Reproductive tract infection among the women of high-altitude areas of Lahaul and Spiti District of Himachal Pradesh, India
Keywords:High-altitude areas, Lahaul and Spiti, Reproductive tract infection (RTI), Self-reported symptoms, Tribes of Himachal Pradesh
Background: Reproductive tract infection (RTI) is a serious public health problem particularly among the women in reproductive age group. Tribal women particularly living in high altitude cold areas are more vulnerable to these infections as availability of water for domestic purpose is scarce hence affects personal hygiene.
Methods: A door to door survey was conducted by canvassing a pre-designed interview schedule for capturing the reported symptoms of RTI among 494 women in the age group 15-49 years in Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh.
Results: Around 26% of the respondents reported one or the other symptoms of RTI experienced by them during three months preceding the survey. The reported symptoms were mostly related to discharge.
Conclusions: The study is carried out among women of high-altitude tribal areas of Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh, where such data/information is not available. Maintenance of personal hygiene is poor, more than one-fourth women had one or the other symptoms of RTI. Lower economic status and personal hygiene practices are strongly associated with RTI. The findings of the study will draw attention of Scientists, Program managers to address the issues for qualitative improvement of female population of the area. Need to sensitise the masses on the issues of RTI and strengthen its outreach health services in the district.
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