Dr. Leyanna Susan George currently serves as Associate Professor at the Department of Community Medicine, School of Medicine, Kochi.


Publication Type: Journal Article

Year of Publication Title


Rakesh P. S., Leyanna Susan George, Teena Mary Joy, Sobha George, Renjini, B. A., and Beena, K. V., “Anemia Among School Children in Ernakulam District, Kerala, India”, Indian J Hematol Blood Transfus, vol. 35, no. 1, pp. 114-118, 2019.[Abstract]

Anaemia has significant negative impact on the health of school children including poor scholastic performance and cognitive impairment. The present study was done with the objective to estimate the prevalence of anemia among school going children in Ernakulam district, Kerala and to determine a few factors associated with anemia. Hemoglobin of 880 students of 6th to 9th standard in 11 randomly selected schools of Ernakulam district was estimated using HemoCue 201 photometer. Prevalence of anaemia was expressed using frequencies and percentages. Univariate analysis for factors associated with anemia was done. Selected variables were entered into a logistic regression model. The prevalence of anemia was estimated to be 44% (95% CI 40.67-47.33). Among them 0.8% had severe anemia, 3.5% had moderate anemia and 39.7% had mild anemia. Among them 21.3% and 52.6% reported not in the habit of consuming green leafy vegetables and citrus fruits respectively, at least three times on a usual week. Anemia among children was associated with female gender (adjusted OR 1.53, 95% CI 1.16-2.04), higher age group (adjusted OR 2.24, 95% CI 1.69-2.91) and regular intake of tea/coffee along with major meals (adjusted OR 1.62, 95% CI 1.20-2.04). Anemia among school going children in Ernakulam remains a public health problem and was more among females, higher age groups (12-15 years) and those reported regular intake of tea/coffee along with major meals. The consumption of iron rich foods among the students was poor. Behavior change communication for dietary modification and universal supplementation of iron is warranted.

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V. K. Krishnendhu and Leyanna Susan George, “Drivers and Barriers for Measles Rubella Vaccination Campaign: A Qualitative Study”, J Family Med Prim Care, vol. 8, no. 3, pp. 881-885, 2019.[Abstract]

<p><b>Background: </b>The measles-rubella (MR) vaccination campaign was launched in Kerala on 3 October 2017 aiming to eliminate MR by 2020. The drive was carried out in schools, community centers, and medical institutions. The initial phase of the MR campaign met with many controversies that affected its coverage.</p>

<p><b>Objectives: </b>The objectives of the study were to analyze the drivers and barriers for acceptance of MR vaccination in the field area of a primary health center (PHC), which reported a low coverage (62%) during the initial phase of the campaign.</p>

<p><b>Methods: </b>A qualitative study consisting of key informant interviews of parents of vaccinated and unvaccinated children, medical officers of the PHC, Junior Public Health Nurse (JPHN), and Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) workers, and the principals of government and private schools where the campaign was conducted was also interviewed.</p>

<p><b>Results: </b>The major barrier to acceptance of MR campaign was the anti-vaccination propaganda in social media. The messages falsely linked fertility issues with the vaccine. The purpose of this campaign was not properly understood by the parents. The campaign was implemented within a short span of time resulting in coordination issues between the stakeholders. However, it was observed that religious affiliations played a major role in reducing coverage. The drivers to acceptance of MR vaccination campaign were the team effort of the healthcare providers who constantly motivated parents to vaccinate their children.</p>

<p><b>Conclusion: </b>Addressing the anti-vaccination propaganda has become the need of the hour. The inclusion of all stakeholders including religious leaders in the planning and implementation of the campaign is essential for its success.</p>

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S. George, Joy, T. Mary, Anil Kumar, Panicker, K. N., Leyanna Susan George, Raj, M., Leelamoni, K., and Nair, P., “Prevalence of Neglected Tropical Diseases (Leishmaniasis and Lymphatic Filariasis) and Malaria Among a Migrant Labour Settlement in Kerala, India.”, J Immigr Minor Health, 2018.[Abstract]

Neglected tropical diseases (visceral leismaniasis, lymphatic filariasis) and malaria are endemic in northern states of India. Kerala has become a hub of construction activities employing a large number of migrants from these endemic states. Studies on morbidity pattern among migrants in Kerala are lacking. It is essential to look into the burden of these infections among migrant laborers who can act as reservoirs and are a threat to native population. A cross sectional study was done among migrant laborers in Ernakulam district, Kerala. After getting informed consent, a questionnaire was administered to each participant to collect sociodemographic details and 5 ml of blood was collected for detection of antigens using rapid diagnostic tests (RDT). Of the 309 migrants tested, none of them were positive for leishmaniasis, while 3.8% were positive for malaria and 3.6% for filariasis. With 2.5 million migrant laborers in Kerala, the magnitude of the problem in absolute numbers is enormous. Active surveillance and treatment is needed to prevent the reemergence of these diseases in Kerala.

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