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Concept: Colombo


The purpose of this study was to evaluate gender-wise diversity of digital dermatoglyphic traits in a sample of Sinhalese people in Sri Lanka.

Concepts: Sri Lanka, Tamil language, Colombo, Sinhalese people


Knowledge of and attitudes towards dysmenorrhea among adolescent school girls were assessed in this study. A descriptive study was conducted among 200 Year 12 girls at a school in the Nugegoda Educational Division in the district of Colombo. Data collection was done by using non-probability convenience sampling. The results indicated that 84% of the study population had dysmenorrhea. Paracetamol was the drug of choice for pain relief. There was a statistically-significant (P < 0.05) association between pain and poor mental health status (66%) of the adolescent girls, but there was no significant association between pain and poor physical health (P = 0.887) and poor social health status (P = 0.395). Bathing was found to affect pain, as reported by 95% of the students. Dysmenorrhea was common among adolescent girls in our study population, and was found to affect their mental status. Health-education sessions are important to raise awareness among students of dysmenorrhea.

Concepts: Health care, Epidemiology, Sampling, Education, Sri Lanka, Personal life, Hygiene, Colombo


Physical inactivity is a modifiable risk factor of many non-communicable diseases. The aim of this study was to assess the pattern of physical activity among Sri Lankan adults in the district of Colombo, Sri Lanka. The study was carried out among a sample of 1320 adults aged 20 to 59 years, selected using stratified, cluster sampling method. Physical activity was assessed using the long form of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire validated for Sri Lanka. The prevalence of sufficient physical activity was 82.0% (CI = 78.5-85.0) for males and 79.7% (CI = 76.5-82.6) for females. The odds of having sufficient activity were lower with increase in the level of urbanisation. Activity was achieved mainly through domestic and transport related activity. Only 21.7% carried out at least some activity for leisure. As Sri Lanka continues to urbanize, it is important to find strategies to increase the level of activity especially at leisure.

Concepts: Sample, Sampling, Sri Lanka, Cluster sampling, Colombo, Lanka, Sinhala language, Sri Lankan Moors



Sri Lanka has witnessed a series of dengue epidemics over the past five years, with the western province, home to the political capital of Colombo, bearing more than half of the dengue burden. Existing dengue monitoring prevention programs are exhausted as public health inspectors (PHIs) cope with increasing workloads and paper-based modes of surveillance and education, characterizing a reactive system unable to cope with the enormity of the problem. On the other hand, the unprecedented proliferation and affordability of mobile phones since 2009 and a supportive political climate have thus far remained unexploited for the use of mobile-based interventions for dengue management.

Concepts: Dengue fever, Sri Lanka, Mobile phone, Colombo, Sinhala language, Western Province, Sri Lanka, Sri Lankan Moors, Provinces of Sri Lanka


BACKGROUND: The migration of health-care workers contributes to the shortage of health-care workers in many developing countries. This paper aims to describe the migration of medical specialists from Sri Lanka and to discuss the successes and failures of strategies to retain them. METHODS: This paper presents data on all trainees who have left Sri Lanka for postgraduate training through the Post Graduate Institute of Medicine, University of Colombo, from April 1980 to June 2009. In addition, confidential interviews were conducted with 30 specialists who returned following foreign training within the last 5 years and 5 specialists who opted to migrate to foreign countries. RESULTS: From a total of 1,915 specialists who left Sri Lanka for training, 215 (11%) have not returned or have left the country without completing the specified bond period. The majority (53%) migrated to Australia. Of the specialists who left before completion of the bond period, 148 (68.8%) have settled or have started settling the bond. All participants identified foreign training as beneficial for their career. The top reasons for staying in Sri Lanka were: job security, income from private practice, proximity to family and a culturally appropriate environment. The top reasons for migration were: better quality of life, having to work in rural parts of Sri Lanka, career development and social security. CONCLUSIONS: This paper attempts to discuss the reasons for the low rates of emigration of specialists from Sri Lanka. Determining the reasons for retaining these specialists may be useful in designing health systems and postgraduate programs in developing countries with high rates of emigration of specialists.

Concepts: Medicine, Human migration, India, Sri Lanka, Colombo, Lanka, University of Colombo, Sri Lankan Civil War


To quantify short and long-term outcomes of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) among South Asians METHODS: Prospective cohort-study in Gampaha District, Sri Lanka following a community-prevalence study (WHO 1999 criteria). All women with GDM (exposed) and within sample non-GDM (non-exposed) were recruited. Data was gathered at selected intervals until one-year post-partum by interviewer-administered questionnaire, anthropometry, blood pressure, post-partum 75gOGTT and cholesterol. Two groups were compared for pregnancy outcomes; and age, parity, first-trimester BMI adjusted odds ratios (aOR) calculated.

Concepts: Pregnancy, Myocardial infarction, Diabetes mellitus, Obstetrics, Gestational diabetes, Sri Lanka, South Asia, Colombo


Tuberculosis (TB) is a major global health problem, commonly seen in underdeveloped countries. The probability of contracting the disease is significantly higher among the economically vulnerable and the socially disadvantaged. Risk factors associated with TB can also change over time. In the Sri Lankan context, no study has explored how these factors impact patients. Therefore, we aimed to explore social status, associated risk factors and lifestyle changes during the treatment period of TB patients attending a tertiary respiratory center in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Concepts: Sociology, India, Sri Lanka, Tamil people, Colombo, Lanka, Sinhala language, Provinces of Sri Lanka


Youth suicide rates are rising worldwide, including Sri Lanka, where 46.5/100,000 among 15-19yrs was reported in 1986. Identifying high risk adolescents is vital. Dearth of trained professionals, demands an instrument utilizable by non-psychiatrists. Such was not available in Sinhalese. Adolescent Suicide Assessment Protocol (ASAP-20) and its' manual was translated and validated to Sri Lankan adolescents.

Concepts: Sri Lanka, Maldives, Tamil language, Colombo, Lanka, Sri, Sinhalese people, Vijaya of Sri Lanka


Socio-economic, demographic factors and Knowledge Attitude Practices (KAPs) have been recognized as critical factors that influence the incidence and transmission of dengue epidemics. However, studies that characterize above features of a risk free or low risk population are rare. Therefore, the present study was conducted to characterize the household related, demographic, socio-economic factors and KAPs status of five selected dengue free communities.

Concepts: Demography, Sociology, Cultural studies, Sri Lanka, Colombo, Kandy, Sri Lankan Moors, Central Province, Sri Lanka