IJSRP, Volume 3, Issue 1, January 2013 Edition [ISSN 2250-3153]
Dr.Maneesha Godbole, Dr.Sulochana Abraham, Dr.Jasmine Prasad
Background: Infections of the reproductive tract in females is a major public health concern because of the associated morbidity. Women often delay seeking care for problems pertaining to the reproductive tract, as they feel shy to take these problems to a doctor, especially a male doctor. Moreover, health services are usually not accessible to the rural people and the urban poor. The nurses and paramedical workers are not trained to deal with gynaecologic diseases, and the availability of doctors in rural areas is very limited. Objectives: This study aims to assess the validity of diagnosis of the reproductive tract infections by the Female Health Worker, after a period of training. Material and Methods: 10 female health workers (known as Health Aides) of the Community Health Department of the Christian Medical College Vellore, were provided training in diagnosing the reproductive tract infections from visual examination of the vaginal discharge using a speculum. Training was also provided in counselling the patient and the partner.
Results: The validity of diagnosis by the Health Aides showed a sensitivity of 87 %, a specificity of 91%, Likelihood Ratio of8.7, Positive Predictive value of 85.95. Kappa for agreement between the trainer and the Health Aide was 74.3%. Conclusions: Utilising the skills of the Female Health Workers would overcome the problem of accessibility and lack of availability of a female doctor, and contribute positively to the reproductive health of the community, especially the rural poor who have poor access to services, and thus ensure an optimum level of health for all.