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Tran K.,Biochemical and Environmental Engineering UMBC | Gibson A.,Biochemical and Environmental Engineering UMBC | Wong D.,Biochemical and Environmental Engineering UMBC | Tilahun D.,Biochemical and Environmental Engineering UMBC | And 16 more authors.
Journal of Laboratory Automation | Year: 2014

Every year, an unacceptably large number of infant deaths occur in developing nations, with premature birth and asphyxia being two of the leading causes. A well-regulated thermal environment is critical for neonatal survival. Advanced incubators currently exist, but they are far too expensive to meet the needs of developing nations. We are developing a thermodynamically advanced low-cost incubator suitable for operation in a low-resource environment. Our design features three innovations: (1) a disposable baby chamber to reduce infant mortality due to nosocomial infections, (2) a passive cooling mechanism using low-cost heat pipes and evaporative cooling from locally found clay pots, and (3) insulated panels and a thermal bank consisting of water that effectively preserve and store heat. We developed a prototype incubator and visited and presented our design to our partnership hospital site in Mysore, India. After obtaining feedback, we have determined realistic, nontrivial design requirements and constraints in order to develop a new prototype incubator for clinical trials in hospitals in India. © 2014 Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening.

Pasricha S.-R.,University of Melbourne | Pasricha S.-R.,St Johns National Academy of Health science | Black J.,University of Melbourne | Muthayya S.,St Johns National Academy of Health science | And 9 more authors.
Pediatrics | Year: 2010

OBJECTIVE: More than 75% of Indian toddlers are anemic. Data on factors associated with anemia in India are limited. The objective of this study was to determine biological, nutritional, and socioeconomic risk factors for anemia in this vulnerable age group. METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional study of children aged 12 to 23 months in 2 rural districts of Karnataka, India. Children were excluded if they were unwell or had received a blood transfusion. Hemoglobin, ferritin, folate, vitamin B12, retinol-binding protein, and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels were determined. Children were also tested for hemoglobinopathy, malaria infection, and hookworm infestation. Anthropometric measurements, nutritional intake, family wealth, and food security were recorded. In addition, maternal hemoglobin level was measured. RESULTS: Anemia (hemoglobin level < 11.0 g/dL) was detected in 75.3% of the 401 children sampled. Anemia was associated with iron deficiency (low ferritin level), maternal anemia, and food insecurity. Children's ferritin levels were directly associated with their iron intake and CRP levels and with maternal hemoglobin level and inversely associated with continued breastfeeding and the child's energy intake. A multivariate model for the child's hemoglobin level revealed associations with log(ferritin level) (coefficient: 1.20; P < .001), folate level (0.05; P < .01), maternal hemoglobin level (0.16; P < .001), family wealth index (0.02; P < .05), child's age (0.05 per month; P < .005), hemoglobinopathy (-1.51; P < .001), CRP level (-0.18; P < .001), and male gender (-0.38; P < .05). Wealth index and food insecurity could be interchanged in this model. CONCLUSIONS: Hemoglobin level was primarily associated with iron status in these Indian toddlers; however, maternal hemoglobin level, family wealth, and food insecurity were also important factors. Strategies for minimizing childhood anemia must include optimized iron intake but should simultaneously address maternal anemia, poverty, and food insecurity. Copyright © 2010 by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Huss R.,University of Leeds | Green A.,University of Leeds | Sudarshan H.,Karuna Trust | Karpagam S.S.,Karuna Trust | And 2 more authors.
Health Policy and Planning | Year: 2011

Strengthening good governance and preventing corruption in health care are universal challenges. The Karnataka Lokayukta (KLA), a public complaints agency in Karnataka state (India), was created in 1986 but played a prominent role controlling systemic corruption only after a change of leadership in 2001 with a new Lokayukta (ombudsman) and Vigilance Director for Health (VDH). This case study of the KLA (2001-06) analysed the: Scope and level of poor governance in the health sector;KLA objectives and its strategy;Factors which affected public health sector governance and the operation of the KLA.We used a participatory and opportunistic evaluation design, examined documents about KLA activities, conducted three site visits, two key informant and 44 semi-structured interviews and used a force field model to analyse the governance findings.The Lokayukta and his VDH were both proactive and economically independent with an extended social network, technical expertise in both jurisdiction and health care, and were widely perceived to be acting for the common good. They mobilized media and the public about governance issues which were affected by factors at the individual, organizational and societal levels. Their investigations revealed systemic corruption within the public health sector at all levels as well as in public/private collaborations and the political and justice systems. However, wider contextual issues limited their effectiveness in intervening. The departure of the Lokayukta, upon completing his term, was due to a lack of continued political support for controlling corruption.Governance in the health sector is affected by positive and negative forces. A key positive factor was the combined social, cultural and symbolic capital of the two leaders which empowered them to challenge corrupt behaviour and promote good governance. Although change was possible, it was precarious and requires continuous political support to be sustained. © The Author 2010; all rights reserved.

Pasricha S.-R.,University of Melbourne | Biggs B.-A.,Royal Melbourne Hospital | Prashanth N.,St Johns National Academy of Health science | Sudarshan H.,St Johns National Academy of Health science | And 3 more authors.
BMC Public Health | Year: 2011

Background: In India, 55% of women and 69.5% of preschool children are anaemic despite national policies recommending routine iron supplementation. Understanding factors associated with receipt of iron in the field could help optimise implementation of anaemia control policies. Thus, we undertook 1) a cross-sectional study to evaluate iron supplementation to children (and mothers) in rural Karnataka, India, and 2) an analysis of all-India rural data from the National Family Health Study 2005-6 (NFHS-3). Methods. All children aged 12-23 months and their mothers served by 6 of 8 randomly selected sub-centres managed by 2 rural Primary Health Centres of rural Karnataka were eligible for the Karnataka Study, conducted between August and October 2008. Socioeconomic and demographic data, access to health services and iron receipt were recorded. Secondly, NFHS-3 rural data were analysed. For both studies, logistic regression was used to evaluate factors associated with receipt of iron. Results: The Karnataka Study recruited 405 children and 377 of their mothers. 41.5% of children had received iron, and 11.5% received iron through the public system. By multiple logistic regression, factors associated with children's receipt of iron included: wealth (Odds Ratio (OR) 2.63 [95% CI 1.11, 6.24] for top vs bottom wealth quintile), male sex (OR 2.45 [1.47, 4.10]), mother receiving postnatal iron (OR 2.31 [1.25, 4.28]), mother having undergone antenatal blood test (OR 2.10 [1.09, 4.03]); Muslim religion (OR 0.02 [0.00, 0.27]), attendance at Anganwadi centre (OR 0.23 [0.11, 0.49]), fully vaccinated (OR 0.33 [0.15, 0.75]), or children of mothers with more antenatal health visits (8-9 visits OR 0.25 [0.11, 0.55]) were less likely to receive iron. Nationally, 3.7% of rural children were receiving iron; this was associated with wealth (OR 1.12 [1.02, 1.23] per quintile), maternal education (compared with no education: completed secondary education OR 2.15 [1.17, 3.97], maternal antenatal iron (2.24 [1.56, 3.22]), and child attending an Anganwadi (OR 1.47 [1.20, 1.80]). Conclusion: In rural India, public distribution of iron to children is inadequate and disparities exist. Measures to optimize receipt of government supplied iron to all children regardless of wealth and ethnic background could help alleviate anaemia in this population. © 2011 Pasricha et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Pasricha S.-R.,St Johns National Academy of Health science | Pasricha S.-R.,University of Melbourne | Pasricha S.-R.,Royal Melbourne Hospital | Shet A.S.,St Johns National Academy of Health science | And 7 more authors.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition | Year: 2011

Background: Determinants of vitamin B-12, folate, iron, and vitamin A concentrations in young children in rural south Asia are poorly understood. These micronutrients are crucial for the production of hemoglobin and have other important physiologic functions. Objective: We sought to develop explanatory models for concentrations of vitamin B-12, folate, ferritin, and retinol binding protein (RBP) in children aged between 1 and 2 y in rural Karnataka, India. Design: We performed a cross-sectional study in 12-23-mo-old toddlers who lived in 2 rural districts of Karnataka, India. For each child, data concerning dietary, food-security, and sociodemographic and maternal factors were obtained, and serum vitamin B-12, folate, ferritin, and RBP were measured. Multiple regression and structural equation modeling were applied to determine associations with micronutrient concentrations. Results: Of 396 sampled children, 254 children (65.6%) had at least one micronutrient deficiency. With the use of multiple regression, continued breastfeeding was independently associated with the concentration of each micronutrient [(log) vitamin B-12: standardized coefficient of -0.30 (P < 0.001); folate: standardized coefficient of +0.20 (P < 0.001); (log) ferritin: standardized coefficient of -0.18 (P = 0.004); (log) RBP: standardized coefficient of20.21 (P < 0.001)]. Children who continued to breastfeed received less nutrition from complementary foods and belonged to poorer families with higher food insecurity. A structural equation model for children's vitamin B-12 concentrations was developed that highlighted the interrelation between wealth, continued breastfeeding, complementary diet, and vitamin B-12 concentrations in children. Conclusions: Micronutrient deficiencies are common in this population. Rural Indian children between 1 and 2 y of age who continue to breastfeed should be especially targeted during micronutrient-supplementation programs. This trial was registered in the Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry as ACTRN12611000596909. © 2011 American Society for Nutrition.

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