Meenakshi Bhilwar1, Panna Lal2, Nandini Sharma2, Preena Bhalla3, Ashok Kumar4
1Department of Community Medicine, Vardhman Mahavir Medical College and Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi, India.
2Department of Community Medicine, Maulana Azad Medical College and Associated Hospitals, New Delhi, India.
3Department of Microbiology, Maulana Azad Medical College and Associated Hospitals, New Delhi, India.
4Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Maulana Azad Medical College and Associated Hospitals, New Delhi, India.
Background: Reproductive tract infections (RTIs) have adverse implications on the health of the women. Community-based studies in India have shown a high prevalence of RTIs but here is a lack of sizeable literature from urban slums and resettlement areas. Aims and Objectives: The objective was to document the prevalence and determinants of RTIs in married women (15-49 years) residing in an urban slum in Delhi, India. Materials and Methods: The study was conducted in an urban resettlement colony of Gokulpuri in the North-East district of Delhi. Systematic random sampling method was adopted to choose the study subjects, that is, married and non-pregnant women in the reproductive age group (15-49 years) residing in the study area. Data were collected using a pretested semi-structured questionnaire, through the house to house visits. The diagnosis of RTIs was made as per the World Health Organization syndromic approach. Data were analyzed in SPSS version 16 (Chicago, IL, USA). Results: A total of 802 women were interviewed. The mean age of study subjects was 30.79 ± 7 years. A total of 352 (43.9%) women currently had symptoms of RTIs. The most frequently reported symptoms included abdominal pain (68.2%), back pain (69.6%), and vaginal discharge (59.3%). Older women (≥25 years) (odds ratio [OR] 2.2, 95% confidence interval [CI]; 1.4-3.5), those belonging to the lower socioeconomic status (OR 2.1, 95% CI; 1.5-2.9), those using cloth during menses (OR 2.6, 95% CI; 1.6-4.3), those having more than three pregnancies (OR 1.8, 95% CI; 1.2-2.6) and those using an intrauterine contraceptive device (OR 11.8, 95% CI; 4.3-32.0) had higher odds of having RTIs. Conclusions: A high case load was found based on the syndromic approach. Generating community awareness, ensuring proper menstrual hygiene, and improving the socioeconomic status would help in reducing the cases of RTI.
Keywords: Delhi, married women, reproductive tract infections, risk factors, sexually transmitted infections, urban slum.