Statement of Research Interests
In Asia, there is an imperative need to implement the practice of evidence-based public health policy, planning, and spending. My earlier and ongoing research provides the appropriate evidence, which can guide the formulation of policy to bring in positive change that we can see in our lifetime. I am focused shaping my career towards independence and in building a long-term career in academic public health. Therefore, my future research plan is dedicated to exploring the impact of tackling determinants in the maternal and psychosocial environment and thereby promote positive health in populations through appropriate interventions.
The focus of my research is through the realization of the following objectives.
Objectives (a) and (b) help in identification and prioritization of maternal determinants of childhood obesity (and subsequent risk of diabetes and hypertension) in Asia. The evidence available in the next three years will aid in the generation of rigorous, feasible and contextually specific population-based pilot interventions. The objective (c) will be achieved through the implementation of pilot interventions based on objectives (a) & (b). The three objectives together will contribute to logical and empirically grounded choices of public health interventions.
In the next few years, I want to pilot the interventions based on the results of the research on the role of the maternal and psychosocial environment of NCDs in different populations. The overall results from testing the interventions will result in the implementation of evidence-based public health. In the next 5 years, I wish to inculcate the evidence into policy formulations at the national and international level to influence policymakers to bring positive changes with respect to NCD prevention and control. Due to demographic transition and lifestyle changes, the aging Asian populations continually are affected by NCDs. My engagement of research and advocacy in NCDs will aid in improving the health of an aging population and improve productivity. I am uniquely positioned to study the effects from an intergenerational perspective and earnestly believe that the positive changes will see the transformation of societies in the next two decades. Therefore, my long-term goal is to ensure healthy populations are sustained through integrated technical and advocacy efforts. My track record of working in public health over 17 years has provided a clear resolve for the achieving the objectives listed above.
Details of Earlier Research
[2009-2012, University of California Los Angeles]
Summary: Hypertension is a major contributor to the worldwide epidemic of cardiovascular disease (CVD).[1,2] It is estimated that hypertension causes 7.5 million deaths worldwide amounting to 12.8% of the total of all annual deaths. Many risk factors leading to hypertension are modifiable and therefore provide an opportunity for preventive efforts. There is an imperative need for population-based research to understand the modifiable factors such as job stress in leading to Hypertension. I chose workplace settings for the research as they provide opportunities to explore determinants of these negative behaviors and are amenable to interventions.
I led a moderately large study (N = 1071) in the software professionals in Bangalore, India employed at 27 different IT companies. The focus of our study was to study the association of Job stress and Hypertension as well as understanding the on the age gradient of hypertension prevalence. The research established a higher prevalence of hypertension in the younger age cohort, affecting 31% professionals with 5% having malignant levels of hypertension. It was known earlier that south Asians are predisposed to be hypertensive a decade earlier compared the developed countries. Our research suggested that hypertension in IT/ITES professionals occurs a decade earlier compared to the rest of India and two decades earlier compared to developed countries. This suggests that if untreated, these professionals would go on to develop cardiovascular diseases (CVD) at an early age. The results also indicated that 46% of professionals were in pre-hypertension. In addition, I found that the dimensions of workplace autonomy and workplace environment are associated with hypertension.
References for Details of Earlier Research:
The research publications are listed in this link: Publications
Advocacy is provided in this link: Links
Visiting private clinic for immunisation?: Deccan Herald
Hypertension and high BP afflicts one-third of techies: Bangalore Mirror
Recent Papers :-
Assessment of screening practices for gestational hyperglycaemia in public health facilities: a descriptive study in Bangalore, India
Background. Screening and timely treatment of gestational hyperglycaemia (GH) is proved to be beneficial and improves maternal and foetal health outcomes. To understand screening practices, we explored the knowledge and perceptions of doctors working in public health facilities in Bangalore, India. We also studied participation factors by examining whether undergoing glucose estimation tests affects morning sickness in pregnant women.
Design and Methods. We aimed to understand the screening practices and knowledge of doctors. A semi-structured questionnaire was self-administered by the 50 participant doctors, selected from the sampling frame comprising of all the doctors working in public health facilities. We included 105 pregnant women for baseline assessment, in whom a well-structured questionnaire was used.
Results. We reported that gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) screening was done in nearly all the health centres (96%). However, only 12% of the doctors could provide all components of GDM diagnosis and management correctly and 46% would diagnose by using a random blood glucose test. A majority (92%) of the doctors had poor knowledge (68%) about the cut-off values of glucose tests. More than 80% of pregnant women experienced some discomfort mostly due to rapid ingestion glucose in short span of time.
Conclusions. Our study established that screening for GH is done in most public health facilities. Nonetheless, knowledge of doctors on the glucose tests and their interpretation needs improvement. Re-orientation trainings of the doctors can improve their knowledge and thereby can efficiently screen for GH. Further, adequate planning prior to the tests can aid successful completion of them.
The Epidemic of HIV, Syphilis, Chlamydia and Gonorrhea and the Correlates of Sexual Transmitted Infections among Men Who Have Sex with Men in Jiangsu, China, 2009
In China, the HIV/AIDS epidemic is expanding among men who have sex with men (MSM). As independent risk factors of HIV infection, the epidemics of Chlamydia (CT) and Gonorrhea (NG) in MSM were not well studied, particular for the risk factors of these infectious. The objectives of current reported study were to understand the dynamics of HIV and other sexual transmitted infections (STIs) among MSM in Jiangsu, China, and to measure factors that correlated with STIs.
In order to gain more participants, a multisite cross-sectional study design was used in our study, by using convenience-sampling to recruit MSM in two Changzhou and Yangzhou, Jiangsu, China, between the July and October of 2009.
In this comprehensive survey involving MSM in two cities of Jiangsu province of China, the prevalence of STIs of CT (6.54%), NG (3.63%), syphilis (20.34%) and HIV (11.62%) were measured. Overall, the STIs prevalence (CT, NG or syphilis) for the participants in our study was 26.39%, meanwhile, 3.4% (14 out of the 413) participants had at least two kinds of STIs. Meeting casual partners at parks, public restrooms or other public areas, having had anal sex with men in the past six months, having had STI symptoms in the past year were positively correlated with STIs positive, with adjusted ORs of 4.61(95%CI 1.03–20.75), 1.91(95%CI 1.14–3.21) and 2.36(95%CI 1.07,5.24).
Our study findings reiterate the fact that Chinese MSM are highly susceptible to acquiring syphilis, CT, NG and HIV, and there is an urgent need for intervention targeted towards this population. Behavioral measures should constitute an important part of the targeted intervention. Furthermore, the already implemented preventive and diagnostic services for HIV should be expanded to include syphilis CT and NG, too.
This is a review of the manner in which the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP) is being implemented, with a focus on the attention being paid to ethical principles and the incorporation of these into the programme. The article elucidates how ethical principles can be applied to protect the rights of the potential beneficiaries of the RNTCP. The authors consider the RNTCP in the light of a framework that is usually applied in research to evaluate ethical principles in public health practice. The three key principles of the framework are: respect for persons, beneficence and justice. The authors propose that this framework be used to make an ethical evaluation of other public health programmes at several levels, since this could bring far- reaching benefits to society .
Consistently High Unprotected Anal Intercourse (UAI) and factors correlated with UAI among men who have sex with men: implication of a serial cross-sectional study in Guangzhou, China
Application of mixed methods for exploration of the association of job stress and hypertension among software professionals in Bengaluru, India
From the news
With public spending on health care insufficient, around 40 per cent of patients have to either sell off assets or borrow heavily for treatment and end up slipping below the poverty line every year