A pinboard by
Khadeeja Munawar

PhD Student , Department of Psychology, Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Monash University, Malaysia


Glue sniffing is serious problem in India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh. But the exact figures for the glue sniffing burden are not known. However, homeless teenagers are more like to develop addiction to glue. This review is the first comprehensive compilation of the Glue Sniffing in India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh. Our analysis has revealed that glue sniffing was the commonest and most favored drugs amid street children, and the studies highlighted that street children earned money or engaged in sex exchange just to ensure that they could buy glue for inhalation. Studies from India and Pakistan showed various socio-demographic factors related to high rates of glue sniffing such as, children who were 10 to 15 years old (n=13, 41.9%); living on streets/railway-platforms/ shelter/ footpaths/ runaways (n=16, 51.6%); children with illiteracy, low/primary level of education or school drop-outs (n=12, 38.7%), and children having no contact with family (n=5, 16.12%). The findings indicated that most of the glue sniffing children had low socioeconomic status (n=12, 38.7%), were males (n=12, 38.7%) and had a family history of substance abuse/dependence (n= 9, 29.03%). We strongly believe that this paper would be of interest to a broad readership, especially those from developing countries aiming to address the similar issues in their health system. India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh need immediate policy reform to control the access of glue/ inhalants, therefore the burden of addiction and comorbid conditions can be prevented from further rising.


Autism Spectrum disorders (ASD) in South Asia: a systematic review.

Abstract: Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are a group of complex neurodevelopmental disorders. The prevalence of ASD in many South Asian countries is still unknown. The aim of this study was to systematically review available epidemiological studies of ASD in this region to identify gaps in our current knowledge.We searched, collected and evaluated articles published between January 1962 and July 2016 which reported the prevalence of ASD in eight South Asian countries. The search was conducted in line with the PRISMA guidelines.We identified six articles from Bangladesh, India, and Sri Lanka which met our predefined inclusion criteria. The reported prevalence of ASD in South Asia ranged from 0.09% in India to 1.07% in Sri Lanka that indicates up to one in 93 children have ASD in this region. Alarmingly high prevalence (3%) was reported in Dhaka city. Study sample sizes ranged from 374 in Sri Lanka to 18,480 in India. The age range varied between 1 and 30 years. No studies were found which reported the prevalence of ASD in Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives and Afghanistan. This review identifies methodological differences in case definition, screening instruments and diagnostic criteria among reported three countries which make it very difficult to compare the studies.Our study is an attempt at understanding the scale of the problem and scarcity of information regarding ASD in the South Asia. This study will contribute to the evidence base needed to design further research and make policy decisions on addressing this issue in this region. Knowing the prevalence of ASD in South Asia is vital to ensure the effective allocation of resources and services.

Pub.: 23 Aug '17, Pinned: 26 Oct '17

Trends in inequalities in child stunting in South Asia.

Abstract: We analysed socio-economic inequalities in stunting in South Asia and investigated disparities associated with factors at the individual, caregiver, and household levels (poor dietary diversity, low maternal education, and household poverty). We used time-series analysis of data from 55,459 children ages 6-23 months from Demographic and Health Surveys in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Pakistan (1991-2014). Logistic regression models, adjusted for age, sex, birth order, and place of residency, examined associations between stunting and multiple types of socio-economic disadvantage. All countries had high stunting rates. Bangladesh and Nepal recorded the largest reductions-2.9 and 4.1 percentage points per year, respectively-compared to 1.3 and 0.6 percentage points in India and Pakistan, respectively. Socio-economic adversity was associated with increased risk of stunting, regardless of disadvantage type. Poor children with inadequate diets and with poorly educated mothers experienced greater risk of stunting. Although stunting rates declined in the most deprived groups, socio-economic differences were largely preserved over time and in some cases worsened, namely, between wealth quintiles. The disproportionate burden of stunting experienced by the most disadvantaged children and the worsening inequalities between socio-economic groups are of concern in countries with substantial stunting burdens. Closing the gap between best and worst performing countries, and between most and least disadvantaged groups within countries, would yield substantial improvements in stunting rates in South Asia. To do so, greater attention needs to be paid to addressing the social, economic, and political drivers of stunting with targeted efforts towards the populations experiencing the greatest disadvantage and child growth faltering.

Pub.: 20 Oct '17, Pinned: 26 Oct '17