A study on the distribution of disabilities among the population residing in the endosulfan exposed area in Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka

Sanjeev Badiger, Ankeeta Menona Jacob, Arunkumar Sagar Bangaraiah, Satheesh Kumar Bhandary, Smitha Hegde, Pavan Kumar


Background: Endosulphan was extensively sprayed in the cashew plantations in over 90 villages in Dakshina Kannada district for almost two decades before a ban was imposed. Areas where Endosulfan spraying was carried out, disability screening camps were conducted. The study aimed at describing the distribution of attendees of the disability screening camps among the population residing in the Endosulfan exposed area of Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka, India.

Methods: A cross sectional descriptive was undertaken with the permission of district health authorities by specialists in the villages of five taluks, on the patients attending the disability screening camps conducted in the year 2014-15. The patients were consecutively listed and classified based on the Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995 and analysed using SPSS version 20.0.

Results: Of the 4214 patients who attended the screening camps for disability held in the taluks mentioned above, 2190 (52.0%) were males. The most common affected age groups were between 5-19 years of 1606 (38.1%). The most common disability was intellectual disability (including cerebral palsy) in 2474 (58.7%) followed by physical disability seen in 384 (15.5%). Infertility was seen among 297 (7.09%) of the attendees of the screening camps. The total number of cancers patients attending the screening camps was 71 (1.6%), and 21 (0.5%) were cancers related to the reproductive tract, and 6 (0.1%) had breast cancer.

Conclusions: The most common age groups reporting with disabilities to the screening camps conducted by the district health authorities in Endosulfan sprayed villages of Dakshina Kannada district belonged to 5-19 years, and the most common disability was intellectual disability.


Endosulfan, Disabled persons, Teratogenicity, Infertility, Intellectual disability

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