on symptoms, gives a prevalence of 44.6%. The reported complaints of vaginal discharge were 54% in a study from district Sirmaur, which was based on health camps. In our study, the complaints of vaginal discharge were 32.5%. A. Parashar et al. reported 36.3% of prevalence of RTI among women in the reproductive age group participating in a Community based study in Shimla city.  This is comparable with 44.6% reported in our study. Phan Thi Lien et al. reported a prevalence of 21.2% of RTI in women attending the Hue MCH-FP center in Vietnam in 1996.  The authors have stated that their study revealed a moderate prevalence of RTI (21%), which was substantially lower than that reported in previous studies conducted in Vietnam. This reduced prevalence rate could be due to the fact that a significant number of women in Vietnam were well aware of RTI and underwent treatments.
In the state of Tamil Nadu, the Government organized a statewide campaign for the treatment of RTI/STI in both urban and rural areas. One-day treatment programs were arranged in health sub-centers, and the programs were held for more than one day in towns and cities depending on the number of people attending the program. These programs were conducted in the month of November 2005 preceded by good publicity. Similar campaigns for the treatment of RTI/STI are scheduled to be held periodically, i.e., once in 6 months or once a year in Tamil Nadu. Such periodical campaigns can help reduce the currently existing high levels of RTI/ STI prevalence dramatically.
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2. Parashar A, Gupta BP, Bhardwaj AK, Sharin R. Prevalence of RTIs among women of reproductive age group in Shimla city. Indian J Commun Med 2006;31:15-7.
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