Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Provinces of Sri Lanka


From 2005 to 2011 Mazowe District recorded a gradual decline in prevalence of hypertension in the face of rising incidence of complications like stroke. This raised questions on whether diagnosis and management of hypertensive patients is being done properly.

Concepts: Myocardial infarction, Hypertension, Stroke, Blood pressure, Zambia, Provinces of Zimbabwe, Provinces of Sri Lanka, Mashonaland Central


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


Exposure to armed conflict and/or war have been linked to an increase in intimate partner violence (IPV) against women. A substantial body of work has focused on non-partner rape and sexual violence in war and post-war contexts, but research about IPV is limited, particularly in Asian settings. This paper presents the finding of a study conducted in the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka. The study explored women’s experiences of and responses to IPV as well as how health and social service providers perceive the problem. It also explored the IPV-related services and supports available after the end of a 30-year civil war.

Concepts: Domestic violence, Violence, Sri Lanka, Civil war, Violence against women, War, War rape, Provinces of Sri Lanka


Incidence of child sexual abuse is increasing worldwide. There is little data on child sexual abuse in the North Western Province of Sri Lanka.

Concepts: Child abuse, Sri Lanka, Sexual abuse, Mihintale, Western Province, Sri Lanka, Northern Province, Sri Lanka, Provinces of Sri Lanka, North Western Province, Sri Lanka


Suicide prevention efforts in Asia have increasingly turned to ‘quick win’ means restriction, while more complicated cognitive restriction and psychosocial programmes are limited. This paper argues the development of cognitive restriction programmes requires greater consideration of suicide methods as social practices, and of how suicide cognitive schemata form. To illustrate this, the paper contributes an ethnographically grounded study of how self-poisoning becomes cognitively available in Sri Lanka. I argue the overwhelming preference for poison as a method of self-harm in the country is not simply reflective of its widespread availability, but rather how cognitive schemata of poison - a ‘poison complex’ - develops from early childhood and is a precondition for suicide schemata. Limiting cognitive availability thus requires an entirely novel approach to suicide prevention that draws back from its immediate object (methods and causes of self-harm) to engage the wider poison complex of which suicide is just one aspect.

Concepts: Childhood, Poison, Sri Lanka, Tamil people, Suicide methods, Lanka, Sri, Provinces of Sri Lanka


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


Arthropod stinging and bites are common environmental hazards in Sri Lanka. However, their medical importance has not been fully evaluated yet. This study aims to study the burden, epidemiology, and outcome of stings and bites in primary hospitals in the Kurunegala district in North Western Province (NWP) of Sri Lanka.

Concepts: Sri Lanka, Western Province, Sri Lanka, Northern Province, Sri Lanka, Provinces of Sri Lanka, North Western Province, Sri Lanka, Districts of Sri Lanka, Kurunegala, Kurunegala District


Melioidosis, a potentially fatal tropical infection, is said to be underdiagnosed in low-income countries. An increase in melioidosis cases in Sri Lanka allowed us to analyze the relationship among clinical outcome, bacteriology, epidemiology, and geography in the first 108 laboratory-confirmed cases of melioidosis from a nationwide surveillance program. The additional 76 cases of laboratory-confirmed melioidosis confirmed additional associations between Burkholderia pseudomallei multilocus sequence typing (MLST) and infection phenotype; ST1137/unifocal bacteremic infection (χ2 = 3.86, P < 0.05), ST1136/multifocal infection without bacteremia (χ2 = 15.8, P < 0.001), and ST1132/unifocal nonbacteremic infection (χ2 = 6.34, P = 0.02). ST1137 infections were predominantly seen in the Western Province, whereas ST1132, 1135, and 1136 infections predominated in the Northwestern Province. Early participating centers in the surveillance program had a lower melioidosis-associated mortality than later participants (χ2 = 3.99, P < 0.05). The based upon related sequence types (eBURST) algorithm, a MLST clustering method that infers founding genotypes and patterns of descent for related isolates and clonal complexes in an unrooted tree, showed uneven distribution of sequence types (STs). There was spatial clustering of the commonest STs (ST1132, 1136, and 1137) in the Western, Northwestern, and Central provinces. The recent increase in melioidosis in Sri Lanka uncovered by laboratory-enhanced surveillance is likely to be the result of a combination of improved laboratory detection, increased clinician awareness, recruitment of clinical centers, and small outbreaks. Further developing the surveillance program into a national genotyping-supported melioidosis registry will improve melioidosis diagnosis, treatment, and prevention where underdiagnosis and mortality rates remain high.

Concepts: Inflammation, Infectious disease, Infection, Sri Lanka, Burkholderia pseudomallei, Colombo, Lanka, Provinces of Sri Lanka


Unlike the bats of New World, Old World bats are not considered to transmit rabies virus (RABV). Two RABV variants are circulating in Sri Lanka; one variant is circulating in dogs and other animals. The other variant has been identified in a wild civet. There is possibility that other variants are also circulating among the wild animals in Sri Lanka. Therefore we performed molecular characterization of the RABVs present in Sri Lankan wild animals. Samples from wild animals, dogs, cats and humans with suspected rabies submitted at the Department of Rabies Diagnosis and Research, Medical Research Institute (MRI), Colombo, Sri Lanka were used in this study. We identified a RABV in a Sri Lankan bat known as Indian flying fox (Pteropus medius). Phylogenetic analysis of the N gene showed that the RABV from the bat formed a separate phylogenetic lineage in the Sri Lankan RABV group. RABVs in this lineage come from wild animals only and possess three nucleotide substitutions compared with others. This result indicates that Old World bats may be infected with RABV and therefore further studies are needed.

Concepts: Evolution, India, Sri Lanka, Rabies, Tamil people, Colombo, Lanka, Provinces of Sri Lanka


A growing body of literature indicates that the mental distress experienced by survivors of war is a function of both experienced trauma and stressful life events. However, the majority of these studies are limited in that they 1) employ models of psychological distress that emphasize underlying latent constructs and do not allow researchers to examine the unique associations between particular symptoms and various stressors; and 2) use one or more measures that were not developed for that particular context and thus may exclude key traumas, stressful life events and symptoms of psychopathology. The current study addresses both these limitations by 1) using a novel conceptual model, network analysis, which assumes that symptoms covary with each other not because they stem from a latent construct, but rather because they represent meaningful relationships between the symptoms; and 2) employing a locally developed measure of experienced trauma, stressful life problems and symptoms of psychopathology. Over the course of 2009-2011, 337 survivors of the Sri Lankan civil war were administered the Penn-RESIST-Peradeniya War Problems Questionnaire (PRPWPQ). Network analysis revealed that symptoms of psychopathology, problems pertaining to lack of basic needs, and social problems were central to the network relative to experienced trauma and other types of problems. After controlling for shared associations, social problems in particular were the most central, significantly more so than traumatic events and family problems. Several particular traumatic events, stressful life events and symptoms of psychopathology that were central to the network were also identified. Discussion emphasizes the utility of such network models to researchers and practitioners determining how to spend limited resources in the most impactful way possible.

Concepts: Psychology, Sociology, The Network, Psychological trauma, Sri Lanka, Civil war, Provinces of Sri Lanka