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Taneja S.,Society for Applied Studies | Strand T.A.,Innlandet Hospital Trust anders Sandvigsgate 17 | Strand T.A.,University of Bergen | Kumar T.,Society for Essential Health Action and Training | And 7 more authors.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition | Year: 2013

Background: Young children in low- and middle-income countries frequently have inadequate vitamin B-12 (cobalamin) status. Poor folate status is also common and is associated with increased diarrheal and respiratory morbidity. Objective: The objective was to measure the effect of folic acid and/or vitamin B-12 administration on the incidence of diarrhea and acute lower respiratory tract infections. Design: One thousand North Indian children (6230 mo of age) were enrolled in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to receive 2 times the Recommended Dietary Allowance of folic acid and/or vitamin B-12 or placebo daily for 6 mo. Children were individually randomly assigned in a 1:1:1:1 ratio in blocks of 16. Primary outcomes were the number of episodes of acute lower respiratory infections, diarrhea, and prolonged diarrhea. Results: Folic acid and vitamin B-12 supplementation significantly improved vitamin B-12 and folate status, respectively. Neither folic acid nor vitamin B-12 administration reduced the incidence of diarrhea or lower respiratory infections. In comparison with placebo, children treated with folic acid alone or in combination with vitamin B-12 had a significantly higher risk of persistent diarrhea (OR: 2.1; 95% CI: 1.1, 3.8). Conclusions: Folic acid or vitamin B-12 supplementation did not reduce the burden of common childhood infections. In view of the increased risk of diarrhea, the safety of folic acid supplements in young children should be further assessed. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as NCT00717730 and at www.ctri.nic.in as CTRI/2010/091/001090. © 2013 American Society for Nutrition.


Appaiahgari M.B.,Translational Health Science and Technology Institute | Glass R.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | Singh S.,Society for Applied Studies | Taneja S.,Society for Applied Studies | And 5 more authors.
Vaccine | Year: 2014

The lower immune response and efficacy of live oral rotavirus (RV) vaccines tested in developing countries may be due in part to high levels of pre-existing RV antibodies transferred to the infant from mother via the placenta. The candidate RV vaccine strain 116E was isolated from a newborn indicating that it might grow well even in the presence of this transplacental rotavirus antibody. Since the immune response to this vaccine among infants in the Indian subcontinent has been greater than that of the commercially licensed vaccines, we questioned whether this might be due to the ability of RV 116E to grow well in infants despite the presence of maternal RV antibody. To this end, we tested pre-immunization sera from Indian infants enrolled in a phase Ia/IIb trial of candidate RV vaccine ORV-116E for transplacental RV IgG to see whether it affected the immune responses and seroconversion to the vaccine. We found that the high titers of transplacental RV IgG diminished the immune responses of infants to ORV-116E vaccine. However, the vaccine was able to overcome the inhibitory effect of this RV IgG in a dose-dependent manner. This report clearly demonstrates the interference of maternal antibody on RV vaccine immunogenicity in infants in a field study as well as the ability of ORV-116E to overcome this interference when used at a higher dose. © 2013.


Valentiner-Branth P.,Statens Serum Institute | Shrestha P.S.,Tribhuvan University | Chandyo R.K.,Tribhuvan University | Mathisen M.,University of Bergen | And 6 more authors.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition | Year: 2010

Background: Pneumonia is a leading cause of illness and death in young children. Interventions to improve case management of pneumonia are needed. Objective: Our objective was to measure the effect of zinc supplementation in children with pneumonia in a population in which zinc deficiency is common. Design: In a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, children aged 2-35 mo with severe (n = 149) or nonsevere (n = 2479) pneumonia defined according to criteria established by the World Health Organization were randomly assigned to receive zinc (10 mg for children aged 2-11 mo, 20 mg for children aged ≥12 mo) or placebo daily for 14 d as an adjuvant to antibiotics. The primary outcomes were treatment failure, defined as a need for change in antibiotics or hospitalization, and time to recovery from pneumonia. Results: One of 5 children did not respond adequately to antibiotic treatment; the odds ratios between zinc and placebo groups for treatment failure were 0.95 (95% CI: 0.78, 1.2) for nonsevere pneumonia and 0.97 (95% CI: 0.42, 2.2) for severe pneumonia. There was no difference in time to recovery between zinc and placebo groups for nonsevere (median: 2 d; hazard ratio: 1.0; 95% CI: 0.96, 1.1) or severe (median: 4 d; hazard ratio: 1.1; 95% CI: 0.79, 1.5) pneumonia. Regurgitation or vomiting ≤15 min after supplementation was observed more frequently among children in the zinc group than among those in the placebo group during the supplementation period (37% compared with 13%; odds ratio: 0.25; 95% CI: 0.20, 0.30). Conclusion: Adjuvant treatment with zinc neither reduced the risk of treatment failure nor accelerated recovery in episodes of non-severe or severe pneumonia. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials. gov as NCT00148733. © 2010 American Society for Nutrition.


Strand T.A.,Innlandet Hospital Trust | Strand T.A.,University of Bergen | Taneja S.,Society for Applied Studies | Kumar T.,Society for Essential Health Action and Training | And 5 more authors.
Pediatrics | Year: 2015

BACKGROUND: Folate and vitamin B-12 are important for growth. Many children in low- and middle-income countries have inadequate intakes of these nutrients. METHODS: We undertook a randomized, placebo controlled double-blind trial in 1000 North Indian children, 6 to 35 months of age, providing twice the recommended daily allowance of folic acid and/or vitamin B-12, or placebo, daily for 6 months. By using a factorial design, we allocated children in a 1:1:1:1 ratio in blocks of 16. We measured the effect of giving vitamin B-12, folic acid, or the combination of both on linear and ponderal growth. We also identified predictors for growth in multiple linear regression models and effect modifiers for the effect of folic acid or vitamin B-12 supplementation on growth. RESULTS: The overall effect of either of the vitamins was significant only for weight; children who received vitamin B-12 increased their mean weight-for-age z scores by 0.07 (95% confidence interval: 0.01 to 0.13). Weight-for-age z scores and height-for-age z scores increased significantly after vitamin B-12 supplementation in wasted, underweight, and stunted children. These subgrouping variables significantly modified the effect of vitamin B-12 on growth. Vitamin B-12 status at baseline predicted linear and ponderal growth in children not receiving vitamin B-12 supplements but not in those who did (P-interaction <.001). CONCLUSIONS: We provide evidence that poor vitamin B-12 status contributes to poor growth. We recommend studies with larger doses and longer follow-up to confirm our findings. Copyright © 2015 by the American Academy of Pediatrics.


Paul V.K.,All India Institute of Medical Sciences | Sachdev H.S.,Sitaram Bhartia Institute of Science and Research | Mavalankar D.,Indian Institute of Management | Ramachandran P.,Nutrition Foundation of India | And 7 more authors.
The Lancet | Year: 2011

India, with a population of more than 1 billion people, has many challenges in improving the health and nutrition of its citizens. Steady declines have been noted in fertility, maternal, infant and child mortalities, and the prevalence of severe manifestations of nutritional deficiencies, but the pace has been slow and falls short of national and Millennium Development Goal targets. The likely explanations include social inequities, disparities in health systems between and within states, and consequences of urbanisation and demographic transition. In 2005, India embarked on the National Rural Health Mission, an extraordinary effort to strengthen the health systems. However, coverage of priority interventions remains insufficient, and the content and quality of existing interventions are suboptimum. Substantial unmet need for contraception remains, adolescent pregnancies are common, and access to safe abortion is inadequate. Increases in the numbers of deliveries in institutions have not been matched by improvements in the quality of intrapartum and neonatal care. Infants and young children do not get the health care they need; access to effective treatment for neonatal illness, diarrhoea, and pneumonia shows little improvement; and the coverage of nutrition programmes is inadequate. Absence of well functioning health systems is indicated by the inadequacies related to planning, financing, human resources, infrastructure, supply systems, governance, information, and monitoring. We provide a case for transformation of health systems through effective stewardship, decentralised planning in districts, a reasoned approach to financing that affects demand for health care, a campaign to create awareness and change health and nutrition behaviour, and revision of programmes for child nutrition on the basis of evidence. This agenda needs political commitment of the highest order and the development of a people's movement. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


Bhattacharya S.K.,Society for Applied Studies | Sur D.,Indian National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases | Dutta S.,Indian National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases | Kanungo S.,Indian National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases | And 5 more authors.
Malaria Journal | Year: 2013

Background: Falciparum malaria increases the risk for bacteraemia, whereas the relationship between vivax malaria and bacteraemia is not clear. Data from a prospective fever surveillance study in Kolkata, India were reanalysed for the potential association between Plasmodium vivax malaria and bacteraemia. Methods. Patients of all ages presenting with fever of three days or more to a project health outpost were invited to participate. A blood film and blood culture was performed on presentation. Treatment and referral were provided according to national guidelines. The case fraction and incidence of malaria, bacteraemia, and co-infection were calculated. Results: 3,371 participants were enrolled during a one-year study period, of whom 93/3,371 (2.8%) had malaria (89/93 [95.7%] Plasmodium vivax) and 256 (7.6%) bacteraemia. There were 154 malaria, 423 bacteraemia and 10 P. vivax-bacteremia coinfection episodes per 100,000/year. Among the malaria-bacteraemia co-infections, all were vivax malaria and 5/6 (83%) bacteria isolated were Gram-negative (one S. Typhi, one S. Paratyphi A, three other Gram-negative). Bacteraemia occurred in 6/89 (6.7% [95%CI: 3.1-13.9%]) of P. vivax cases versus 250/3,278 (7.6% [95% CI: 6.7-8.6%]) without Plasmodium infection (p=0.76). Conclusions: While an increased risk was not demonstrated, concomitant bacteraemia occurs frequently in vivax malaria in an area with a high background incidence of bacteraemia, and should be considered in cases of vivax malaria with severe manifestations. © 2013 Bhattacharya et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Francis M.R.,Christian Medical College | Nagarajan G.,Christian Medical College | Sarkar R.,Christian Medical College | Mohan V.R.,Christian Medical College | And 2 more authors.
BMC Public Health | Year: 2015

Background: Acceptance and long-term sustainability of water quality interventions are pivotal to realizing continued health benefits. However, there is limited research attempting to understand the factors that influence compliance to or adoption of such interventions. Methods: Eight focus group discussions with parents of young children - including compliant and not compliant households participating in an intervention study, and three key-informant interviews with village headmen were conducted between April and May 2014 to understand perceptions on the effects of unsafe water on health, household drinking water treatment practices, and the factors influencing acceptance and sustainability of an ongoing water quality intervention in a rural population of southern India. Results: The ability to recognize health benefits from the intervention, ease of access to water distribution centers and the willingness to pay for intervention maintenance were factors facilitating acceptance and sustainability of the water quality intervention. On the other hand, faulty perceptions on water treatment, lack of knowledge about health hazards associated with drinking unsafe water, false sense of protection from locally available water, resistance to change in taste or odor of water and a lack of support from male members of the household were important factors impeding acceptance and long term use of the intervention. Conclusion: This study highlights the need to effectively involve communities at important stages of implementation for long term success of water quality interventions. Timely research on the factors influencing uptake of water quality interventions prior to implementation will ensure greater acceptance and sustainability of such interventions in low income settings. © 2015 Francis et al.


John J.,Christian Medical College | Sarkar R.,Christian Medical College | Muliyil J.,Christian Medical College | Bhandari N.,Society for Applied Studies | And 2 more authors.
Vaccine | Year: 2014

While improvements in oral rehydration use and access to healthcare have contributed to impressive gains in child survival, diarrheal diseases remain the second most important cause of child mortality in India. Pathogen specific disease rates, while key to deciding on the utility of specific public health interventions such as vaccines, are extremely difficult to obtain in developing country settings with less than optimal health access, diagnostic services and information systems. This study combined disease burden within five cohorts of infants followed up for diarrheal morbidity with data from the nationally representative Indian Rotavirus Surveillance Network and applies rates of rotavirus related events to UNICEF birth and mortality estimates for India. These estimates, while limited by the lack of data from nationally representative population based studies, use methods consistent with those employed by the World Health Organization Child Health Epidemiology Reference Group. We estimate that 11.37 million episodes of rotavirus gastroenteritis occur each year in India, requiring 3.27 million outpatient visits and 872,000 inpatient admissions when health access is unconstrained, resulting in a need for Rs. 10.37 billion each year in direct costs. An estimated 78,000 rotavirus-associated deaths occur annually of which 59,000 occur in the first 2 years of life. Introduction of a rotavirus vaccine of similar efficacy to the Rotavac in the national immunization program would result in 686,277 fewer outpatient visits, 291,756 fewer hospitalizations and 26,985 fewer deaths each year in India, assuming no indirect effects for the vaccine. © 2014.


Basnet S.,Tribhuvan University | Shrestha P.S.,Tribhuvan University | Sharma A.,Tribhuvan University | Mathisen M.,University of Bergen | And 9 more authors.
Pediatrics | Year: 2012

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Diarrhea and pneumonia are the leading causes of illness and death in children <5 years of age. Zinc supplementation is effective for treatment of acute diarrhea and can prevent pneumonia. In this trial, we measured the efficacy of zinc when given to children hospitalized and treated with antibiotics for severe pneumonia. METHODS: We enrolled 610 children aged 2 to 35 months who presented with severe pneumonia defined by the World Health Organization as cough and/or difficult breathing combined with lower chest indrawing. All children received standard antibiotic treatment and were randomized to receive zinc (10 mg in 2- to 11-month-olds and 20 mg in older children) or placebo daily for up to 14 days. The primary outcome was time to cessation of severe pneumonia. RESULTS: Zinc recipients recovered marginally faster, but this difference was not statistically significant (hazard ratio = 1.10, 95% CI 0.94-1.30). Similarly, the risk of treatment failure was slightly but not significantly lower in those who received zinc (risk ratio = 0.88 95% CI 0.71-1.10). CONCLUSIONS: Adjunct treatment with zinc reduced the time to cessation of severe pneumonia and the risk of treatment failure only marginally, if at all, in hospitalized children. Copyright © 2012 by the American Academy of Pediatrics.


Mazumder S.,Society for Applied Studies | Taneja S.,Society for Applied Studies | Bhandari N.,Society for Applied Studies | Dube B.,Society for Applied Studies | And 4 more authors.
Bulletin of the World Health Organization | Year: 2010

Objective: To determine if educating caregivers in providing zinc supplements to infants < 6 months old with acute diarrhoea is effective in treating diarrhoea and preventing acute lower respiratory infections (ALRIs), and whether it leads to a decrease in the use of oral rehydration salts (ORS). Methods: In this retrospective subgroup analysis of infants aged < 6 months, six clusters were randomly assigned to intervention or control sites. Care providers were trained to give zinc and ORS to children with acute diarrhoea at intervention sites, and only ORS at control sites. Surveys were conducted at 3 and 6 months to assess outcomes. Differences between intervention and control sites in episodes of diarrhoea and ALRI in the preceding 24 hours or 14 days and of hospitalizations in the preceding 3 months were analysed by logistic regression. Findings: Compared with control sites, intervention sites had lower rates of acute diarrhoea in the preceding 14 days at 3 months (odds ratio, OR: 0.60; 95% confidence interval, CI: 0.43-0.84) and 6 months (OR: 0.72; 95% CI: 0.54-0.94); lower rates of acute diarrhoea in the preceding 24 hours at 3 months (0.66; 95% CI: 0.50-0.87) and of ALRI in the preceding 24 hours at 6 months (OR: 0.59; 95% CI: 0.37-0.93); and lower rates of hospitalization at 6 months for all causes (OR: 0.40; 95% CI: 0.34-0.49), diarrhoea (OR: 0.34; 0.18-0.63) and pasli chalna or pneumonia (OR: 0.36; 95% CI: 0.24-0.55). Conclusion: Educating caregivers in zinc supplementation and providing zinc to infants < 6 months old can reduce diarrhoea and ALRI. More studies are needed to confirm these findings as these data are from a subgroup analysis.

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