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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 9  |  Page : 4998-5003

The first state-level public health program for obstructive airway disease in India: An early field-level evaluation

1 Department of Community Medicine, Government Medical College; Health Action by People, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India
2 Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Science & Technology; Directorate of Health Services, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India
3 Directorate of Health Services, Government Medical College; Health Action by People, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India
4 Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Government Medical College; Health Action by People, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India
5 Health Action by People, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India
6 Directorate of Health Services, Government Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Soumya Gopakumar
Suthalam, MRRA C9, Malloor Road, Vanchiyoor, Thiruvananthapuram - 695 035, Kerala
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_216_20

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Background: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the second leading cause of mortality in India; however, there are no programs for COPD in India at primary care level. Kerala became the first state in India to implement a program at primary care for COPD, called the Step Wise Approach to Airway Syndrome program. Objective: The objective of the study was to evaluate and document the implementation status of a program for obstructive airway disease (OAD) in Trivandrum district of Kerala state in India and compare the treatment characteristics of patients with OAD seeking care from the centers implementing and not implementing this program for OADs. Methods: A cross-sectional study was done as early evaluation of a program for OAD implemented in Kerala state, India, from October 2018 to February 2019. Results: A reflection of the health-seeking behavior due to better facilities at the FHCs. There was no difference in the hospital visits or emergency department visits between the two groups. However, there was a statistically significant difference in the average number of visits per patient to health center for taking injectable drugs and visits for nebulization. Forty-nine (94%) of the COPD and 36 (100%) of the asthma patients underwent spirometry from implementing center itself. A higher proportion of patients receiving care from implementing centers (30.9%) never had to buy inhalers from outside. Conclusion: This is the first time that a public health programme for chronic respiratory disease management at primary care level was evaluated in India. The study has provided valuable insights on the need for strengthening the training for health care providers as well as patient education in bringing about a change in patient attitudes.

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