Community Health

The Academic Community Health Department of Christian medical College provides research opportunities in Primary and Secondary Care through a network of health care professionals in a rural development block called Kaniyambadi. A database of the 106,000 residents in 73 villages is maintained on Microsoft Access. The computer facility includes a LAN with 20 computers, linked to an SQL server. Health information captured from primary and secondary care is available for trainees for generating hypothesis and developing research protocols. Every year, nearly 60 medical undergraduates and about 40 para-medical and 100 nursing undergraduate trainees, spend time in secondary or primary care activities of the department and are trained by a nine-member medical faculty, seven nursing faculty, two health educators, two sociologists, a statistician and a computer programmer. Currently, all the 73 villages have been mapped using Geographical Information System (GIS) software and every house in these villages, water, sewage and waste disposal are all currently being mapped using Global Positioning System (GPS) and are being added to the database. With the required linkages, the entire database is in the process of being spatially enabled. Expertise for GPS and GIS technology has been possible through software and travel grants made available from Environmental Science Research Institute at Redlands, California.

Research has been an important aspect of the Department's activities. The department has contributed to applied medical research in various fields of primary and secondary care health care. The department aims at combining basic, hospital-based and community based research to reach out not only to individual patients but also to the larger community. The department works in close collaboration with departments like Microbiology, Virology, Biochemistry, Neurology, Cardiology, Medicine, Ophthalmology, ENT and Psychiatry. A survey conducted to assess the prevalence of Reproductive Tract Infection in the community revealed a high prevalence of Reproductive Tract Infections (RTI) in the community. Subsequently, an intervention program aimed at detection and treatment of RTI has been launched in the service area. The department is currently focusing on research in communicable diseases, STD, RTI, Rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease, streptococcal throat infection, Tuberculosis and diarrheal diseases in childhood.