Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 12

Search results for: foetus

12 Automated Classification of Hypoxia from Fetal Heart Rate Using Advanced Data Models of Intrapartum Cardiotocography

Authors: Malarvizhi Selvaraj, Paul Fergus, Andy Shaw

Abstract:

Uterine contractions produced during labour have the potential to damage the foetus by diminishing the maternal blood flow to the placenta. In order to observe this phenomenon labour and delivery are routinely monitored using cardiotocography monitors. An obstetrician usually makes the diagnosis of foetus hypoxia by interpreting cardiotocography recordings. However, cardiotocography capture and interpretation is time-consuming and subjective, often lead to misclassification that causes damage to the foetus and unnecessary caesarean section. Both of these have a high impact on the foetus and the cost to the national healthcare services. Automatic detection of foetal heart rate may be an objective solution to help to reduce unnecessary medical interventions, as reported in several studies. This paper aim is to provide a system for better identification and interpretation of abnormalities of the fetal heart rate using RStudio. An open dataset of 552 Intrapartum recordings has been filtered with 0.034 Hz filters in an attempt to remove noise while keeping as much of the discriminative data as possible. Features were chosen following an extensive literature review, which concluded with FIGO features such as acceleration, deceleration, mean, variance and standard derivation. The five features were extracted from 552 recordings. Using these features, recordings will be classified either normal or abnormal. If the recording is abnormal, it has got more chances of hypoxia.

Keywords: cardiotocography, foetus, intrapartum, hypoxia

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11 Appraisal of Oxidative Stress in Pregnant and Non-Pregnant Non Descript Goat from Arid Tracts in India

Authors: Sudha Summarwar, Sudesh Agarwal, Deepali Lall, Nalini Kataria, Jyotsana Pandey

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Assessment of antioxidant status is an effective tool to appraise the presence of oxidative stress. A combination of assays can be used to evaluate the antioxidant status like serum catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and monoamine oxidase (MAO). In human medicine pregnancy is known to be associated with oxidative stress. Oxidative stress produces harmful effects to the developing foetus. Several metabolic changes occur in the maternal body to meet the demand of energy of developing foetus. Due to these changes susceptibility of maternal body increases to oxidative stress. There is paucity of research work on this aspect in nondescript goats. Therefore, the present study was intended to appraise the oxidative stress in pregnant and non-pregnant non-descript goat. Blood samples were collected for serum separation in otherwise healthy pregnant and non-pregnant nondescript goats. Mean values of serum CAT, SOD and MAO were found on a higher side (p≤0.05) with serum SOD values showing a rise of 2.5 times higher than the control healthy value. Correlations among all the three parameters were found to be highly significant (p≤0.01) especially greatest in youngest group of pregnant animals. Illustration of result enlightened the veracity of bumped up production of free radicals in pregnant animals. Technical savoir-faire of oxidative stress supervision is essential for upholding of health status of foetus. The upshot of present study undoubtedly implied the development of oxidative stress in pregnant goats on the basis of altered antioxidant status. These findings conclude that initially the oxidative stress due to pregnancy is critically combated by the intricate defensive mechanism of natural antioxidant system of the body. It appears that this imbalance between oxidant and antioxidant must be checked in time to prevent cellular damage by regularly appraising the antioxidant status through laboratory methods.

Keywords: antioxidant, oxidative stress, pregnancy, serum catalase

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10 Pro Life-Pro Choice Debate: Looking through the Prism of Abortion Right in the Indian Context

Authors: Satabdi Das

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Background:The abortion debate has polarized women, pitting them against each other in the binary of pro-choice and pro-life. While the followers of pro-choice views the right to an abortion as inherent to a women's right to sovereignty, the latter believes that it is unethical to kill a unborn baby as it is in a way denying the foetus' right to life. So there are innumerable arguments and counter arguments without hyphenation and the dilemma remains that which one is more significant – the mother's right to terminate pregnancy or the foetus' right to life. This pro-life and pro-choice debate has an western root which is more about reproductive freedom. But the Western standard of looking at abortion debate is not fully relevant in the Indian context. The situation is entirely different here. Sex selective foeticide is a social ill in India which cannot be explained through the prism of abortion debate only. It must take into account the problems of forced female foeticide. Objectives: Against this backdrop the study sheds light on the following issues: -How the Reproductive debate has been evolved? -How it is relevant in the Indian Context where female foeticide is a harsh reality? -How one should address the dilemma between life and death in the context of pro life-pro choice debate? Methodology: The study employs historical analytical and descriptive analytical methods and uses primary documents like governmental documents and secondary sources like analytical articles in books, journals, and relevant websites. Findings: -Fertility control is not a modern day phenomenon. It has its roots throughout ancient, medieval and present epochs. However, there existed debates over the rights of the foetus and the question of ethics pertaining to the act of abortion. -Pre-natal sex determination for sex selective abortion is a common phenomenon in India because of the wish for male heirs. The cultural preferences for male child over female ones have resulted in the disappearance of girl children. -When does the life begin has not been recognized by any law. Considering Indian case, it can be said that the Pro life/ pro choice is not that relevant as it is in the US. Here the women are often denied the basic human rights. They are murdered at the womb in many places. Their right to lives are jeopardised in that way. In the liberal abortion regime of India, women's choice to end a pregnancy is limited among very few enlightened families. In many cases, it is the decision of the family to end a pregnancy for boy preference. For that pre natal sex determination plays a crucial role. Conclusion: In India, we can be pro life only when the right to life of the unborn can be secured irrespective of its sex. Similarly we belong to pro-choice group only when the choice to terminate a baby is entirely decided by the mother for her own reasons.

Keywords: female foeticide, India, prolife/pro choice, right to abortion

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9 Pregnant Women with Dental Amalgam Fillings Limiting Their Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields to Prevent the Toxic Effects of Mercury in Their Fetuses

Authors: Ghazal Mortazavi, S. M. J. Mortazavi

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Although seems to be ultra-conservative, it has recently been suggested that whenever it is possible, pregnant women should postpone dental amalgam restorations to avoid the toxic effect of mercury on the foetus. Dental amalgam fillings cause significant exposure to elemental mercury vapour in the general population. Over the past several years, our lab has focused on the health effects of exposure of laboratory animals and humans to different sources of electromagnetic fields such as mobile phones and their base stations, mobile phone jammers, laptop computers, radars, dentistry cavitrons and MRI. Today, substantial evidence indicates that mercury even at low doses may lead to toxicity. Increased release of mercury from dental amalgam fillings after exposure to MRI or microwave radiation emitted by mobile phones has been previously shown by our team. Moreover, our recent studies on the effects of stronger magnetic fields entirely confirmed our previous findings. From the other point of view, we have also shown that papers which reported no increased release of mercury after MRI, may have some methodological flaws. As a strong positive correlation between maternal and cord blood mercury levels has been found in some studies, our findings regarding the effect of exposure to electromagnetic fields on the release of mercury from dental amalgam fillings lead us to this conclusion that pregnant women with dental amalgam fillings should limit their exposure to electromagnetic fields to prevent toxic effects of mercury in their foetuses.

Keywords: pregnancy, foetus, mercury release, dental amalgam, electromagnetic fields, MRI, mobile phones

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8 Uterine Torsion: A Rare Differential Diagnosis for Acute Abdominal Pain in Pregnancy

Authors: Tin Yee Ling, Kavita Maravar, Ruzica Ardalic

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Background: Uterine torsion (UT) in pregnancy of more than 45-degree along the longitudinal axis is a rare occurrence, and the aetiology remains unclear. Case: A 34-year-old G2P1 woman with a history of one previous caesarean section presented at 36+2 weeks with sudden onset lower abdominal pain, syncopal episode, and tender abdomen on examination. She was otherwise haemodynamically stable. Cardiotocography showed a pathological trace with initial prolonged bradycardia followed by a subsequent tachycardia with reduced variability. An initial diagnosis of uterine dehiscence was made, given the history and clinical presentation. She underwent an emergency caesarean section which revealed a 180-degree UT along the longitudinal axis, with oedematous left round ligament lying transverse anterior to the uterus and a segment of large bowel inferior to the round ligament. Detorsion of uterus was performed prior to delivery of the foetus, and anterior uterine wall was intact with no signs of rupture. There were no anatomical uterine abnormalities found other than stretched left ovarian and round ligaments, which were repaired. Delivery was otherwise uneventful, and she was discharged on day 2 postpartum. Discussion: UT is rare as the number of reported cases is within the few hundreds worldwide. Generally, the uterus is supported in place by uterine ligaments, which limit the mobility of the structure. The causes of UT are unknown, but risk factors such as uterine abnormalities, increased uterine ligaments’ flexibility in pregnancy, and foetal malposition has been identified. UT causes occlusion of uterine vessels, which can lead to ischaemic injury of the placenta causing premature separation of the placenta, preterm labour, and foetal morbidity and mortality if delivery is delayed. Diagnosing UT clinically is difficult as most women present with symptoms similar to placenta abruption or uterine rupture (abdominal pain, vaginal bleeding, shock), and one-third are asymptomatic. The management of UT involves surgical detorsion of the uterus and delivery of foetus via caesarean section. Extra vigilance should be taken to identify the anatomy of the uterus experiencing torsion prior to hysterotomy. There have been a few cases reported with hysterotomy on posterior uterine wall for delivery of foetus as it may be difficult to identify and reverse a gravid UT when foetal well-being is at stake. Conclusion: UT should be considered a differential diagnosis of acute abdominal pain in pregnancy. It is crucial that the torsion is addressed immediately as it is associated with maternal and foetal morbidity and mortality.

Keywords: uterine torsion, pregnancy complication, abdominal pain, torted uterus

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7 Association between a Forward Lag of Historical Total Accumulated Gasoline Lead Emissions and Contemporary Autism Prevalence Trends in California, USA

Authors: Mark A. S. Laidlaw, Howard W. Mielke

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In California between the late 1920’s and 1986 the lead concentrations in urban soils and dust climbed rapidly following the deposition of greater than 387,000 tonnes of lead emitted from gasoline. Previous research indicates that when children are lead exposed around 90% of the lead is retained in their bones and teeth due to the substitution of lead for calcium. Lead in children’s bones has been shown to accumulate over time and is highest in inner-city urban areas, lower in suburban areas and lowest in rural areas. It is also known that women’s bones demineralize during pregnancy due to the foetus's high demand for calcium. Lead accumulates in women’s bones during childhood and the accumulated lead is subsequently released during pregnancy – a lagged response. This results in calcium plus lead to enter the blood stream and cross the placenta to expose the foetus with lead. In 1970 in the United States, the average age of a first‐time mother was about 21. In 2008, the average age was 25.1. In this study, it is demonstrated that in California there is a forward lagged relationship between the accumulated emissions of lead from vehicle fuel additives and later autism prevalence trends between the 1990’s and current time period. Regression analysis between a 24 year forward lag of accumulated lead emissions and autism prevalence trends in California are associated strongly (R2=0.95, p=0.00000000127). It is hypothesized that autism in genetically susceptible children may stem from vehicle fuel lead emission exposures of their mothers during childhood and that the release of stored lead during subsequent pregnancy resulted in lead exposure of foetuses during a critical developmental period. It is furthermore hypothesized that the 24 years forward lag between lead exposures has occurred because that is time period is the average length for women to enter childbearing age. To test the hypothesis that lead in mothers bones is associated with autism, it is hypothesized that retrospective case-control studies would show an association between the lead in mother’s bones and autism. Furthermore, it is hypothesized that the forward lagged relationship between accumulated historical vehicle fuel lead emissions (or air lead concentrations) and autism prevalence trends will be similar in cities at the national and international scale. If further epidemiological studies indicate a strong relationship between accumulated vehicle fuel lead emissions (or accumulated air lead concentrations) and lead in mother’s bones and autism rates, then urban areas may require extensive soil intervention to prevent the development of autism in children.

Keywords: autism, bones, lead, gasoline, petrol, prevalence

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6 A Cross-Sectional Assessment of Maternal Food Insecurity in Urban Settings

Authors: Theresia F. Mrema, Innocent Semali

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Food insecurity to pregnant women seriously impedes efforts to reduce maternal mortality in resource poor countries. This study was carried out to assess determinants food insecurity among pregnant women in urban areas. A cross sectional study design was used to collect data for the period of two weeks. A structured questionnaire with both closed and open ended questions was used to interview a total of 225 randomly selected pregnant women who attend the three randomly selected antenatal care clinics in Temeke Municipal council. The food insecurity was measured using a modified version of the USDA’s core food security module which consists of 15questions. Logistic regression analysis was used to obtain strength of association between dependent and independent variables. Among 225 pregnant women attending antenatal care (ANC) interviewed 55.1% were food insecure. Food insecurity declined with increasing household wealth, it was also significantly low among those with less than three children compared with having more. Low level of food insecurity was associated with having Secondary education (Adjusted OR=0.24; 95%CI, 0.12–0.48), College Education (OR=0.156; 95%CI, 0.05-0.46), paid employment (OR=0.322; 95%CI, 0.11-0.96) and high income (OR=0.031; 95%CI, 0.01–0.07). Also, having head of the household with secondary education (OR=0.51; 95%CI, 0.07-0.32) college education (OR=0.04; 95%CI, 0.01-0.13) and paid employment (OR=0.225; 95%CI, 0.12-0.42). Food insecurity is a significant problem among pregnant women in Temeke Municipal which might significantly affect health of the pregnant woman and foetus due to higher maternal malnutrition which increases risk of miscarriage, maternal and infant mortality, and poor pregnancy outcomes. The study suggests a multi-sectoral approach in order to address this problem.

Keywords: food security, nutrition, pregnant women, urban settings

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5 Maternal Health Care Utilization and Its Effect on Pregnancy Outcome in Nepal

Authors: Adrita Banerjee, Ajeet Kumar Singh

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Antenatal care (ANC) from a skilled provider is important to monitor the pregnancy and reduce the risk of morbidity for mother and baby during pregnancy and delivery. The quality of antenatal care can be monitored through the content of services received and the kind of information mothers are given during their visit. Objective: The paper tries to examine the association between ANC check-ups and size/ birth weight. It also focuses on investigating the relationship between utilization of recommended prenatal care for mothers and its effect on infant survival in Nepal. Data and methods: This paper uses data from Nepal demographic Health Survey 2011. To understand the relationship bi-variate statistical analysis and logistic regressions has been done. Maternal health care utilization include ANC check-ups i.e. the type of ante-natal care providers, the number and timing of the visit. The various components of the check-ups include intake of iron tablets/syrups, intestinal parasitic drugs, etc. Results: The results show that women who had no antenatal care visits about 40% had small sized babies at the time of birth compared to women to had at least 3 ANC check up. Women who had at least 3 check-ups 17% of the babies have a small size. It has also been found that about 50 % of the women prefer ANC check-ups during pregnancies which have resulted in lowering the infant mortality by about 40% during 1996-2011. Conclusion: Ante natal care check is care and monitoring of the pregnant woman and her foetus throughout pregnancy. ANC checks have an effect on the infant health and child survival. A woman who had at least three check-ups the possibilities of adverse effect on infant health and infant survival was significantly lower. The findings argue for a more enhanced focus on ANC check-ups for improving the maternal and child health in Nepal.

Keywords: maternal, health, pregnancy, outcome

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4 Urogenital Myiasis in Pregnancy - A Rare Presentation

Authors: Madeleine Elder, Aye Htun

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Background: Myiasis is the parasitic infestation of body tissues by fly larvae. It predominantly occurs in poor socioeconomic regions of tropical and subtropical countries where it is associated with poor hygiene and sanitation. Cutaneous and wound myiasis are the most common presentations whereas urogenital myiasis is rare, with few reported cases. Case: a 26-year-old primiparous woman with a low-risk pregnancy presented to the emergency department at 37+3-weeks’ gestation after passing a 2cm black larva during micturition, with 2 weeks of mild vulvar pruritus and dysuria. She had travelled to India 9-months prior. Examination of the external genitalia showed small white larvae over the vulva and anus and a mildly inflamed introitus. Speculum examination showed infiltration into the vagina and heavy white discharge. High vaginal swab reported Candida albicans. Urine microscopy reported bacteriuria with Enterobacter cloacae. Urine parasite examination showed myiasis caused by Clogmia albipunctata species of fly larvae from the family Psychodidae. Renal tract ultrasound and inflammatory markers were normal. Infectious diseases, urology and paediatric teams were consulted. The woman received treatment for her urinary tract infection (which was likely precipitated by bladder irritation from local parasite infestation) and vaginal candidiasis. She underwent daily physical removal of parasites with cleaning, speculum examination and removal, and hydration to promote bladder emptying. Due to the risk of neonatal exposure, aspiration pneumonitis and facial infestation, the woman was steroid covered and proceeded to have an elective caesarean section at 38+3-weeks’ gestation, with delivery of a healthy infant. She then proceeded to have a rigid cystoscopy and washout, which was unremarkable. Placenta histopathology revealed focal eosinophilia in keeping with the history of maternal parasites. Conclusion: Urogenital myiasis is very rare, especially in the developed world where it is seen in returned travellers. Treatment may include systemic therapy with ivermectin and physical removal of parasites. During pregnancy, physical removal is considered the safest treatment option, and discussion around the timing and mode of delivery should consider the risk of harm to the foetus.

Keywords: urogenital myiasis, parasitic infection, infection in pregnancy, returned traveller

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3 Mirna Expression Profile is Different in Human Amniotic Mesenchymal Stem Cells Isolated from Obese Respect to Normal Weight Women

Authors: Carmela Nardelli, Laura Iaffaldano, Valentina Capobianco, Antonietta Tafuto, Maddalena Ferrigno, Angela Capone, Giuseppe Maria Maruotti, Maddalena Raia, Rosa Di Noto, Luigi Del Vecchio, Pasquale Martinelli, Lucio Pastore, Lucia Sacchetti

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Maternal obesity and nutrient excess in utero increase the risk of future metabolic diseases in the adult life. The mechanisms underlying this process are probably based on genetic, epigenetic alterations and changes in foetal nutrient supply. In mammals, the placenta is the main interface between foetus and mother, it regulates intrauterine development, modulates adaptive responses to sub optimal in uterus conditions and it is also an important source of human amniotic mesenchymal stem cells (hA-MSCs). We previously highlighted a specific microRNA (miRNA) profiling in amnion from obese (Ob) pregnant women, here we compared the miRNA expression profile of hA-MSCs isolated from (Ob) and control (Co) women, aimed to search for any alterations in metabolic pathways that could predispose the new-born to the obese phenotype. Methods: We isolated, at delivery, hA-MSCs from amnion of 16 Ob- and 7 Co-women with pre-pregnancy body mass index (mean/SEM) 40.3/1.8 and 22.4/1.0 kg/m2, respectively. hA-MSCs were phenotyped by flow cytometry. Globally, 384 miRNAs were evaluated by the TaqMan Array Human MicroRNA Panel v 1.0 (Applied Biosystems). By the TargetScan program we selected the target genes of the miRNAs differently expressed in Ob- vs Co-hA-MSCs; further, by KEGG database, we selected the statistical significant biological pathways. Results: The immunophenotype characterization confirmed the mesenchymal origin of the isolated hA-MSCs. A large percentage of the tested miRNAs, about 61.4% (232/378), was expressed in hA-MSCs, whereas 38.6% (146/378) was not. Most of the expressed miRNAs (89.2%, 207/232) did not differ between Ob- and Co-hA-MSCs and were not further investigated. Conversely, 4.8% of miRNAs (11/232) was higher and 6.0% (14/232) was lower in Ob- vs Co-hA-MSCs. Interestingly, 7/232 miRNAs were obesity-specific, being expressed only in hA-MSCs isolated from obese women. Bioinformatics showed that these miRNAs significantly regulated (P<0.001) genes belonging to several metabolic pathways, i.e. MAPK signalling, actin cytoskeleton, focal adhesion, axon guidance, insulin signaling, etc. Conclusions: Our preliminary data highlight an altered miRNA profile in Ob- vs Co-hA-MSCs and suggest that an epigenetic miRNA-based mechanism of gene regulation could affect pathways involved in placental growth and function, thereby potentially increasing the newborn’s risk of metabolic diseases in the adult life.

Keywords: hA-MSCs, obesity, miRNA, biosystem

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2 Exploring Valproic Acid (VPA) Analogues Interactions with HDAC8 Involved in VPA Mediated Teratogenicity: A Toxicoinformatics Analysis

Authors: Sakshi Piplani, Ajit Kumar

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Valproic acid (VPA) is the first synthetic therapeutic agent used to treat epileptic disorders, which account for affecting nearly 1% world population. Teratogenicity caused by VPA has prompted the search for next generation drug with better efficacy and lower side effects. Recent studies have posed HDAC8 as direct target of VPA that causes the teratogenic effect in foetus. We have employed molecular dynamics (MD) and docking simulations to understand the binding mode of VPA and their analogues onto HDAC8. A total of twenty 3D-structures of human HDAC8 isoforms were selected using BLAST-P search against PDB. Multiple sequence alignment was carried out using ClustalW and PDB-3F07 having least missing and mutated regions was selected for study. The missing residues of loop region were constructed using MODELLER and energy was minimized. A set of 216 structural analogues (>90% identity) of VPA were obtained from Pubchem and ZINC database and their energy was optimized with Chemsketch software using 3-D CHARMM-type force field. Four major neurotransmitters (GABAt, SSADH, α-KGDH, GAD) involved in anticonvulsant activity were docked with VPA and its analogues. Out of 216 analogues, 75 were selected on the basis of lower binding energy and inhibition constant as compared to VPA, thus predicted to have anti-convulsant activity. Selected hHDAC8 structure was then subjected to MD Simulation using licenced version YASARA with AMBER99SB force field. The structure was solvated in rectangular box of TIP3P. The simulation was carried out with periodic boundary conditions and electrostatic interactions and treated with Particle mesh Ewald algorithm. pH of system was set to 7.4, temperature 323K and pressure 1atm respectively. Simulation snapshots were stored every 25ps. The MD simulation was carried out for 20ns and pdb file of HDAC8 structure was saved every 2ns. The structures were analysed using castP and UCSF Chimera and most stabilized structure (20ns) was used for docking study. Molecular docking of 75 selected VPA-analogues with PDB-3F07 was performed using AUTODOCK4.2.6. Lamarckian Genetic Algorithm was used to generate conformations of docked ligand and structure. The docking study revealed that VPA and its analogues have more affinity towards ‘hydrophobic active site channel’, due to its hydrophobic properties and allows VPA and their analogues to take part in van der Waal interactions with TYR24, HIS42, VAL41, TYR20, SER138, TRP137 while TRP137 and SER138 showed hydrogen bonding interaction with VPA-analogues. 14 analogues showed better binding affinity than VPA. ADMET SAR server was used to predict the ADMET properties of selected VPA analogues for predicting their druggability. On the basis of ADMET screening, 09 molecules were selected and are being used for in-vivo evaluation using Danio rerio model.

Keywords: HDAC8, docking, molecular dynamics simulation, valproic acid

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1 Students Awareness on Reproductive Health Education in Sri Lanka

Authors: Ayomi Indika Irugalbandara

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Reproductive Health (RE) education among Sri Lankan Adolescents (comprising one fifth inner population) remains unsatisfactory despite 91.8% of them completing primary education & 56.2 % receiving post secondary level education. The main reason for this large population not receiving satisfactory RH education is traditional values and longstanding taboos surrounding sexuality. The current study was undertaken with there objectives. The relevance of achieving them being to formulate RH educational policies and programs that address a sizable and sensitive chunk of the population thereby achieving the goal of mental and social well being and not merely the absence of reproductive disease or infirmity. This research was a descriptive study, using random sampling technique, sample of the study consisting of 160 adolescent in the age group of 16-19, studying in government schools in Sri Lanka. Questionnaire was the main instrument of data collection, qualitative and quantitative techniques were used in data analysis. According to the data it was revealed that a majority has some idea about RH education. While this awareness had been provided by the school, the source of information had been Health and Physical Education. The entire sample mentioned that more RH information, than was provided, should be given and everybody wanted further knowledge regarding sexuality, and in depth information on it was essential. About 96 adolescents were of the opinion that their behavior was respectful to elders and 64 felt embarrassed while communicating with elders regarding RH issues. About their preferred sources of information, both genders named health providers as their first choice, followed by family members and friends. The internet was cited by a few boys; less than 5 percent cited religious figures. More than 50% of respondents had no knowledge about abortion and they were unaware of dangerous abortion. The practice of abortion was reported among zero percent. Although every member of the sample did not possess knowledge of the scientific process involved in abortion, all of them totally rejected the idea of destroying a foetus. Adolescence is a critical period in the life of girls and boys and sexuality education empowers young people to protect their health and well-being. Schools have the proper staff, and environment for learning. It might be stated that the greater segment of individuals entering adolescents and going through their adolescence are still in the school. This becomes the reason why it is mandatory that the school should be geared to handle this critical stage of the students. Adolescents or those approaching adolescence are best educated by the relevant parents, but this being quite a sensitive issue in the socio cultural context, it is somewhat doubtful whether all parents are prepared to handle this candidly, due either to lack of knowledge or absence of the appropriate state of mind. As such it is best that seminars/workshops be conducted to enlighten parents on handling HR issues related to their adolescent children. Apart from the awareness on HR provided through the school curriculum a greater impact can be brought about through street dramas, exhibitions etc. specific to HR. Finally the researcher would like to suggest that Sunday schools be harnessed for the provision of HR education linked with cultural values, ethics, and social well-being.

Keywords: reproductive health, awareness, perception, school curriculum

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