Initiatives for Women Health

Assessment & Management of Fluoride levels in pregnant SC Women from fluoride endemic zone

Punjab is the second highest endemic zone for fluoride in the country with 17 districts reported to be fluoride endemic. Fluoride which is a naturally occurring mineral found in ground water paves its way to various domestic water sources viz. tube wells, hand-pumps and open wells in rural areas. The other sources of fluoride include fluoride rich foods viz. fried & junk food/snacks containing high content of rock & black salt, black tea, fluoride fortified canned fruit juices, fluorinated toothpaste/mouth rinses, tobacoo/supari etc. Though fluoride is essentially required by human body in smaller dosage for bone mineralization & tooth enamel formation but at higher levels, it results in painful & crippling disorder called fluorosis. The major complications are in the form of dental and musco-skeletal fluorosis affecting children & adults respectively. The pregnant women/expecting mothers are other segment of society critically affected by high fluoride body levels. These high risk fluoride pregnant women may suffer from anemia, preeclampsia, hypothyroidism, oxidative stress etc. which may lead to pregnancy related complications i.e. spontaneous abortion/still birth of baby or birth of low weight/premature/congenitally malformed child/child with low IQ levels. The problem has been reported to be more critical in low socio-economic strata, however the systematic data for the same is lacking in the state of Punjab. Hence, PSCST implemented above said pilot project on assessment of baseline data on fluoride levels in pregnant SC women of Punjab, consequences of high fluoride levels and their management with the support of Department of Welfare (Directorate of SC/ST), Govt. of Punjab. The project was carried out in fluoride endemic Faridkot district in collaboration with Department of Gynecology, Guru Gobind Singh Medical College & Hospital (GGSMCH), BFUHS, Faridkot.


Nutrition & Bone Health of Women in Punjab – A Community Study

Osteoporosis is a skeletal disorder characterized by low bone strength that leads to an increased risk of fragility & fractures.  It is a major public health problem and is a progressive metabolic bone disorder mainly affecting elderly population especially the ageing women population. Due to lack of systemic data on the incidence of osteoporosis, related osteoporetic fractures & their complications in the state of Punjab and realizing the need thereof, the council implemented the above said project in collaboration with Department of Sports Medicine & Physiotherapy, Guru Nanak Dev University with the support of Department of Science & Technology, Govt. of India.  Under this, assessment of prevalence of osteoporosis among 3000 rural & urban women of District, Amritsar was carried out which revealed 70% women having low bone mass. Analysis of Bone Mineral Density measurements of these women showed 27% women to be osteopenic and 43% osteoporatic. 

Further, outreach programs were organized in collaboration with Baba Farid University of Health Sciences (BFUHS) and Jeevan Jyoti Jagriti Education Society to give insight into the prevalence of disease, its diagnostic procedure and available treatment therapies. The Council also adopted 30 villages from 6 districts of the state where 30 Public contact programs were organized to sensitize rural women and health extension workers on ‘Detection & Management of Osteoporosis’ A brochure on the subject developed by the Council was distributed to the participants.



Promotion of use of Medicinal Plants as household remedies among rural women 

Medicinal plants are major resource base for the traditional medicines and herbal industry.  Under a project supported by Science for Equity & Empowerment Division of DST-GOI, promotion of medicinal plants was taken up  in 6 districts of Punjab viz. Ropar, Faridkot, Ludhiana, Pathankot, Mohali & Hoshiarpur with the involvement of partner organizations/NGOs actively working in the field of health care.  The objective was to make rural women aware about significance & potential of medicinal plants for treatment of common ailments. 12 awareness programs were organized undr the project. During the above said programs, demonstration on preparation of plant based home remedies for common ailments were given. The medicinal plant saplings were distributed and women were encouraged to develop small herbal gardens comprising 7-8 medicinal plants for day to day use.  About 600 rural women, health care workers, school students & teachers, farmers and gram panchayat members were sensitized during these programs. Ethno-botanical survey was also conducted in the villages to assess traditional knowledge and usage of medicinal plants by rural community. The medicinal plant nurseries set up by partner organizations/NGOs under the project are being managed by local women having traditional knowledge.  


Awareness Program on Cancer in Women in Malwa Region 

PSCST is implementing this project with support of NCSTC, DST. The project involves survey and awareness campaign aimed at educating women on early detection of breast and cervix cancers through breast self examination and Pap smear tests. Under the project, a Local Project Advisory Committee has been constituted under the chairmanship of Dr. Suneela Garg, Head, Community Medicine, Maulana Azad Medical College. The project has been implemented in association with ROKO Cancer Charitable Trust which has conducting 12 capacity building, awareness workshops and cancer screening camps in 8 districts of Malwa region (Bathinda, Muktsar, Mansa, Ferozepur, Faridkot, Moga, Sangrur and Barnala). 


Community Radio Program  on Science for Women Health and Nutrition

NCSTC, DST, GOI had awarded a project on ‘Science for Women Health and Nutrition through Community Radio’ to PSCST for creating Awareness about Women Health & Nutrition issues, protecting female child for improvement in sex ratio and other related issues through Jyotirgamaya, the Community Radio of Panjab University, Chandigarh. 

The project was initiated in April, 2016 in association with School of Communication Studies, Panjab University. Under the project, after base-line survey, 365 episodes on women health and nutrition issues were broadcast on Jyotirgamaya, 91.2 MHz from 1st August, 2016 to July 2017.  The program was named ‘Sehat ka Vardaan, Nari ka Sammaan’. The episodes were broadcast at 11:30 AM in the morning with repeat telecast at 7:30 PM.



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