Research in EHA plays a vital role in building capacity of staff, gaining insights into existing challenges, identifying key areas for intervention, enhancing infrastructure, shaping programs and publishing articles. What started as a small activity about 10 years back has developed to appreciable proportions.

The research department of Baptist Christian Hospital, Tezpur conducted inquiries into various health aspects of the populations it serves to inform evidence-based care in critical areas. Major research studies under way during 2015-16 are: The ATTEND - Trial Family Led Rehabilitation after stroke in India; Stroke unit: Establishment of Stroke Registry and Evaluation of Stroke Unit Care and its Impact in a secondary Care Setting; Snake bite: A national study of snake envenomation syndrome –species correlation and clinical outcomes of snake bite; and A community based delivery of comprehensive HBV care in Arunachal Pradesh, India - Population Screening and Linkage to care.

Completing research projects in Duncan hospital, Raxaul enabled junior doctors to get admission for Post Graduate courses and to complete research projects in their courses. The experience of this has been written up by Dr Philip and Lois in “Building research capacity in resource poor settings - triumphs and challenges” which has been accepted for publication. The Maternal Near Miss Study done by Dr Kiran and Dr Jeni highlighted the complex obstetrics seen at Duncan Hospital and also that so many possible deaths were prevented. The earlier work of Dr Taka on Snakebite now has one publication in addition to Lois’ presentation in Oxford, UK, at the World Congress of the International Society of Toxicology. Posters of Snakes Common to East Champaran and Snake First Aid and Prevention are now frequently viewed by patients and their relatives in Casualty, Medical Ward and Outpatients departments.

Burans project is working among those challenged with mental disabilities. Dr. Kaaren Mathias has done a number of researches among them, and the following articles have been published: An Asset-Focused Health Needs Assessment in a Rural Community in North India. Conclusions of this study are that in lowresource developing country contexts with poor information systems, Health Needs Assessment is possible and useful. Cross-sectional study of depression and help-seeking in Uttarakhand, North India. This community based cross sectional shows that 6% of adults in Dehradun district are depressed. There is a large gap in access to effective care. Under the banyan tree - exclusion and inclusion of people with mental disorders in rural North India - The findings of this study underline the urgent need for initiatives that increase mental health literacy, access to services and social inclusion of People with mental disabilities in North India, and highlight the possibilities of using human rights frameworks in situations of physical and economic violence.

Shalom Delhi in partnership with Wheaton College, Illinois conducted a study on “Outcome Evaluation of an Empowerment Program for Women Affected by HIV/AIDS in Delhi” alongside a Pilot Livelihood Program that was started at Shalom for women affected with HIV. It was done to track changes in a range of parameters over a period of time in women who were enrolled in the program. The findings of the research will enable them to make important decisions regarding the livelihood program.

EHA Institutional Ethics Committee:

The EHA Institutional Ethics Committee plays a supportive role in enabling researchers to develop protocols, modify tools for data collection and enhance informed consent forms. Eleven research protocols were reviewed of which ten were approved and one has been given suggestions for resubmission. This service of EHA has been accessed by Jan Swasthya Sahyog in Maharashtra to review two Diplomate of National Board (DNB) students’ protocols.

The research protocols reviewed this year were:

  • Prospective study of effectiveness of a community based mental health project among people with mental disorders and their care givers in Dehradun District
  • Effectiveness of Nae Disha program to increase resilience among young people
  • Beyond the virus: Bridging the structural and cultural determinants for health with the everyday experiences of HIV-affected widows in poverty in Delhi
  • Understanding Women’s Autonomy through Health care choices
  • Outcome Evaluation of an Empowerment Program for Women Affected by HIV/AIDS in Delhi
  • Triggers of self-harm in Jangir Champa
  • A prospective study on the incidence and magnitude of rampant steroid abuse and its consequences, in northern India
  • A study to assess the health of children in difficult circumstances, its correlates and define strategies for intervention and inclusion in existing programs in North East India
  • Designing & implementing the surveillance program for detection of complications of Diabetes Mellitus in a secondary care rural hospital of Chhattisgarh
  • Designing & implementation of Hydroxyurea & Adequate analgesia based standard care for improving the outcome in sickle cell disease
  • Outcomes of empirical deworming in People Living with HIV (PLWHA)

~ Dr. Jameela George